EU Key Competences 2018

The Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning has now been published. It repeals and replaces the 2006 Recommendation. So what's new? What are the competences European citizens need to acquire? Some have been slightly updated, while others have undergone significant changes.

There's is also a significant change of terminology: it is recommended that DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIESbe used instead of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and IST (Information Society Technology) because "it is considered the most appropriate term to refer to the full range of devices, software or infrastructure. With the increased, varied and embedded use of mobile devices and applications, references to 'computers' and 'the Internet' are removed, but are still classed under the broad term of digital technologies." I think it really hits the mark.

The Proposal lists the following 8 competences along with explanations: LITERACY COMPETENC…

Workshops, Keynotes, Twitter Chats and More

Professionally, 2017 seems to have been a great year for me: As a teacher trainer I have:
delivered 42 workshops, 2 keynotes and one 5-day course,
led 8 webinars,
designed and facilitated one 12-day eTwinning online learning event,
moderated 4 Twitter chats and one 5-day long Twitter marathon
travelled to 7 countries to give workshops and keynotes.

I've been lucky to have closely collaborated with some of the most inspiring educators from all over the world.

With my students I successfully completed:
1 global project on climate change,
2 eTwinning projects (both recognized with European Quality Labels),
1 Erasmus+ project (recognized with two awards)
and started a new Erasmus+ project.

But besides these nice things, 2017 has also been a year of many rejected applications, failed and unfinished projects and far too many disappointments. That's life, I guess. Or a sign for a career change maybe.

Class Learning Toolkit

Inspired by Barbara Bray's post Build a Toolkit so Learners Become Future Ready, I created my Class Learning Toolkit:

I divided it into 5 categories, based on the skills I want my students to develop: 

Project and Task Management
Edmodo, a learning management system -  the teacher shares content with students, assigns tasks, grades assignments, or  connects students with peers and involves them in international projects. Edmodo is synchronized with many educational apps so students can use a variety of tools and apps through Edmodo. eTwinning, the European community for schools – the teacher  connects with colleagues from all over Europe to carry out international projects integrated in their curricula. The teacher can also use eTwinning for professional development as numerous lifelong learning opportunities are provided for teachers on the platform. Students use it to collaborate with peers and to create new content.

Skills development: organizational and task management skills, c…

Professional Learner's Toolkit

Jane Hart recently shared her Modern Professional Learner's Toolkit, based on the Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning 2017.

Inspired by Jane Hart, I created my own Professional Learner's Toolkit:

FAVORITE WEB BROWSER:Safari is my all time favorite, but I also use Chrome, because of some features that Safari doesn't support - yet (e.g. new Google Sites)

FAVORITE SEARCH ENGINE:Google search - despite its algorithms, it's still my number one, using search operators helps a lot.

TRUSTED WEB RESOURCES: BBC for European News, New York Timesand Washington Postfor world news and Google Scholar for scholarly literature.

NEWS & CURATION TOOLS: Feedly is my favorite RSS and I try to check it on a daily basis, but it can happen that days go by and I don't have time to look at my feed. Pinterest is still my number one curation tool, despite its being closed to those who don't own an account with it.


Dream Big

Back in 2014, while I was on my Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship at the Pennsylvania State University, my apartment in Cunningham Hall was the place where the Humphrey Fellows met every week. There we talked about serious and less serious matters, we laughed a lot and cried a little, and we dreamed big and small. One of our dreams was to write a research paper and have it published by a renowned publishing company.

And yesterday my dream arrived per mail! A paper that I co-wrote with my colleague and best friend Bart Verswijvel, was published by Routledge. Bart and I were invited to contribute to the book International Handbook of Teacher Quality and Policy by Dr. Gerard LeTendre and Dr. Motoko Akiba.

In 2014, I met Dr. LeTendre at the Humphrey Fellows Welcome Reception. We talked about education and I mentioned eTwinning. He was amazed to hear about this unique community of European teachers and wanted to learn more so he invited Bart and me to talk about it to the Teacher Leadership F…

Climate Action Project

I'm delighted to take part in a global project empowering students to address climate change. Climate Action involves more than 250 schools from 64 countries. Students in these schools will work together to raise awareness and to find ways how to tackle the issue of climate change.

So far I have launched or participated in a number of international projects on such a large scale, (e.g. my award-winning project Greetings from the world involved 27 schools from all the 6 continents), and in all my projects I encouraged my students to come up with  their own ideas. Still, I was there, their guide by the side, directing them in the way I thought was the right way!

However, in the Climate Action Project, we teachers intend to get out of their way completely - we want  our students to have their say in all the stages of the project. My plan is to make myself invisible and let my students be responsible for their learning and take ownership of the project and its outcomes. During the 4-…

My 10(-ish) Year Blogging Anniversary

I just noticed that I've been blogging for 10 years and 6 months! I forgot to mark the 10th anniversary, but it's never too late to do so. Some stats:
I've written 334 blog posts, received 371 comments,  my blog has been visited 134,121 times, I have 58 followers, most of my readers come from the US.
I've written about traveling quite a lot, both  as a tourist and as a teacher traveling for educational purposes (conferences, school exchange visits, etc.) and also about teaching with technology. I don't know how many miles I've traveled, maybe there's an app for that!

My most visited post is First lesson, new students and no computers, followed by Tech Tools To Boost Verbal Thinking. My least visited post, with only one view is Easter Sunday in Galway (I still think it's a well-written post about a beautiful Irish city).

When I started this blog I used Picassa for sharing photos, but as Google discontinued this service my photos in my blog posts can'…