eLearning Papers seeks contributions about social networking and social software to supporting learning in both sections: In-Depth and From the Field. Deadline for submissions: September 09, 2011. Publication: October 2011.
The rapid emergence of social computing applications is changing the ways people connect with each other, as well as how they exchange and create knowledge. In particular, young people entering higher education are integrating ICT seamlessly into their everyday life and expect their educational institutions to support their digital lifestyle. Use of social software in combination with open content to support learning is a phenomenon largely emerging from outside educational institutions.
We specifically invite contributions which address one or several of the following issues:
-Innovative social computing technologies, applications, tools and environments for supporting learning
-Tools for supporting group-learning
-Case studies and best practices in social networking supported learning
-Communities of practice
-Progressive inquiry learning and other pedagogical models
-Assessment in social networking supported learning
-Gender, age, cultural issues in social networking supported learning
-Ethical issues in social networking supported learning
-IPR issues in social networking supported learning
Read more here
The EC DG Inforation Society and Media ICT for Inclusion initiative thanks the enthusiasm and participation in the workshop on Digital Literacy and eInclusion, held on June 17 at the Digital Agenda Assembly. In order to to help continue the involvement in the issue, a feedback a follow up survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T5XRZST has been launched. Please take a few mintues to fill it in. You will find all the presentations for reference on the workshop website.
This workshop aimed to create in-depth awareness and provide practical tools for the EU Member States to engage in structured, long term policies for digital literacy acquisition in the e-Inclusion context (Digital Agenda action 66). It was organized with the Big Idea of Multi-stakeholder platform for digital literacy and e-Inclusion.
On June 30, the Director General of DG Information Society and Media, Robert Madelin, is having a Tweetchat! You can follow the discussion and contribute using the links below:
The Council invites Member States to support relevant initiatives aiming to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality education and training on an equal basis with others.
One of the main objectives is to increase their knowledge, skills and qualifications in order to promote persons with disabilities' mobility and employability.
The invitation also calls to promote the exchange of good practices, including comparative studies, with regard to support and assistance for persons with disabilities, with a view to improving their access to the education system at all levels, including, for example, the use of assistive technologies.
Improving the provision, adequacy and quality of education and training systems and addressing skills mismatches, both for young and adult population, remains high in the reform agenda of almost all countries and is necessary to achieve productivity growth.
Focus is being put on improving accessibility to lifelong learning opportunities and attractiveness of vocational education systems and apprenticeships schemes. In this respect, partnerships between education and training institutions and social partners could improve the appropriateness of these schemes to labour market needs. Further action is also necessary to reach out to more early school leavers through further education or vocational training opportunities.
Statement by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Sport, at the meeting of Education Ministers (20 May 2011)
"Today we are taking an important step forward in the fight against early school leaving in Europe and in achieving one of the Europe 2020 headline targets. This task is a vital one - Europe cannot afford to leave six million young people without a clear perspective for their further education and employment.
This Council Recommendation signals our commitment to fight one of the main causes of poverty and social exclusion.
We are all well aware that early school leaving is a complex problem. There is no easy solution which fits all circumstances and conditions.
There are many reasons why young people interrupt their education; reasons which need to be taken seriously and which require an adequate answer. Young people may need social, financial, emotional or educational support; they may need a new cause or motivation for continuing education and training.
A complex problem such as early school leaving requires strategies which address its multi-faceted and cross-sectoral nature. We need to shift from uncoordinated individual measures to more comprehensive and strategic approaches, which involve all the relevant stakeholders and policy sectors - not just education. Our strategies should be based on evidence and targeted sufficiently to the concrete situation within a Member State or a region.
I am confident that this Recommendation will boost the development of such comprehensive policies.
A European level expert group which the Commission plans to establish will facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practice and help to further develop effective and efficient policies to reduce early school leaving.
The Commission will support this work also by monitoring developments in Europe, by supporting comparative research on early school leaving, and by identifying trends and providing feedback to the Member States in the context of 'Europe 2020' and 'ET2020' [Education & Training 2020].
The Report on Progress in meeting the European Benchmarks for Education and Training (IP/11/488) sets out the most recent comparable evidence about early school leaving but also covers our shared objectives for education more generally, including early childhood education and learning mobility. I commend it to you as a valuable source of information which can help guide your important work in this and in other educational fields. "
Prevention policies aimed at children with a socio-economic disadvantaged background including Roma
"The particular situation of early school leaving among Roma children needs specific, sustained and targeted attention. In the Commission's Communication on Roma Integration Strategies adopted in April (IP/11/400), we have highlighted that in Member States with large Roma populations, the emphasis may need to be placed first of all on ensuring completion of primary education – only after addressing this challenge can early leaving from secondary school be tackled.
As a concrete contribution to help deal with the profound educational problems of Roma children, I want to inform you of my intention to launch, jointly with the Council of Europe, a programme to train, over the next three years, 1,000 Roma people as mediators. The aim is that they should work to bridge the gaps that exist between Roma children, families and communities and the schools and other services which are meant to serve their needs. I will sign the agreement to launch this process with the Council of Europe in July."
One in seven young people in Europe quit education or training without adequate qualifications and this harms their personal development and job prospects. The measures proposed by the Commission will help EU countries to achieve their joint target of reducing the share of early school leavers in Europe from 14.4% now to less than 10% by 2020. This would mean at least 1.7 million fewer early school leavers. Member States have set national targets to reduce early school leaving, taking account of their relative starting positions and national circumstances.
Commissioner Vassiliou presented the action plan on early school-leaving in January (see IP/11/109).
To find out more:
Early school leaving in Europe – questions and answers (MEMO/11/52)
Share of early school leavers by country
By 2020 a share of early school leavers of no more than 10% should be reached.
Trends: In EU 27 the share of early school leavers (population 18-24) declined from 17.6% in 2000 to 14.4% in 2009 (females: 12.5%. males: 16.3%).
Best EU performers: Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia
ESSIE´s Annual Assembly 2011 successfully attracted a wide range of participants, from universities, colleges, institutions, professional education, vocational education, primary and secondary education, as well as public and private organisations, networks and multipliers!
This truly expresses the transversal and complementary nature of Systemic Innovation.
ESSIE would like to thank all the Assembly participants, such as the Society members, volunteers, professionals, academics, interestees, invitees and article reviewers, who have all worked so hard to make the Assembly a big success, both in terms of organisation and scientific content!
The ESSIE Annual Assembly always is a definite mark on the calendar. It is an energetic event, providing the stage for many presenters to reflect on their research and practice, as well as on their struggles. The Annual Assembly brings together all distinctive individuals from the ESSIE Society, allowing them to participate in the Mission ESSIE has embarked on.
In June 2011, European Schoolnet’s iTEC project welcomed an important new Associate Partner, the Gothenburg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR). The new partnership aims to strengthen scenario building in Sweden as iTEC develops and validates scenarios for the future classroom in over 1000 classrooms across 15 countries in Europe.
Allocation of resources to lifelong learning is considered as one of the key areas within the Gothenburg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR), a co-operative organisation uniting thirteen municipalities in western Sweden. As one of the iTEC’s newest Associate Partners, GR provides iTEC with a solid base in Sweden and further extends the project’s pan-European scope. With the involvement of GR, iTEC will now be able to involve and work with schools in 15 countries.
The Gothenburg region includes 210,000 pupils, 20,000 teachers and 1000 school heads. GR Education, a service organisation within the regional body, plays an important role among these actors by supporting lifelong learning and providing a place for exchanging ideas, knowledge and experience. The association also runs several joint projects and collaborates with a large number of organisations outside the municipal sphere. For example, a new project called GUNS will establish cross-border cooperation between 9 Nordic schools and 18 school classes, who will jointly plan and carry out joint cross-border projects related to languages, science, history/social studies and mathematics supported by new technologies. GR Education will also organise a two-day “Mötesplats Skola” conference in October 2011 to present different regional initiatives in the field of education. iTEC will take part in one of the conference sessions called European perspective into school digitalisation.
GR’s concrete activities to support iTEC will be related mainly to future classroom scenario development and school piloting. So called “one-to-one” computer projects have a relatively strong presence within the region’s educational sector and schools involved in these initiatives will pilot and test some of the iTEC scenarios.
For more information: email@example.com
'Game-Based Learning: new practices, new classrooms' is the topic of eLearning Papers upcoming issue, due to the publication in the second week of July. Nine articles have been selected by the Editorial Committee and guest editor, Maja Pivec. We thank all authors for their high quality submissions.
This new issue of eLearning Papers should help to find answers to questions such as: Why should we implement games for learning? How should we do this? What games are appropriate for my needs?
The potential of Game Based Learning (GBL) is still underestimated. We firmly believe that GBL can play a major role in renewing learning as it is perceived by learners in all levels of education and training systems.
We have also created a community about 'Mixed realities, virtual world and gaming' dedicated to the exchange of knowledge and experiences, which is related to the changing role of computer and digital games in various areas of education and training. Join it!
The new issue will feature 9 articles, 4 of them are in depth insights on the topic and the other 5 are examples from the field of the implementation of games in education.
The Language Campus: Role-Play in an e-Learning Environment
Paul Pivec, Deakin University
Developing Serious Games: from Face-to-Face to a Computer-based Modality
Delve into the Deep: Learning Potential in Metaverses and 3D Worlds
Mercedes Gisbert Cervera, Vanessa Esteve Gonzalez and Maria del Mar Camacho Marti,
Rovira i Virgili University
From the field articles:
AVATAR – The Course: Recommendations for Using 3D Virtual Environments for Teaching
Maja Pivec, Information Design, FH JOANNEUM. Cristina Stefanelli, Consorzio FOR.COM. Inger-Marie F. Christensen, University of Southern Denmark. Jutta Pauschenwein, ZML – Innovative Learning Scenarios
Serious Games and Formal and Informal Learning
Fingers on the Screen: Game Based Learning for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Maria Saridaki and Constantinos Mourlas, University of Athens
Envigame – Linking Environmental Education to ICT in Czech Primary Schools
Barbora Štollová, Envigame project coordinator
Engage Project: Sharing Experience from Game Based Learning Dissemination Workshops
Maja Pivec, University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM in Graz
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda has presented awards to the creators of the best online content, intelligent games, interactive online magazines or websites aimed at under 12 year olds. The Commission, together with Safer Internet Centres from 14 countries, received 780 projects in response to the "Best children's online content" competition, designed to encourage the creation of quality content and to highlight the existing potential for kids online.
This first competition was open to young people and adults, NGOs, public and commercial organisations. Three winners in each of the two categories (young people and adults) received the awards. Winners came from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Poland.
While children go online younger and younger every year, only one in three 9-12 year olds feels that there are enough good things for them online, according to a recent EUKidsOnline survey (IP/10/1368). The awards were presented in Brussels during a ceremony at the Digital Agenda Assembly. The Commission is committed to helping parents and their children keep safe online as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).
Neelie Kroes, said: “I am pleased to see that many teenagers seized the challenge to create suitable content for their younger peers. I hope more adults and businesses will ensure that their content makes the Internet a richer and more welcoming place for children."
Later this year, the Commission will launch a new initiative to help make the Internet a safer place, while empowering youngsters to learn their rights and responsibilities online and make the most of new technologies whilst respecting themselves and others. The Commission will also continue to stimulate growth and visibility of good quality content online for children, promoting language and cultural diversity and helping parents and teachers to gain confidence in the benefits of new technologies for children.
Winners in the "Youth" category
1st prize - www.palkan.de – is a "pupils' magazine“ online portal which focuses on learning, communication among peers and information about current events. It has been created by pupils of the 5th and 6th grade of the Bruno-H.-Bürgel-Schule secondary school in Germany.
2nd prize - www.habbolive.nl – is a site dedicated to the virtual world Habbo Hotel. Habbolive gives the Habbo-fan all the latest information about what is going on in Habbo and offers games for children. Habbo was created by Wim Borgerdijn (14), Kimberly Nijzink (15) and Mark Bruil (15) from The Netherlands.
3rd prize - www.superpilot.cba.pl - is a site that addresses issues of general safety and online safety and provides general educational aids and resources. It was created by Aleksandra Anna Klimczak (16) and Wojciech Wiesław Froń (16) from Poland.
Winners in the "Adult" category
1st prize - www.hetklokhuis.nl – is a fun and educational site with many possibilities to create content, for example via the SketchMaker and GameMaker. It was created by Hetklokhuis, the Dutch educational television program for children.
2nd prize - www.kinderzeitmaschine.de – is a website on the history of humankind, created by Sabine Gruler, Kirsten Wagner and Bianca Bonacci, a private initiative from Germany.
3rd prize - www.ketnet.be – is a website which aims to enable children to be creative, for example to draw or make quizzes. It was created by the Flemish children’s TV-channel Ketnet.
The best content online competition was launched in October 2010. Between November 2010 and April 2011 the competition ran at national level in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain.
The winners of the national competitions were nominated to compete for the European Award. A European jury, led by Professor Sonia Livingstone from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and coordinator of the EUKidsOnline project, selected the winners of the European Awards.
For more information:
More information on the EUKidsOnline survey:
More information on the selection and award criteria of the competition:
Safer Internet Programme:
Digital Agenda website:
Neelie Kroes' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/
Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/neeliekroeseu
Brussels, 16 June 2011 - European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes awarded prizes to the winners of the Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions at the Digital Agenda Assembly being held in Brussels on 16th and 17th June 2011. Companies, designers, programmers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public from across Europe participated in the two open data competitions, trying out their ideas for creative reuse of information held by the public sector and open cultural data. European public bodies produce thousands of datasets every year - from how our tax money is spent to the quality of the air we breathe. This data can be reused in products such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts, and travel information apps.
Open data re-use is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). To make public data widely accessible and available in Europe, the Commission intends to revise the Public Service Information (PSI) Directive in 2011 to fully unlock the economic potential of re-using PSI.
Ms Kroes said: "I am amazed by the creative ways I have seen today for public data collected by public administrations, the collections digitised by our cultural Institutions (libraries, archives, museums) to be put to good use. Public data at large is a valuable source for innovation, as today's winners clearly show."
The Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions were organised in support of the Commission's policy to facilitate the wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies. The re-use of public sector information (PSI) and open data will be a key driver to develop content markets in Europe, which not only generate new business opportunities and jobs but also provide consumers with more choice and more value for money. The market turnover of public data that is reused (for free or for a fee) is estimated at least €27 billion in the EU every year.
The Open Data Challenge
Organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Forum Academy under the auspices of the Share-PSI initiative, the Open Data Challenge invited designers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public to come up with useful, valuable or interesting uses for open public data. It attracted 430 entries from across the EU. Entries were invited in four categories for prize money totalling €20 000. The categories were fully blown apps, ideas, visualisations and liberated public sector datasets. The winners were selected by open data experts, including the inventor of the worldwide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Winners of the Open Data Challenge
Applications: Eva Vozarova of the Fair-play Alliance, Slovakia has developed an app to add transparency to the public procurement process of government contracts
Ideas: Jonas Gebhardt of the University of Potsdam, Germany has developed a mobile application which can help citizens learn more about urban planning in their area
Visualisations: Oliver O'Brien of University College London, UK has developed an app to visualise the current state of bike-share systems in over 30 cities around the world
Public sector datasets: Codrina Maria Ilie of the National Institute for Research and Development in Environmental Protection, Romania has developed an app that collects thousands of old historical geo-referenced maps.
Hack4Europe! was organised by the Europeana Foundation and its partners Collections Trust, Museu Picasso, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre and Swedish National Heritage Board as a series of hack days in London, Barcelona, Poznan and Stockholm running from 6 to12 June. It provided the opportunity to explore the potential of open cultural data for social and economic growth in Europe in an exciting environment. There were 60 participants from the creative industries. These included mainly SMEs like web design agencies, applications developers, software firms and other digital businesses. They were joined not only by developers from the cultural heritage sector, keen to create new ways to engage people with online cultural resources, but also by some larger players like the Google Technical Group and the Yahoo Research group in Spain.
Winners of Hack4Europe!
UK: Michael Selway of System Simulation Ltd. who developed an app to obtain
improved search results from Europeana using an Android touch screen.
Spain: Eduardo Graells of Universitat Pompeu Fabra/Yahoo! Research Barcelona who created a "Timebook" for historical figures. The app integrates content from Europeana and DBpedia and presents it in an easy to use format with, for instance, posts for famous quotes, friends status for influential persons and photos of paintings.
Poland: Jakub Jurkiewicz of iTraff Technology. Using Europeana dataset, this winner developed an app that processes a photo taken of any painting in a museum to give a description of the painting in a matter of seconds, translated into any EU language or even read out loud.
Sweden: Martin Duveborg of the Swedish National Heritage Board who developed a fully functional geo-location aware search of Europeana for Android. Users can take photos and associate them with existing Europeana objects. Through an inbuilt function to overlay new pictures with Europeana pictures, a seamless "Then-Now" effect is created. The new photos are uploaded with the current GPS position so the app can also function as a geo-tagger tool for Europeana.
What is the Commission doing to promote the use of Public Sector Information?
Promoting the re-use of Public Sector Information is a collective effort and the Commission itself is well aware it can do more to put its own data online. Recently, the European Commission published a Digital Scoreboard (see IP/11/663) to show the progress of the EU and Member States in delivering on the agreed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe after the first year of its existence. In line with its commitment to an open data strategy the Commission has made its data sets and statistics in the Scoreboard publicly available online enabling anyone to carry out their own analysis and come to their own conclusions.
In a near future, the Commission will also put forward proposals for a pan-European portal to give a single access point to the data which is being put online by the Member States.
For more information:
Nominees for the European Award of the Best Open Data Challenge:
Nominees for the European Award of the Best Hack4Europe!:
Open Data Workshop at the Digital Agenda Assembly:
Commission's Public Sector Information Website:
Digital Agenda website:
Neelie Kroes' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/
Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/neeliekroeseu