woensdag 31 december 2014


This past year was a very good year for me from a professional point of view. In January I spend a whole week presenting in the SMART Collaborative Classroom at BETT, London-UK, the largest education and technology trade show in Europe. In July I attended and presented at the Global SMART Exemplary Educators Summit in Calgary, Canada. And this was most amazing and met a lot of new friends and partners to work with. In October I was present at a Google Apps for Education Summit (#gafesummit) in London, UK and I was selected to attend the Google Teacher Academy in Amsterdam, Netherlands in November. A few new certificates and rewards were added to my professional development roadmap ... Let's continue to do so in 2015!

dinsdag 23 december 2014

"Growing roots and wings to children"

Saunalahti is one of the newest apartment building districts in Espoo, Finland, located by the Kummelivuori hill between Kivenlahti and Kurttila, west of the Kauklahdenväylä road, on the coast of the Espoonlahti bay. The houses in Saunalahti are built to preserve the original nature as much as possible. The houses are built at different heights, so that most have a view to the Gulf of Finland. All houses fit in with each other despite not looking exactly alike. Saunalahti School was opened in 2012. It began in 2008, when 13 architects at Verstas started designing the school. Construction commenced in 2010 and was completed in 2012. The building also houses the Saunalahti library. (excerpts from Wikipedia).

It's been a while that I was welcomed to Saunalahti School with a group of teachers on a study trip (or workaction) to have a closer look at education in Finland in September 2013. This school in particular and it's community was perhaps the best part of the trip and definitely worth a visit whenever you're in the neighborhood. The building fits perfectly in the rough surroundings with lots of wood and rocks. The school is very special and I could feel and see that each and every child was very welcome at this school. It felt like a second home to the students that attended. This was not only a school, but a multifunctional meeting place for the entire community and was open from 6 AM till 10 PM. All stakeholders such as parents were really involved and this school did a great job in being the center of this community. At tis school it is mandatory for parents to come to school at least twice a year to talk about their child. And those sessions are during the day instead of evenings which is common in my country. Both the school and the parents find it very important to do so apparently.
Parents are also involved in the parent council, which has a certain influence on the curriculum of the school, which is created by the team of teachers at the beginning of each school year. In Finland schools do not have to follow the standardized curriculum (if there is any at all?). Students do get a lot of space and are free and able to join lots of different learning activities to develop themselves.

"The inclusive Saunalahti school is a learning and expert community that enables growing roots and wings to children."

The school was very student centered for what I have seen. When we were taken on a tour by the head mistress she would pause the tour for each student that looked if it might need assistance and she would give that assistance. The fact that we - a large group of teachers - were there as well didn't matter at all. Also was pointed out that a very important value at this school is that teachers will point out (little) successes by students, in order to enable more (better?) learning by students.

The school has six values and the first one - of course - is 'focused on the child', while we in the Netherlands either focus too much on the curriculum (standards) or on the teachers and their professional development ... This is one of the main things that I will take home.

woensdag 17 december 2014

Generosity of SMART Technologies

A shout-out to SMART Technologies for their generous act by handing out a full license of SMART Notebook 14 to one of my students. This particular student is one of my exam students and is handicapped and has very limited motor skills and he's not able to write and/or use his arms and legs properly. He is able to use a laptop computer during his exams and by law it is permitted that he uses a few software programs such as MS Word, Excel and a snapping tool to copy the things he created in one program to another. Now both his math teacher and the student himself dropped the idea of using SMART Notebook, because of the drawing functionality and the GeoGebra add-on. I send an email to Deena and Ainhoa and responded with a positive reply. How about that! Besides the fact that it's very nice that SMART granted my student with the software, I particularly like the fact that this student benefits from using Notebook and the GeoGebra add-on with his disability of writing and drawing.

Fred van Dijke - math teacher of my student: "Lesley has diplegia spastic infantile and has fewer features, among others in his left arm and shoulder. His entire coordination and fine motor skills are in such a state that it is very difficult for him to write and draw. In mathematics, the exam requires to make drawings. When he works in SMART Notebook can he simply put the drawings from the exam in SMART Notebook (Snapping Tool) as add other things as well."

Reply of Ainhoa Marcos (SMART Technologies) to my request: "I´ll be happy to provide you with the license, I´ll just ask you to write an EdCompass blog, video, or any other content about the experience, as I think is an amazing one. I´ll come back to you soon with the license ..." 

As Lesley responds to working with SMART Notebook 14: "I am very happy with the program SMART Notebook. It was intended for my math drawings, but I also can use it with other subjects to draw and create schedules. It takes me a little longer to create drawings because it's such a large and comprehensive program, but in this case it is a good thing because I need less different programs. At the beginning I needed to discover how everything works, but once I knew how it worked, it is working very good for me. All that I used is now in just one program. If I have I do not have the copy-paste to other software anymore. I could not draw in depth, but with the pre-created pages in Notebook I can now also draw in a three-dimensional coordinate system. Very often I had to tell my teacher that I couldn't do such things, but now I can. Until now I haven't come across anything that I miss in the program. With SMART Notebook I can improve my skills."

And SMART Exemplary Educator Gonzalo Garcia responded to our story: "One of the best features of SMART solutions is the ability they have to help attention to diversity inside and outside the classroom. And this is another example of the commitment of SMART with Education in capital letters."

donderdag 11 december 2014

#ThrowbackThursday: How SMART changed my teaching

Since the first moment that I got in touch with the SMART Notebook software at a resellers store somewhere in the Netherlands I was immediately touched by it's simplicity which could be of great use in my classroom. This platform came across my path and I knew immediatly that this was I was looking for. I needed SMART Notebook. All the content that I had collected in the past years such as websites, newspaper cut outs, video and animation, photo's and pictires could now be in just on lesson created in SMART Notebook. This. Was. Epic.
It was SMART Notebook 9.7 at the time and there was no Lesson Activity Toolkit, no page grouping and none of the powerful features that it has now and still I thought it was amazing! I got a laptop computer from school to create Notebook lessons and a few months later Notebook 10 was released and I was invited to join the SMART International User Forum (precursor of the SEE Summit) in Sweden in 2008. A trip that I will never forget and where I met some great SMARTians and great educators whom I still consider as my friends today. I got hooked and from that moment on I was even more amazed by the innovative technology solutions for the classroom designed by SMART. During the SMART International User Forum we received a full license for SMART Ideas and I could only dream of having a SMART Senteo set in my classroom or full license of Synchron Eyes running in school. And now we have it all and many more in SMART Notebook 14. Heading to SMART Notebook 15? I'm game!

maandag 1 december 2014

Digitale voetafdruk!

Q: 'Ligt het echt alleen aan docenten als studenten ongemotiveerd en gedesinteresseerd zijn?'

A: 'Nee, het ligt ook aan ons onderwijssysteem. Het systeem van standaardpakketjes is achterhaald. Daarnaast worden lage cijfers hier als normaal geaccepteerd is zoals onderwijssocioloog Jaap Donkers, mijn leermeester, zegt: "Middelmaat krijgt hier een Michelinster." We willen of mogen onze kop niet boven het maaiveld uitsteken. Dat zorgt voor niet-gemotiveerde studenten.' Aldus Gerda Schapers in Schooljournaal Nr. 11 - juni 2014

Als de zesjes-cultuur een gevolg is van het systeem van standaardpakketjes, dan kan het volgens mij helpen het om het werk van leerlingen veel meer te koppelen aan de echte wereld en juist daar te publiceren. Veel werk wat mijn leerlingen moeten maken, moet niet alleen goed genoeg zijn voor mij (of om een voldoende (=6) te halen), maar juist ook goed genoeg zijn om gedeeld te worden met de rest van de wereld. Als een leerling zijn of haar werk alleen maar doet om een voldoende te krijgen van mij voor de gemaakte opdracht, is dat voor mij niet genoeg. Ik wil leerlingen graag de vrijheid geven (soms meer, soms wat minder) en hun creativiteit niet in de weg te zitten en hen zelf de invulling van de opdracht te vervullen, maar ... hun werk moet(!) veelal online te vinden zijn of gedeeld worden met anderen anderzijds. Voor presentaties moeten ze dus altijd een online presentatieprogramma gebruiken (Prezi, Google Presentation etc.) en als het even kan hun presentatie via social media delen. De leukste, beste, mooiste presentaties kan ik weer delen met de klas of anderzijds gebruiken als voorbeeld voor andere leerlingen. Omdat ze hun werk online staat (Instagram, Twitter, Prezi etc.) en zichtbaar is voor de rest van de wereld, zal veelal automatisch de kwaliteit ook toenemen, omdat ze hun eigen niveau omhoog tillen omdat ze weten dat ik niet de enige ben die meekijkt.
Graag zou ik als aanvulling zgn. 'peer-assessment'-tools gebruiken, zodat leerlingen ook elkaars werk kunnen bekijken en beoordelen. Dit kan bijvoorbeeld met Peer-Scolar of Google Classroom. Dit staat op mijn roadmap om dat dit schooljaar nog eens te proberen.

n.b. En als een leerling of ouder zich druk maakt om de digitale voetafdruk, dan kun je die beter zelf proberen in de hand te houden en zoveel mogelijk mooie, goede en positieve zaken over jou vindbaar te maken, voordat een ander de weg vindt om zaken van/over jou te plaatsen die minder positief zijn en waar je minder blij mee bent. "Think again and be prepared!".

Ongemotiveerde studenten? De keuze is aan u!

Q: 'Ligt het echt alleen aan docenten als studenten ongemotiveerd en gedesinteresseerd zijn?'

A: 'Nee, het ligt ook aan ons onderwijssysteem. Het systeem van standaardpakketjes is achterhaald. Daarnaast worden lage cijfers hier als normaal geaccepteerd is zoals onderwijssocioloog Jaap Donkers, mijn leermeester, zegt: "Middelmaat krijgt hier een Michelinster." We willen of mogen onze kop niet boven het maaiveld uitsteken. Dat zorgt voor niet-gemotiveerde studenten.' Aldus Gerda Schapers in Schooljournaal Nr. 11 - juni 2014

Hier ben ik stellig mee eens. De zesjes-cultuur zorgt ervoor dat leerlingen weinig uitgedaagd worden om boven zich uit te stijgen. Mijns inziens kunnen twee dingen dit patroon doorbreken.
Als eerste moeten de docenten en hun roadmap minder afhankelijk worden van de gebruikte methodes/schoolboeken. Als SMART certified trainer ben ik op veel scholen in binnenland en met studiereizen veel op scholen in het buitenland geweest. En vooral door het kijken op scholen in het buitenland, waar het onderwijssysteem en het curriculum en de benadering van de verschillende vakken compleet anders is, ben ik anders naar mijn vak(inhoud) gaan kijken. In de US bestaat het aardrijkskunde niet eens en valt het onder social studies. (Het argument dat Amerikanen niet weten waar België, Pakistan of Angola ligt mag geen argument zijn, want dat zou suggereren dat aardrijkskunde vooral topografie is ...)
Dus als ik de kerndoelen van bijvoorbeeld aardrijkskunde bekijk en deze behandel, blijft er heel veel tijd over voor andere onderwerpen en werkvormen - de 'leuke' dingen' -, die leerlingen wellicht veel meer aanspreekt. Daar is ruimte om los te gaan met mijn vak en ze meer bij te brengen dan het gestandaardiseerde aanbod van het boek. Het boek wat - naar mijn mening - veel van de creativiteit en flexibiliteit van de docent heeft afgestompt, waardoor we veelal nu 'slaafs' de methode volgen en eigenlijk niet voldoende toekomen aan hen voor te bereiden op de navolgende jaren en de echte wereld. Vandaag en nu gebeurt nl. heel veel en daar is weinig ruimte voor binnen de beperkte uren. En de druk die dit meegeeft voor docenten en leerlingen, maakt volgens mij het leren niet meer zo leuk ...

Modulair werken volgens een keuzesysteem lijkt mij heel gaaf om te ontwerpen en is één van mijn 'moonshots' (#GTANL). Dit proberen we op het Ashram College bij aardrijkskunde in 2-vmbo op hele kleine schaal, waar leerlingen zich per periode kunnen inschrijven voor een onderwerp en niet als klas het vak volgen bij dezelfde docent. Het resultaat is dat leerlingen een keuze (zij het een beperkte) hebben en volgens onze ervaring gemotiveerder aan de slag gaan met het vak. Een voorwaarde is uiteraard dat het vak aardrijkskunde voor alle 2-vmbo klassen parallel in het rooster moet staan en dat is bij ons op school de afgelopen twee jaar al gelukt.

Kerndoelen onderbouw voortgezet onderwijs volgens Rijksoverheid.
Kerndoelen volgens Stichting Leerplanontwikkeling (SLO).

zondag 30 november 2014

Education is key

This week me and my class did a Skype-session with Bob Hofman (from the Global Teenager Project). From our western point of view my students talked about helping the poor in the Verdara community in the Udaipur District, Rajasthan - India. My students were talking about help from a typical Western society point of view that wasn't based upon equality, but should be. After the talk my students learned two new words that both classes will focus on during the project: reciprocity and equivalence. And within two weeks my students need to have an answer on how they will add the meaning to those words to their project, because Bob Hofman will call back in. Very good! And my students are enthusiastic about getting in touch with the community and school in India.

I discussed this with Emil Waldhauser and we both thought of the same thing. We need to ask what the community wants from us instead of us deciding what help they should need and get from us. We both are fond of the idea of getting in touch with the concerning community in India and getting to know each other and learn from each other. This challenge has been taken to the next level for us.

The students we both work with are very great learners. From both sides they have the insight that we need to make people aware of the differences in prosperity in the world by sharing stories through video, blog and other social media. So this is what we will do. Create global learners by sharing stories with each other and the world to gain global awareness. Educate each other! That's the main goal as we think of it and Emil his students have created this infographic about it:

In order to complete the Gold Star SEE Challenge Emil and I took, we've created a video about our project, showing the process and the students collaborating in SMARTamp.

vrijdag 28 november 2014

Instagram #ak2Ha

Geïnspireerd door collega SMART Exemplary Educator en EdTech Ninja Rafranz Davis uit Austin, Texas heb ik weer een Instagram foto-opdracht met m'n 2-havo (2Ha van het Ashram College) gedaan. Het onderwerp van periode 2 was steden en de stad en om de leerlingen kennis te laten maken met de stad, de kenmerken van een stad en vooral de bril die opgezet moet worden als je met aardrijkskunde bezig bent in je eigen omgeving. Dit hebben de leerlingen in week 47 vijf x moeten doen: de week van de stad. Elke dag een foto plaatsen kon in totaal 10 punten opleveren. Elke foto kon dus twee punten krijgen, één voor de inhoud en één voor de 'compositie'.

Presentatie met eigen voorbeelden
En dat levert een heel leuk resultaat op. Sommige leerlingen zijn erg creatief met hun foto's en fotograferen de mooiste en leukste dingen die met de stad te maken hebben. De meeste leerlingen hebben een open Instagram-account, dus hun foto's zijn prima te bekijken via de app. Sommige leerlingen hebben wel een gesloten account, maar hebben dat opgelost door speciaal voor schoolzaken een extra account aan te maken om daar hun foto's te plaatsen. Resultaat is erg leuk geworden. Zoek maar eens op de hashtag #ak2Ha op Intagram ... 

zondag 26 oktober 2014

Creating Global Learners III

With my World Citizenship classes we collaborated with the class of SMART Exemplary Educator Emil Waldhauser in Rakovník in the Czech Republic during the first weeks of September. This was meant to be an experiment on how to use SMARTamp workspaces between different countries, instead of within the school or district. I've done a few collaboration projects with Emil before so setting up was easy. We both agree on the fact that todays students should be taught to be so called global learners in order to become a responsible global citizen.
Emil prepared a few questions and shared them in a SMARTamp workspace, so that my students could answer them in small groups. My students were able to sign in, due to the fact that Emil created a school account for my classes to join the class and workspace in the domain of Gymnázium Zikmunda Wintra in Rakovník. Some of my students took this first session very seriously and some didn't. Even though they had fun, collaborated and were really surprised that they could work within one workspace with the Czech students and that they could actually see in real time what our contributions were. Magic.

At the beginning of October I traveled to the Czech Republic with a large group of students to visit Prague and to Rakovník. We payed a visit to Gymnázium Zikmunda Wintra as well, where my students attended a few lessons and of course with teacher Emil Waldhauser. During his class my students were working with an amp session again. During classes I was interviewed by the local press together with the principal of the school and we stated out that both our schools (and personal) really liked working with each other and that we thought that students growing up as global citizens was very important. We agreed on working and collaborating more together ...

woensdag 22 oktober 2014

St. Mathew Academy success story

Due to the fact that the #gafesummit was cut down to just one day, I had an extra in London. On the website of SMART Technologies I searched if there was a SMART Showcase School in London to visit, among other interesting things to do. And actually there was one and via Twitter I got in touch with the principal of St. Matthew Academy Mr. Michael Barry and he replied that I was more than welcome to pay a visit. Via email I explained why I wanted to visit the school and while I was there the school provided me a guided tour, lunch in the school cantina and a wifi connection to get some other work done after the visit. Mr. Barry trusted me enough to offer me his office to work a little (Tweet, blog, check in for flight home and email), while he was away, how nice is that.

During the guided tour which was done by a too modest student, I was allowed to take pictures, ask loads of questions and had a chat with a few teachers. I was particularly interested in the subject geography and its curriculum, the way computers, devices and Raspberry Pi was being used and of course the in the use of the SMART Boards. After all St. Matthew Academy was a SMART Showcase School. The school did not encourage students to bring their own device or provide mobile devices yet, as I believe that is part of the roadmap for the upcoming years. So no information to gain from the school on how they were using mobile devices.
During the tour I witnessed a geography lesson and talked to the teacher, whom explained to me that she did not use books, students didn't have books and she created her own different assignments to differentiate in her lesson. Some students were brighter than others, or could handle more lesson content than others. They were working individually on creating a geography newspaper about the storms on the coast. I liked that very much, because the students could be creative and it was all about their own community. When the teacher needed to explain something about physical geography, she used school books that remained in the classroom. This particular teacher was the right teacher for the group of students that attend this school. I would love to see her and her students using mobile devices and/or web 2.0-tools for her designed assignments.
Another thing I really liked was that coding was in the curriculum of ICT and that the school had began with the Raspberry Pi this year. Attached to each monitor in the computerroom was also a Raspberry Pi besides a regular Windows 8 computer. The students need to learn how to code and program a small computer such as the Raspberry Pi. In another computer room there were lots of iMac computers to work on. Great!

Media was a subject taught at this school as well. There is a film-club, film and photo shoot room with green screen and they produce a lot of movies and films and join lots of competitions and also won a few (lots?). With the iMac room and all this looked very professional and this is probably the most professional one that I've seen in secondary education. And you could tell by the enthusiasm of the students that they were engaged by this and how this subject is being taught in school.

After the tour I had another chat with the principal and the head of the secondary school and they asked me very good questions. They asked what I thought was good and asked me was I thought was not good. I explained that from the first few steps that I took in the school I immediately noticed that this school was student centered. At the exception the lady was first helping out the student that came in after me before she attended me. Same sort of atmosphere I felt at some schools while I was in Finland visiting schools. I also mentioned the matters from above. The one thing that could be better in my opinion was the use of SMART Notebook. That interactive whiteboard software could and should be used way more often to enhance interactivity in the classroom instead of showing Powerpoint presentations. Perhaps I could do some training next time I'm around. ;) Anyway, you'd best check it out for yourself and witness several success stories from this school by principal Michael Barry.

zaterdag 11 oktober 2014

Google Teacher Academy

As you could've read on this blog in an earlier post (July '14) about my roadmap of professional development that I would apply to the Google Teachers Academy to become a Google Certified Teacher and while doing that I wanted to do some online Google courses to become a Google Educator. In order to become a Google Educator I need to pass a total of five exams, of which four are required: Google Docs & Drive, Gmail, Google Sites and Google Calendar and one elective course and I've picked Google Chrome (the browser). Well, I've done all the things concerning Google that I wanted to do.
The courses took me quite long to take, especially when a fulltime job as mentor and teacher in secondary education is due too. And I didn't expect it to be that difficult and more imported inspiring and worth for. The first exam I took was Gmail and I failed. It got only 75% and needed at least 80%. This was the one that made me nervous for all the other exams and made me prepare the next ones way better and according to some reviews of others the Gmail exam was the hardest one. Anyway, I passed all the required courses and stil need to make time for the final elective one in order to become a Google Educator.

I've also signed up for a Google Apps For Education summit in London. This summit will be held at an international school in downtown London, UK and I really do hope to gain a lot. I'm quite new to this Google Education thing and really want to keep up. Especially in order to maintain as iCoach or instructional technology specialist in my own school and therefore I cannot only rely on Apple hard- and software. Google is around all of us and particularly the students and I want and need to keep up and add the useful education tools from Google to my lessons and the way I teach and the way students could learn.

And at last but not least I applied for the Google Teachers Academy and was notified this week that my application was approved and I am going to the Google Teachers Academy in Amsterdam on the 4th and 5th of November. This was great news for me this week and I do hope that at the end of november I'm so comfortable with Google Apps for Education that I can and will use this and SMARTamp (which is linked to Google Apps) in my classroom.

GTA Application video (in Dutch language)

Thanks to all the North American SMART Exemplary Educators, that I met at the Global SEE Summit in Calgary this summer for the inspiration and especially Lise Galuga. Now on to the last online Google course! #Chrome

vrijdag 19 september 2014

Ecologische voetafdruk

Bij o.a. 2-havo komt bij het hoofdstuk over de draagkracht van de aarde de ecologische voetafdruk aan bod. Dit is ook onderdeel van het nieuwe 4-vmbo eindexamenprogramma aardrijkskunde. Leerlingen lijken op het eerste oog zich weinig te kunnen voorstellen bij dit fenomeen. De ecologische voetafdruk geeft (vaak) in een cirkeldiagram weer hoeveel hectare grond per persoon nodig is adhv de manier hoe de persoon in kwestie leeft en wat vraagt dat van de omgeving. Zo vraagt het eten van vlees veel ruimte, omdat bijvoorbeeld de koe heel veel hectare plantaardig voedsel nodig heeft om een kilo vlees te produceren. Zo komt ook het energie- en waterverbruik langs en vele andere aspecten die invloed hebben op de omgeving om ons heen.

Er zijn online verschillende testjes om jouw ecologische voetafdruk te meten en die van het Wereldnatuurfonds is naar mijn mening een hele goeie. Het resultaat wordt getoond na een serie vragen over o.a. de genoemde onderwerpen. De uitslag gaat gepaard met een advies over hoe je jouw ecologische voetafdruk zou kunnen verkleinen.

De opdracht die mijn 2-havo leerlingen hadden was om te reageren op het resultaat van de door hun gedane test adhv twee vragen. 
1. Wat vond je het meest verrassend van de uitlag?
2. Wat kun jij doen om jouw ecologische voetafdruk te verkleinen?
3. Wat ga jij doen om jouw ecologische voetafdruk te verkleinen?
En ze moesten natuurlijk een 'print-screen' van de uitslag bijvoegen, waarop zichtbaar werd hoeveel aardbollen er nodig zouden zijn als alle inwoners van onze planeet net zo zouden leven als hen. Als iedereen zou leven als de gemiddelde Nederlander, dan hebben we 3,5 aardbollen nodig (staat gelijk aan 6,3 hectare per persoon). Gelukkig trekken mijn leerlingen dat gemiddelde een beetje omlaag. De leerling met de laagste score had 'maar' 2,1 aardbollen en de leerling met de hoogste score had een score van bijna 4 aardbollen. Hieronder een paar adviezen en terugblikken van verschillende leerlingen:


  • "Ik ben het meest verrast omdat ik dacht dat ik veel meer zou verbruiken."
  • "Ik ben het meest verrast door de voeding. Omdat ik best veel eten verspil wat ik niet gedacht had."
  • "In het dagelijks leven ben ik helemaal niet bezig met hoe vaak ik de auto gebruik."


  • "Ik ga m'n oplader minder vaak gebruiken en als ik hem gebruik na gebruik meteen de oplader uit het stopcontact halen".
  • "Geen lichten aan laten staan als er niemand in die kamer is."
  • "Ook kan ik meer kleding brengen naar de kringloopwinkel en minder kleren kopen als ik nog genoeg in mijn kast heb."
  • "Ik ga sowieso later als ik op mezelf woon, een regenton in mijn tuin zetten om met dat water mijn auto (die ik dan hopelijk heb) te wassen."
  • "Meer fietsen in plaats van de auto te gebruiken."
  • "Ten tweede wist ik niet dat het beter voor het milieu was maar dat heb ik dus nu geleerd dus ga ik er aan denken."
  • "Ik ga proberen om het afval beter te scheiden. Thuis deed ik dat niet, maar we hadden thuis glas, plastic, papier, groenafval, maar ik deed er niks mee."
  • "Groen, moet je doen."

zaterdag 16 augustus 2014

Digital Citizenship - conditions may apply

"If the internet has taught us anything, it is that people will sign up to just about anything as long as it is free. And if the price we pay for things we like is loss of privacy, it's a price many many of us are happy to pay." Matt Egan - Macworld, August 2014.

Knowing this I'm concerned about the consequences of the actions online by my students and my own children. They don't really seem to care - they're adolescents - and perhaps shouldn't have to, but due to the circumstances they grow up with, they will have to. They need to know and learn what the consequence of their online behavior can be in order to take action if they want to. That's a decision of their own, but we cannot let them grow up not knowing. And who is or should be the designated person to do that? I thought so ... Teachers and since school is a learning institute, why not learn the new basics and put this in the curriculum? In my opinion digital citizenship should be a mandatory course or subject taught in school.

I've shared with you about the new subject and creating global learners at my school in another blog post. This is sort of part two, but I'm not satisfied with this yet. The world around keeps changing very fast and I (and the students?) need to keep up and share my knowledge with them. My students will learn mainly about the positive things social media can bring, but also about the downside and dangers such as sexting, grooming, identity theft, online harassment, addiction. They need to be aware of things, because I'm also asking to create and use their accounts on multiple social networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Google and Prezi. Whilst asking them to use these online tools for learning, they need to know about the downside of those online tools and their digital footprint ... or better; digital tattoo. Footprints can be removed, but to remove tattoos is very hard. Content that has shared online, will always be there and for certain instates and companies to find.

Conditions may apply, because when using your television, reading a book or calling someone on the telephone using a landline is quite harmless. But now since we're using smartphones and social media, all our online actions are recorded and traced ... and they could bite us in the ass a few years from now. Students need to know and be aware. 'Think again and be prepared' as Jello Biafra use to say.

Movie to watch: 'Terms and Conditions may apply' (2013)
Google Digital Citizenship Course: http://www.google.com/edu/teachers/youtube/curric/

zaterdag 9 augustus 2014

World Citizenship

Since a few years I'm teaching this subject in the second class at my secondary school besides geography and economics. There's no standardized curriculum and there are no basic (stated as mandatory by the government) goals with this elective subject. That means that me and my colleagues can pick whatever we think that'll fit within the region of this world citizenship thing. 
During the Global SEE Summit in Calgary I prepared the questions for the twitter chat with Rafranz Davis and the topic was Global Awareness and I guess that covers in my opinion the new subject I teach: World Citizenship (mondo as it's called at my school in the Netherlands). These were the main questions that we asked during the twitter chat: 
- How can we create lessons that better prepare kids to be globally prepared?
- What do you think is most important to teach concerning world citizenship?
- How do we maintain global awareness in learning?

During this twitter chat we tried to get ourselves and other teachers to think about these questions and come up with some answers. Even for us as teachers we need to be an example for our students and therefore it's almost mandatory that we add some global awareness to the curriculum. Wouldn't you agree? Especially with the state of the world at this moment, such as the airplane with civilians shot from the air above Ukraine, ISIS in Iraq, civil war in Syria, conflict between the Israeli and the Palestine people, Russia and it's foreign policy, Global Warming, Ebola virus in Africa, child and slave labour during sports tournaments such as the Olympics and World Championships, natural disasters in China and so on.
Due to the amount of information and access to this information, students get faced with too many different views. In that case it's importend that a trustworthy and reliable person as the teacher is able to help his students to verify and narrow down these information stream, in order to let the student be able to create an opinion of their own.

Global Awareness: people nowadays need to be aware and know at least something about it, to create an opinion of their own on these matters. Since the internet the world is connected and it's not about our own street, city or community anymore. From this point of view I think that we need to get our students globally connected. I know that I will. Not only during this new subject I teach, but also in my standardized curriculum with geography and economics. I've got a few plans to connect my classroom with school classes in New Brunswick-Canada, Novosibirsk-Russia, Rakovnik-Czech Republic, Orland Park/USA and am trying to connect to Kenya-Africa. With the classes that I teach about global citizenship we'll be joining the Global Teenager Project again and will connect with schools in Surinam, Curaçao and hopefully many more. 

This week I was asked if digital citizenship should be part of this world citizenship. I think yes, and will blog about that later this week. And would like if you shared your opinion as well. 

Getting connected with Rafranz Davis from Texas, US.

Association for Citizenship Teaching (UK): http://www.teachingcitizenship.org.uk
Wereldburgerschap - kennisplatform voor mondiaal onderwijs: http://www.wereldburgerschap.nl
Canon voor wereldburgerschap/Canon for Global Citizenship: http://www.ncdo.nl/artikel/canon-voor-wereldburgerschap (UK & NL)

dinsdag 5 augustus 2014

Global SEE Summit #smartee Twitter Chat

While at the Global SEE Summit in Calgary, Alberta two weeks ago Rafranz hosted a Twitter Chat. It was the first one that most of the attendants were in the same room while tweeting and sharing their thoughts on the questions. Last week the NA SMART Exemplary Educators did a Twitter chat and the topic was the Global SEE Summit. And this was really helping us SEEs from #SummitWithdrawals ... We all miss the summit a lot and weren't finished at all.

Rafranz created the question to review the Global summit and shared the questions with me afterwards, in order to do the same in our time zone. The North American Twitter chat was at 3 AM CEST and there weren't that many EMEA SEEs attending. So Bryony (SEE from Schotland) and I thought that we might give it a go this week with the same questions.
  • Q1 We all accomplished quite a bit last week both personally and professionally. What was your greatest #smartee accomplishment?
  • Q2 What one new thing did you learn about SMART NB or Amp that you can share? (nothing under NDA) #smartee
  • Q3 We all made global classroom connections last week. How will you realistically get and keep your classrooms globally connected? #smartee
  • Q4 What is your one big thing that you will implement right away because of the Summit? #smartee
  • Q5 Share one thing that you learned from an international friend! #smartee
  • Q6 If you could change or improve one thing last week, what would it be? #smartee
  • Q7 What would you like to say to someone who made a great impact on your life last week? #smartee
And before we started the Twitter chat, we did some housekeeping. Nothing NDA should be shared, because we signed that agreement for the Summit and when answering a question, people should respond using the number of the question in their tweet. The questions will start with a Q followed by the number. Answers should begin with A followed by the number of question you’re answering.
The twitter chat was from 7 till 8 PM CEST, but it took at least 15 minutes more. People were enthusiastic. And before we even could start with question number 1, the chat was already running on another topic: world citizenship, digital citizenship, digital footprint, digital tattoo and what should or could be taught in that curriculum. Very nice topic and would like to do a tweet chat about that topic.

The tweets are captured in this Storify. And tweeting from tweetchat.com is very useful during a Twitter Chat, because it automatically adds the hashtag that's been used.

P.S. I would like to thank Rafranz for sharing the questions and Bryony for doing a great job hosting the Twitter chat with me! Thanks.

zaterdag 2 augustus 2014

SMART Exemplary Educators Summit Tiger

The past few years I've had the honor and the pleasure to attend three different SMART Exemplary Educator Summits and if you count the precursor The International SMART Board forum along, than I've attended in total four professional development training camps organized by SMART Technologies in a foreign country.

My first official summit was in the summer of 2011 at the headquarters in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) and I was invited to come over and have a look at how the North-Americans did run a show like that, because together with 5 other SEEs from Europe we were going to be the peer mentors at the EMEA SEE Summit in Hamburg (or Paris) the next year. At this summit there were also about 50 SEEs from Canada and the US. This Summit was (perhaps due to the fact that it was way out of my time zone in the beautiful country of Canada) epic to me. I've learned so much and gained so many friends. My love for SMART gained a boost and was ready to adopt more technology in my classroom. This was also the start of my first global collaboration project with teachers from abroad.

Class of 2011

My second summit that I attended was in Hamburg at the local SMART office during the summer of 2012. There we're about 30 SEEs from EMEA and four from North-America (3 from the US and one from Canada) to learn from and share with each other. This Summit took only three days of professional development and I did two presentations. New friends were made and old friends were reunited again. New global collaboration projects started from here.

Class of 2012

My third summit was in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) again. The summit was a global one, therefore there were about 76 SEEs present. SEEs from Canada, the US, EMEA and Panama, Chile and Mexico. This was the one that was most epic. Different from the other ones, and I've made even more new friends and was (at last?) reunited with old friends as well. Whilst putting this words down, I'm still suffering from summit withdrawals. I'm missing my fellow SEEs and want to work even more with them. Global collaboration will be taken to a next level ...

Class of 2014

Besides the locations, amount of SEEs that attended and the latest software releases at the moment of the summits, there were some differences between them. I'll try to share my opinion on that. 
At first in my opinion we did less sharing at the latest summit, compared to the other two that I attended. All SEEs needed to prepare and bring their best lesson to the 2011 and 2012 summit and needed to show and share in smaller groups. That is definitely something I've missed during the global summit. The amount of technical details was merely the same, although was the focus on this summit of course on amp and less on Notebook. New were the hackathons and the sessions we did with the developers. That is a great benefit from the other summits I've attended. We could share our feature requests etc. directly with the developers and could actually see that a lot things were put right into action. We all loved that! Watch out for the new releases of amp and Notebook! This was also the first year that the Global SEE platform was a great part of it, which made people do and share things on that platform. As I already stated before ... after the last summit I'm suffering more from summit withdrawals, so I guess it's addictive and I need to be with my fellow SEEs more and more again. There!

EMEA and Global Summit compared

zaterdag 26 juli 2014

What have we gained? - Moving mountains for students

Today we went to do some sightseeing in the Canadian Rockies. We planned to visit Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and we got to do some souvenir shopping in the town Banff.

Panorama shot at Lake Louise.

This was indeed very nice. I've been to Banff National Park before, but never to Lake Louise and it is a very beautiful site. Even when it's a little cold and rainy. The water in Lake Louise has this typical color of water that just came from a glacier. I've taken so many pictures, but as always one cannot capture the atmosphere in a picture. I tried anyway. I also took the time to create a Time Lapse movie with the iMotion app for iPhone. How many SEEs can you spot? 

Time Lapse movie from the walk around Lake Louise.

Walking around and chatting with new friends (for life) was a very nice ending of this summit. Besides this beautiful sightseeing tour, the past four days at SMART Technologies HQ was topic of the chatting in the morning. We talked what we most liked, what we thought could be better and talked about what we'd gained and will take home or school with us.

Personally I would have loved that we shared more (lesson) ideas, worked and collaborated more with each other, rather than the in my opinion technical issues regarding SMART amp. Don't get me wrong, I really like SMART amp and am looking forward to working with this in my SMART Collaborative Classroom. I do hope that all the comments we made to improve working with amp (and Notebook) will soon be available to make it even beter to work with. Back home I will do a presentation about this trip at school and share all that I've learned and gained from this summit. Mainly it will be things that we've shared in between, such as the outcome of the twitter chat and during the Global Collaboration workshop. We all made new friends and contacts this summit and those I will take with me and either me or one of my colleagues is willing to do a global collaboration project with SEEs from abroad. I also like the Kermit style video's, and that another thing I will take home. I can do that with students within a certain topic I teach or even in my mentor group. And I'm also thinking of Johan and me sharing what we've learned with other Dutch SEEs at the SMART office in the Netherlands ... Lots of ideas and work. Still processing.

Panorama shot taken from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

After Lake Louise we ate the best lunch ever at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and went for some shopping in the picturesque town Banff. I bought some stickers, pins, pencils and t-shirts. This was good and I want to be back! Canada. Is. Epic. Thank you SMART Technologies for taking good care and having me and the other SEEs around the past week!

At Lake Louise with Lise, Kristin and Amanda.

donderdag 24 juli 2014

SEE of White Hats

This morning I created a Time-Lapse movie from the walk from Hotel Alma to SMART Technologies HQ and will add this to the #urban100 community, which embraces #GuerillaGeography to map the world in a slight different way. And I think that's a cool thing.

The hackathon teams presented the outcome of their ideas and they were in just one word amazing! If all this will be added to SMART Notebook and SMART amp we will truly be very happy with that. We (and certainly I) loved all the new things that actually will be added to the new NB and amp versions. It's a good thing to have teachers collaborating with the coders. Looking forward to the next release of NB (and the iPad version!).

Warren Barkley was ours for two hours during the Fireside Chat. About 15 people did get the chance to fire away the question that they really wanted to ask the CTO of SMART Technologies. Mine was a bit long, but was satisfied with the answer. The past few years (2012 till 9 months ago) SMART wasn't that good in my opinion and I was afraid that likewise to Apple, SMART Technologies didn't dare to experiment anymore and that future releases would be as predictable as the larger, better camera having, quicker and better OS etc. iPhoneX (don't get me wrong, I'm a fan). Well he explained that since 9 months SMART is back and all I can say and see after this week: He is totally true. My believes have returned too ...

On the Fireside Chat with Warren Barkley

After the lunch break we were divided in smaller groups and had the chance to discuss in smaller groups a few NDA stuff about both amp and Notebook. I was in a group that chatted further about the mobile version (yes, even smartphones) of amp and what and how teachers and students would want to see and control the content within the SMART amp platform. The teachers were quite unanimous about most things and the developers were very happy with our input.

When we got back from the small-group discussion sessions we were told to go upstairs and gather in the cafeteria of SMART Technologies. While entering the cafeteria we were applauded by the whole team of SMART and there were seats ready for us in a nice dressed up place with balloons etc. This was a huge surprise and it got even better. While the week was wrapped upon by a few very kind words to us by the chief of SMART we were told to check the little gift coupon in our chair (Oprah moment). Most of us gained a couple of thousand points for the Gold Star SEE Challenge (I got 2500) or a book and a few got some big surprises awaiting them. Lise won a new 600-series SMART Board and two others won a light raise interactive beamer. This was very nice! And on top of that we all received a one year license for SMART amp! Whoo-hoo!
Than we all had to do the White Hat ceremony and we were given a White Hat! This was so nice and the SMART staff kept applauding! We felt very special and there were people crying from joy. Lots of pictures were taken and then we had to get back to the Hotel to dress up for the 80's murder mystery dinner at Ford Calgary! This. Was. An. Awesome. Summit! Thank you SMART.

At the end of the day, before I left a few people from the technical department from SMART Technologies were so kind to have a look at my computer. Since the release of SMART Notebook 11, SMART Response Teacher Tools wasn't working on my MacBook, due to flash errors. With some coding added to the registry I am finally able to use the Teacher Tools again on my MacBook. So glad they could help me out! This has been buggering me ever since. So thanks again!

The whole group of Global SEE Summit SMART Exemplary Educators 2014

woensdag 23 juli 2014

Broken Toyz

Allen pointed out this morning the following statement and I must say that I agreed on this one. "Who is crazy enough to present after a night out with Broken Toyz?" Well, it was my turn today so I guess I'm crazy enough. This morning wasn't going very well and I had little trouble with the mild headache and little sleep I had the past night. Anyway, I was up and was about to do two presentations today! One with Kate Seward (whom I met at the Summit in 2011 and I have been collaborating with the past school year) and one on my own about Global Collaboration. This was also the day that my eldest daughter Faye was about to turn eight and whilst following up on the news about the MH17 flight that was shot down from the sky above Ukraine last week, this day was a national day of mourning in the Netherlands because of that.

The topic of today was 'It takes a teacher to grow global understanding' and my presentation and how to set this up in your class room was due today. We started with an open discussion about SMART amp lead by Erica Arnoldin concerning our experience with amp after the SMART amp camp from yesterday. After that the whole group could ask questions to the developers team and loads of requests and feedback was released from the SEEs. I was kinda worried that a lot of requests were about the fact that powerful tools from Notebook should be added in amp, but in my opinion that's not a good thing. Notebook is mainly a teachers tools, where amp is a collaboration tool for students and they shouldn't be the ending up the same. That's all I can say about these NDA sessions.
After the lunch break and before my workshop about Global Collaboration, there were some small presentation of SEEs that have already done some Global Collaboration just to inspire the whole team of SEEs and prepare them for the workshop later this day.

Lise and I are getting a selfie with Neil!
Look what Rafranz gave me! A Sheldon flash drive!

The first presentation I did together with Kate while she was not present at SMART Technologies HQ, but called in from her home address using Bridgit. We'd created a Notebook-file together prior to the summit and showed and shared our experience with our colleague SEEs (present and the ones that joined in via Bridgit) just as Bob, Giovanna, Maria and Chris. We did a great job (well, mainly Kate, because I was still suffering from the Broken Toyz thing ...). And after this show the Global Collaboration 'how to' was on. I had about 90 minutes and the SEEs needed to work and collaborate with each other in small groups that were lead by an EMEA SEE, so there were 24 small groups. The outcome was a Global Collaboration lesson plan for the next school year and needed to be shared in the Gold Star SEE platform. There were some good things going on and I got a lot of positive feedback on my presentation. The SEEs were very happy to work in smaller groups on hands-on assignments. It turned out to be a good day after all.
During the day I interviewed a few SEEs that I have worked with the past year and asked them what was the main benefit from doing such a project. And did I use eXtreme Collaboration? Oh yes I did!

Yulia, Hamdy and Michelle giving their feedback on our projects.

I have shared my presentation via Twitter and a SlideShare version is available here:

Learning Preferences

"There are no learning styles, but learning preferences” is what Heather Lamb pointed out and puts this whole learning thing in a new perspective and is certainly applicable to the way amp works, because since technology is more the way students learn today, than the latest gadget. And today we did a SMART amp camp and received a certificate afterwards as well. The SMART amp camp was lead by Heather Lamb during this day, while others were invited to join a hackathon and had an eight hour session with coders whom would build new features in both amp and notebook upon the input of the attending SEEs. The outcome of that would follow on the next day. 
For both groups this was a very intense day of training. Ainhoa pointed out that in the formerly know SMART Learning Space SEEs could do an online SMART amp collaboration training free of charge. I will do that before next school year starts.

"When there is a correct answer - exercise in creative thinking"

We were asked to respond to the question of what collaboration (with SMART amp) meant. These are a few of the responses that I especially liked:
- 1+1=3
- Personalised learning with AMP workspaces open to all learning preferences.
- Everyone working in the same direction, although the necessarily at the same speed or the same time.

The - according to Rafranz - stock image photo of me collaborating in amp with Lise and DeVane

During this day lots of SEEs created Kermit style video's about the Summit, SMART and education, due to a newly introduced Gold Star SEE Challenge and I interviewed Lise (CA) and deVane (US):

After dinner at the end of the day almost all SEEs attend the #smartee twitter chat! which I prepared with host Rafranz Davis (from TX, USA). We created the next questions which all SEEs could respond to during the twitter chat session.

1. How do you manage to escape from the standardised curriculum and add to your lessons?
2. In what ways do you add creativity to your lessons/content? 
3. How can we create lessons that better prepare kids to be globally prepared?
4. What do you think is most important to teach concerning world citizenship?
5. How do we maintain global awareness in learning

During the one hour Twitter Chat we did, the response was huge and the discussions were running. I respect the fact that Rafranz kept track of everything and guided the whole group through this session. It was great and the best part was yet to come. At the end Rafranz added a sixth question 'what would people want in their class room' and Linda Janssen was one of the people who responded and she asked for wifi in her classroom in South Africa, something they just don't have. Which Warren Barkley (CTO of SMART Technologies and present at the time) responded to that and said that SMART would take care of that. How awesome is that?! There we're tears all over the place.

The day ended with eighties hair metal cover band Broken Toyz at Morgens Pub. 

Receiving the SMART amp camp certificate from Heather Lamb

maandag 21 juli 2014

Amping up at SMART HQ

The first day at SMART Technologies HQ was a great success and still is while I'm writing this. We are with 76(!) SMART Exemplary Educators in one room with great SMARTians to enrich us and make sure than even after day one we will gain a lot which we will takje home and can use directly in our class room. That is my experience after almost one day spending with loads of inspiring people.

At first president of education Greg Estell welcomed us with his keynote about education and how important we as teachers are and can make a difference. He was very kind and made sure that we understood that we are more than welcome and that we matter. Good to know.

"A brand is no longer what a company tells the consumer it is. It's what consumers tell each other it is."

Jenna shared a lot information about the roadmap of the software and hardware of SMART Technologies, but since we signed an NDA we don't have permission to tweet, blog, etc. about it. All I can say is that it keeps on mind-blowing for me ...

Heather Lamb, Erica Arnoldin and others shared (new) features of SMART Notebook 2014 (eXtreme Collaboration, SMART Response VE, Geogebra etc.) and SMART amp during sessions for smaller groups. There's already a list of things that I will take home and will and can use in my SMART Collaborative Classroom.

Stop Motion (200 pics in 20 seconds)

I handed out some souvenirs from The Netherlands and Alphen aan den Rijn - the town I live - to SEEs that I and my students have been working with the past year and to make sure that we will collaborate more next school year. Michelle from Illinois, Mary from Florida, Hamdy from Saudi Arabia and Yulia from Russia are the SEEs present. SEEs that are not present like Emil from the Czech Republic and Kate from Philadelphia.

At the end of the day I was asked to do a TV interview. How awesome is that. I don't have any footage yet, but there's a picture of me at SMART HQ with the TV camera. Lunch was very good, snacks and drinks were provided. After all it was a good day! Looking forward to do more tomorrow!

P.S. check the hashtag #smartee on Twitter to follow in on what's happening at the Global SEE Summit.

With Sergio and Allen

maandag 14 juli 2014

Professional development 2014-2015

During the past school year me and my students did a lot of collaboration with school classes from abroad (United States, Surinam, Curacao, Czech Republic and Saudi Arabia) using tech tools as SMART Bridgit and Skype. I was at BETT 2014 in London, UK and met a few SEEs from Canada, Spain, the UK and Finland and did a few sessions at the SMART Collaborative Classroom and did a session about the use of social media in the classroom at the biggest social media and education summit in Amsterdam. I went on a study trip 'Finland Calling' to Helsinki, Finland from September 22nd till 28th 2013 with the headmaster of my school to have a closer look at the Finnish education system and to gain more about differentiation in the classroom. And from december 2013 my classroom was transformed into a SMART Collaborative Classroom and I have tried a lot new ways to engage students more to cooperate and collaborate with each other whilst using the SMART Boards. I also want to focus on BYOD for students, because since a few months our school has WiFi for all students and will start with BYOD next school year.

Inside my SMART Collaborative Classroom I want more student engagement whilst the use of their own devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets and really want SMARTamp to get going. I'm quite familiar with SMARTamp and will learn a lot more during the Global SEE Summit in Calgary, Canada which should be the best PD thing for teachers ever. Will share more about this one later.

Because SMARTamp is connected to the Google accounts and as inspired by some other SMART Exemplary Educators from the US, I want to do some Google training. At first an online training to become a Google Educator and later in November I want to attent the Google Teacher Academy in Amsterdam to become a Google Certified Teacher as well.

During the next school year I'm looking forward to join a Learning Circle from the Global Teenager Project again with my 'world citizenship'-classes and cooperate and collaborate with other classes from around the globe. Perhaps we could even visit another school as an expedition in another country next school year.

And at last I want to try this Peer Scholar thing, which should be pretty cool to use in my classes. Let the summer begin and I will share more about professional development on this blog ...

SMART Collaborative Classroom from the past school year

donderdag 5 juni 2014

Peer Scholar

Speciaal optreden van Steve Joordens op de Verdieping van Kennisnet over Peer Scholar. De 21e eeuw vraagt andere vaardigheden van de mens en onze leerlingen moeten daar uiteraard op voorbereid worden. We willen graag dat onze leerling kritisch leren nadenken, creatieve oplossingen kunnen bedenken voor (maatschappelijke) zaken en dat ze goed leren communiceren. Deze toekomstgedachte is nu. En dat moeten we doen op school. Leerlingen komen binnen met hun smartphone en willen voortdurend contact houden met de snel veranderende wereld om hen heen. Terwjl dat vaak niet toegestaan is, omdat het huidige onderwijs vaak nog ingericht is met een lesmethode van een uitgever. Er zijn veel tools om je onderwijs leuker, betekenisvoller en aantrekelijker te maken en Peer Scholar is er zeker ook één!

Steve Joordens

Bij Peer Scholar leren leerlingen kritisch naar hun eigen werk kijken, kritisch naar het werk van anderen kijken en kunnen de op- en aanmerkingen van anderen meenemen in hun werk, voordat ze de uiteindelijke versie inleveren van de opdracht. Normaliter doet de docent al dit werk en omdat leerlingen er nu bij betrokken worden, is het rendement van het leren veel hoger. Dit omdat leerlingen veel kunnen leren van hun klasgenoten, doordat ze het moeten lezen en inhoudelijk moeten beoordelen. Dit vraagt uiteraard een verandering van het lesgeven. Ik ben een fan van Peer Scholar en wil daar eigenlijk morgen al mee aan de slag ... 

woensdag 4 juni 2014

Ashram Colleges

Het Ashram College start op woensdag 4 juni met De Ashram Colleges:

Teaser Ashram Colleges

Filmpje gezien? Wat een onwijs leuk en goed initiatief van collega's Mark en Sijmen van het Ashram College om de zgn. Ashram Colleges in het leven te roepen. Een soort Ted Talks voor en door leerlingen en a.s. 4 juni zelfs een gastoptreden van wetenschapsjournalist Diederik Jekel. Leerlingen, docenten en gastsprekers geven dan korte colleges over vragen als ‘Waarom is het niet erg dat de panda uitsterft?’, ‘Hoe werkt de mantel van onzichtbaarheid van Harry Potter?’ en ‘Is de selfie eigenlijk wel zo’n nieuw fenomeen?’.

Twee weken geleden was natuur- en wiskundige Stephen Hawkin in Nederland om te spreken op PLANCKS, de eerste internationale theoretische natuurkundewedstrijd voor studenten in het Beatrixtheater in Utrecht en waarschuwde voor de macht van experts - in deze kenniseconomie - en gaf aan dat het belangrijk is dat iedereen in onze democratische samenleving basale kennis heeft over hoe de wereld in elkaar zit. Om zo te voorkomen dat deskundigen te veel macht krijgen. En daar ben ik het ronduit mee eens. Ik geef maatschappijvakken aardrijkskunde, economie en wereldburgerschap op het vmbo en kan wel wat met de uitspraak van Stephen Hawkin en kan en wil mijn leerlingen meer meegeven over hoe de wereld in elkaar zit. Juist óók het vmbo. Een éénogige is nog altijd koning in het land van de blinden en daar ligt volgens mij een hele mooie rol weggelegd voor het onderwijs om de nieuwe generatie zoveel mogelijk kennis en vaardigheden mee te geven, zodat ze iig mee kunnen praten en zelf hun eigen keuzes kunnen maken. En dat lijkt moeilijk in deze door technologie in rap tempo veranderende wereld. Toch zullen we wel moeten om 'ellende' in de toekomst te voorkomen. De top 10% van China of India zijn nog altijd meer mensen dan het totaal aantal inwoners van Nederland. Als we het verschil willen maken en de toekomst veilig willen stellen voor onze kinderen zullen we in het onderwijs nog serieuzer de leerlingen moeten voorbereiden op hun toekomst. En ik vind de Ashram Colleges daar mooi aan bijdragen!

 Ik ben erg benieuwd en heb veel zin om vanavond te gaan kijken naar de sprekers!