Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September in review & Clare Hollingworth, the pioneer war journalist

Clare Hollingworth on the Egyptian side of the Suez in 1968 
credits:  Clare Hollingworth Collection

Yesterday, the 10 October, Google celebrated with a doodle the 106th birthday of the most active war journalists of the 20th century. Clare Hollingworth’s  a pioneering war journalist.
Clare Hollingworth - who died this year on January 10th aged 105 - was the first war correspondent to report the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Google doodle Clare Hollingworth’s 106th birthday
doodler: artist Eleni Kalorkoti
She had been working at the Telegraph for less than a week when she broke the story, described as the "scoop of the century".
Just one week after joining The Telegraph, Clare showed the world why she was called “the doyenne of war correspondents.” 

Travelling alone across the Germany-Poland border, she witnessed the outbreak of the Second World War on September 1, 1939 when, as a novice Daily Telegraph stringer, she was woken at her hotel in the Polish town of Katowice by the sound of anti-aircraft fire aimed at German bombers.

Hollingworth's press / the Daily Telegraph
credits: Richard Jones/sinopix
Before she landed "the scoop of the century" as a rookie reporter, Clare Hollingworth had already saved the lives of thousands of Eastern European refugees, getting them out of harm’s way as German and Russian armies advanced.

“I would never use my femininity to get a story that a man could not get,” Clare once said, a testament to her taste for danger, and her belief that better stories came from the most dangerous assignments.
Schools : Google, we love you !

Escolas : Ano lectivo 2017-2018 : O que há de novo ?

Schools : Samuel Johnson, the pioneer lexicographer : Resources

Schools : Intl Day of Peace : Together for Peace : Imagine !

Schools : International Literacy Day in a Digital World

Schools : Learning European Languages is Fun-Tastic !

Livros BD : Diário de Anne Frank : recursos & actividades

Escolas : Visitas de Estudo : Enid Blyton 75 anos de Os Cinco !

Schools : eBook : Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 

Hope you enjoyed my pedagocical proposals published in September. I know you loved because there is a wonderful number of readers. 

Thanks all the educators from around the world that kindly read my blog every day. 

Have a nice time wherever you are! Here, Summer is back!


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Friday, October 6, 2017

Schools : Code Week EU, new challenges : Let's go again !

Europe Code Week 2017

Europe Code Week is taking place this year between 7 and 22 October, although "every week is Code Week". It's an open source initiative, aiming to connect initiatives that encourage young and adult European citizens to learn more about the art and science of computer programming.

Millions of children, adults, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers will again come together at events, in classrooms and libraries across Europe and beyond to learn to create with code.

Europe Code Week 2017

EU Code Week is a grass-roots movement that celebrates creating with code. The idea is to make programming more visible, to show young, adults and elderly how you bring ideas to life with code, to demystify these skills and bring motivated people together to learn. The initiative was launched in 2013 by the Young Advisors for the Digital Agenda Europe.

5th Birthday Code Week

Europe Code Week was born in 2013 by some young people who advised the European Commission on digital policies. They wanted more people "to learn how to create with code as well as get different networks together to make it easier for interested people to find a place where they could learn programming, work with hardware and find out how computers work." 
Those grass-roots movement turns five years in 2017 and it has grown exponentially.
EU Code Week is run by volunteers. One, or several, Code Week Ambassadors coordinate the initiative in their countries, but everyone can organise their own code event and add it to the map.

Europe Code Week 2017

In 2016, nearly a million people in more than 50 countries around the world took part in EU Code Week. If your country is involved, and has organised events, put it on the map or volunteer as a Code Week ambassador.


Learning to code helps students to make sense of how things work, explore ideas and make things, for both work and play. 
What’s more it helps students to unleash their creativity and work collaboratively with wonderful young people both near them and all over the world.
From playing about with animations to designing computer apps and games, teaching coding in schools lends itself to plenty of fun learning activities.
The inclusion of coding into the new computing curriculum has been one of the main changes that the Department of Education in different European countries claimed would "ensure every child leaves school prepared for life in modern society."
Students at the school have apparently responded positively to the new curriculum in those countries and are already seeing the practical use of learning these new skills.

The European Astro Pi Chalenge:

Announcing the 2017-18 European Astro Pi challenge in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

It's open to students from all 22 ESA member countries, including associate members Canada and Slovenia.

Astro Pi is an annual science and coding competition where code written by young people is run on the International Space Station!

Mission Zero

In Mission Zero, students aged up to 14 write a simple Python program that will display a message on the International Space Station for 30 seconds.

Students will contribute to the daily routine of the International Space Station by displaying their own personal message and the ambient air temperature on the Astro Pi. 
No special hardware is needed to take part in Mission Zero, and your code is guaranteed to run in space for 30 seconds!

Some information:
In Mission Space Lab, teams aged up to 19 have to demonstrate their motivation to compete by planning an experiment to run in space.
Teams have until 29 October 2017 to register and submit their idea on the Astro Pi website.
The selected teams will be notified that they have been accepted by 7 November 2017 and will receive an ESA-branded Astro Pi kit at their school, and the chance for their experiment to run on the International Space Station.

Teachers: this classroom activity can be completed in an afternoon. 

Organise your students into teams of up to four, and let us guide them through writing a short Python program to show a personal message and the air temperature on the Astro Pi. 

No extra hardware is needed. Everything is done in a web browser

Teachers register online with the Trinket Sense HAT emulator and receive a classroom code to give to their teams. This saves time by greatly reducing the need for data entry. 

There’s no limit to the number of teams a school or club can enter. It’s entirely dependent on the teacher’s capacity to support teams.

Read the official guidelines document for Mission Zero.


  • A special film: Hidden Figures
Three women -  Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan & Mary Jackson pioneers on computer science helped plan the mission that saw an American astronaut orbit the Earth for the first time, has been honored on Hidden Figures, a film based on true story by Theodore Melfi (2016), nominated for 3 Oscars.

The true story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. Segregated from their white counterparts, these colored computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Hidden Figures
Theodore Melfi, 2016

The maths involved in the orbital mission was highly complex, and the computers of the day were prone to technical hiccups.
So as astronaut John Glenn was going through the preflight checklist – upon which his life depended – he insisted that Ms Johnson double check the calculations.

Hidden Figures
Theodore Melfi, 2016

“If she says they’re good,” Ms Johnson remembered Mr Glenn saying, “then I’m ready to go.”

Hidden Figures
Theodore Melfi, 2016


Motivation to girls nd young women to code and continue their studies on STEM. Teachers must encourage girls to pursue studies on STEM.

Teachers can display the film in the classroom to motivate young girls to code. Boys will understand the role of young girls in STEM. Later they will support them at secondary education and college.

There is a gender lack studying high technologies and STEM.

Don't misse the opportunity to include Hidden Figures into school curriculum.

Other Activities: 

Teachers will find by reading my post Code Week EU, let's go again ! #codeEU

Other Resources:

Anyone – schools, teachers, libraries, code clubs, businesses, public authorities – can organise a #CodeEU event and add it to the map

To make organising and running coding events easier, the CodeWeek website has prepared different toolkits and selected some of the best lesson plans, guides and other resources. Look here


Code Week EU is on Twitter as @CodeWeekEU, on Facebook. Use the #codeEU hashtag.

Invite your students to have fun building things by coding. Are they ready to share their passion? Young students are so creative. Let's them explore all the funny coding games with their imagination.



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Schools : Code Week EU, new challenges : Let's go again ! bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

World Teachers’ Day : Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers

"Teachers are a critical foundation of every society’s long-term strength - providing children, young people and adults with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their potential."

UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF, message 2017

Today is annual World Teachers’ Day, a UNESCO initiative devoted to appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world.

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which celebrated its 50th anniversary during last year’s edition

However, local events may be on some other date close to October 5, so that they do not fall during fall (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) school vacations. 

World Teachers’ Day 2017 will be celebrated under the theme:

“Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”

It echoes the 2015 theme that followed the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) in September 2015, when teacher empowerment was reaffirmed as a top priority in all education and development strategies.

"Being an empowered teacher means having access to high-quality training, fair wages, and continuous opportunities for professional development. It also means having the freedom to support the development of national curricula - and the professional autonomy to choose the most appropriate methods and approaches that enable more effective, inclusive and equitable education. Furthermore, it means being able to teach in safety and security during times of political change, instability, and conflict."

It has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers. Indeed, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.

Education is the 4th goal after growth and employment, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change. 

Sustainable Development Goal 4 has 10 targets encompassing many different aspects of education. There are seven targets which are expected outcomes and three targets which are means of achieving these targets.

This year, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel. Teaching personnel at institutions of higher education are often overlooked in discussions concerning the status of teachers. 

Like teachers at pre-primary, primary, and secondary levels, teaching in higher education is a profession requiring expert knowledge, specialized skills, and pedagogical competence.

Despite global recognition of the importance of teachers in changing children’s lives and building sustainable and prosperous societies, teachers are all too often undervalued and under-empowered.

Worldwide there is a growing shortage of quality teachers and inadequate professional training. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates that to achieve universal primary education by 2030 the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.
All these factors result in equity gaps in access and learning which mostly affect the poorest regions and schools and the earliest grades. This is particularly damaging, as there is clear evidence that the earliest years of a child’s development are the most critical.

 UNESCO Institute for Statistics
Some Data:
New data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics show that 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. The figure signals “a learning crisis” according to the UIS, which could threaten progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Two-thirds of the children who are not learning are in school. Of the 387 million primary school-age children unable to read proficiently, 262 million are in school. There are also about 137 million adolescents of lower secondary school age who are in classrooms but unable to meet minimum proficiency levels in reading.  
“The figures are staggering but they show the way forward,” says Ms Montoya. “We know where these children live and go to school. They are not hidden or isolated from their governments and communities – they are sitting in classrooms with their own aspirations and potential. We can reach these kids but not by simply hoping that they stay in school and grasp the basics.” 

My thoughts:

Teachers are too often undervalued and under-empowered. Often they don't have access to high-quality training and continuous opportunities for professional development. 

When they want to have the autonomy to choose the most appropriate methods and approaches that enable more effective the learning of their students, and practice inclusive and equitable education, they are not empowered by the school director, other colleagues, and sometimes by parents who don't understand the visin of a different pedagogue who knows well the capacities of their students. A class has different students and some of them learn in different levels.

Sometimes, they don't have the freedom to support the development of national curricula and the professional autonomy to choose the most appropriate methods and approaches that enable more effective, inclusive and equitable education.

To engage their students, teachers create, collaborate, communicate and think critically. Teachers who love to teach they know which are the best methods and approaches that enable every student in a class.

If we love to be a teacher, the most important are our students. And every student must be empower to learn and be a better learner even on a different rythm to enable each one with its own aspirations and potential.

"Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students."

Charles Kuralt


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World Teachers' Day : Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.