Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy birthday, Google!

Fifteen years ago this month, two Stanford grad students founded a company called Google, named after the mathematical term googol, which represents the number one followed by a hundred zeros. Today’s Google Doodle, a keyboard piñata game, commemorates the big day.

The company that Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded was actually established on September 7, 1998, but the official “birthday” was later switched to September 27, as noted by SearchEngineLand’s Danny Sullivan. Before the search tool had even launched at, Page told Sullivan, “I’d like to build a service where the priority is on giving users great results.”

Fifteen years later - after expanding to everything from email to mobile operating systems to a quest to conquer death - Google has changed the technology landscape forever. And it still boasts a whopping 66.9% marketshare among search engines in the U.S., according to ComScore’s latest rankings. For some extra fun, try typing “google in 1998″ in the google search box to see how far the company has come.
Image credits: GOOGLE    

Thursday, September 26, 2013

European Day of Languages 2013

Logo for theEuropean Day
of Languages
The European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September, as an initiative of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Throughout Europe, 800 million Europeans represented in the Council of Europe's 47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages, at any age, in and out of school. Being convinced that linguistic diversity is a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent, the Council of Europe promotes plurilingualism in the whole of Europe. For the day, a range of events is organised across Europe: activities for and with children, television and radio programmes, language classes and conferences. Source: Education Scotland (abridged)                                                          
                                                                                                                                   You might also like

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Multiple Intelligences

As teachers, we know that students learn in different ways! We know that some are prominently visual, others are musical, and others kinesthetic! Howard Gardner conceptalized these styles of learning as Multiple Intelligences, The graphic below presents five more, besides the three ones I've previously mentioned. I totally relate to this theory, but something truly worries me: 'How can I profile my students accurately if I have 30 pupils per class, on average? And how can reach all their needs?' I could use some help on this matter...
Poster via Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Authentic Assessments

The picture below follows a very interesting article on authentic assessments. 'Most students will not remember everything they learn in school for the rest of their lives. Does that mean we, as educators, give up and don’t try? Of course not. We try, we use different approaches, and we do our best.' Continue reading....

Image via Gretel Patch:EdTech Learning Log (edited)
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back to school ice-breakers

Everyone loves a good icebreaker! It’s a great way to get to know other people and help them feel relaxed in stressful situations, such as the first day of a new school year. Here are a few icebreakers and some variations to the icebreakers to try during the first week of school to build a good sense of community in your classroom that will last throughout the year! Try These 10 Awesome Ideas to Kick off Your School Year!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to school around the world

Agence France-Presse compiled a package from photographers around the world documenting children going to school. This is a selection of their images giving insight into the lives of students in various countries. Click HERE to watch the 37 photos total. Source: The Big Picture

Image credits: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images
I wish YOU all a happy return to school! May THIS be a great school year!

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Fear of number 13

Image credtis: Care2
Triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, does not fit neatly into a clinical definition of a specific phobia. The number 13 is not an object or a situation, and it can be impossible for the sufferer to avoid. Moreover, in order for a phobia to be diagnosed, it must significantly impact the sufferer's life. Most people with triskaidekaphobia find that their fear only arises in certain situations, and does not significantly impair their lives. Therefore, experts have long debated the scientific validity of triskaidekaphobia. Some feel that it should be classified as a superstition or even taken as a sign of magical thinking, which in conjunction with other symptoms, could point to a delusional disorder.

Regardless of its scientific classification, triskaidekaphobia is an age-old and pervasive fear. It is commonly linked to the early Christians, as the number 13 appears in certain Biblical traditions. For example, there were 13 people present at the Last Supper, Jesus and his 12 Apostles. Some say that betrayer Judas was the 13th to join the table. This may be the origin of the superstition that states that when 13 dine, one will die within the year. However, the number 13 is also presented positively in the Bible. For example, the book of Exodus speaks of the 13 attributes of God.

Additionally, evidence for this phobia can be found in some pre-Christian traditions. For example, in Viking mythology, Loki is believed to be the 13th god. He is also said to have intruded on the Banquet of Valhalla, to which 12 gods were invited. The god Baldr was soon killed accidentally by his brother, using a spear given to him by Loki.

Today, triskaidekaphobia is widely accepted among Western cultures. Most Western hotels omit the 13th floor. Many airlines omit the 13th row in seating. Even some cities and towns skip over 13th Street. Friday the 13th is considered a particularly unlucky day. Fear of Friday the 13th is known as paraskavedekatriaphobia. The origins of this fear are unknown, but may be connected to the arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday, October 13,1307.

Many cultures have traditions of unlucky numbers other than 13. These beliefs, like our fear of 13, are typically rooted in ancient events that were somehow connected with the number in question. Regardless of its scientific classification, triskaidekaphobia is a very real fear for many people and a folklore legend to others. It appears to be an ancient and widespread phobia whose origins may never be fully understood.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We won't forget

'Americans marked the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks around the country with remembrances today. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attended a moment of silence at the White House and relatives of the victims visited the memorial sites at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa. The attacks, which claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people, were the deadliest terrorist strike on American soil.' Click HERE to watch 25 photos on the venue.
Lloyd Young, The Big Picture

Image credits: Adrees Latif-Pool/Getty Images
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Technology is a tool

Image credits: Bill Ferriter, Flickr

When I saw this visual by Bill Ferriter, I decided to share it, as it made think of what Margaret Mead once stated: 'Children must be taught HOW to think, not WHAT to think.'

I truly believe technology tools can be learning boosters and what is written as the wrong answers to the question: 'What do you want kids to do with technology?' might (and should) lead to what is listed in the right answers.

Technology is not merely entertaining! It is a powerful tool to grab our students' attention as it is part of their everyday lives.

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Monday, September 09, 2013

Let's get started...

We're just a few days ahead the beginning of the school year! Let's get started each day of this week with a different flavour, so as to prepare all the back to school activities in a much more pleasant British like ambience!

Picture via Pinterest
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Friday, September 06, 2013

The World Peace Game

Another TED with an inspiring teacher. This time, John Hunter. In 1978, at the Richmond Community High School, John Hunter led the first session of the World Peace Game, a hands-on political simulation where he puts all the problems of the world on a 4′x5′ plywood board and has his 4th-graders solve them. The game is now played around the world.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Future Starts Now

Krissy Venosdale has been an educator for 11 years and has a blog in which she reflects and pushes herself to really think about her teaching. She presents herself as being inspired by learning, creativity and innovation. You can also find her both on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. I've been following her blog for some time now and I couldn't help sharing this post she published on August 3rd, as I believe that we, as Teachers, have the privilege and the immense responsibility of working with the Future!

"One of the things I love most at SpaceCamp is a sign hanging on the door that reads, «Through these doors walk our future scientists and engineers.» It always makes me smile, thinking about how Space Camp is the kind of place where a kid can be inspired for a future career in a STEM field. But, what about our schools? Our schools should have the same type of signs over the front door, above our classrooms, in the halls. We need to let kids know, when they walk through our doors, it’s not just to do activities or turn in homework, it’s about their futures. Even more than hanging a poster that says it, we need to be living it. Every single day, that we walk through the door we are one step closer to the future. Our schools are the rich soil where growth will happen, where we will nurture roots, and our kids will bloom into problem solvers, creative thinkers, and innovators. We need to be intentional in our daily planning, open to our kids’ thoughts and ideas, and keep learning relevant, because the future? It’s starts right now."

Image credits: Krissy Venosdale Venspired
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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Inspiring Teacher(s)

Education scientist Sugata Mitra conducted a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, where he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and watched as they taught themselves how to use it. As he accepts the 2013 TED Prize, he calls for us to take this idea to the next level with a School in the Cloud, where students explore with just a little guidance.

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