e-Estonia. Looking at others is confronting to yourself.

24 hours after returning home I suddenly felt an urge to write out my thoughts and feelings after being emerged¬†in the Estonian educational system. UPDATE: It did take a few weeks to finalize this blog, let’s blame Trump ūüėČ

In retrospect, I  enjoyed the trip to Estonia but the vast gap between a Gymnasium and a Polytech institute was so large I felt uncomfortable. The inequality between students is enormous. And I later heard that the Gymnasium we visited was in the average range.  

I had great conversations with the students at both locations. Both types of students had an excellent vocabulary in English, both enjoyed school, both felt that this was ‘their’ place. And somehow I felt uncomfortable. At the¬†Gymnasium, I counted over 60 (!) boxed with LEGO Mindstorms (400 euro a pop), a theatre, a semi-Olympic pool and a¬†conservatory (with a large fountain) and a lot of other student facilities. The Polytech had a few gifted printing presses, old computers, and no wifi-network. The age difference between the students was almost non-exciting. I discovered that a lot of Polytech students did talk better Russian then Estonian. Quite the opposite at the Gymnasium; everyone talked Estonian and English at C2-levels. And most the students also spoke German and French.

And somehow this country is functional. 

The comparison is that most aspects of digital literacy are that we are on a similar level. ¬†In the Netherlands, we are having a large review of our curriculum with the help of curriculum.nu. I didn’t see any urgency in Estonia with educating in digital literacy. I’ve seen some students ‘working on digital literacy’; e.g. robotics and MS Word. It was strange, but a fun trip to visite that other European country.¬†

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Google certified innovators, Get ready for the launch

Last week I was surprised by the assignment of mentors. I was assigned a mentor for the Google Certified innovator program (see also my previous blog). 

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Kickstart Computer Science Education

Implementing a new core curriculum for Computer Science is a challenge. Adding twelve different optional modules is fun. The optional modules will be developed with the help of the b√®ta-support centers¬†and with a lot of help from teachers. I’m attached to the development of networking & Internet of Things. It’s been a great adventure and I learned a lot. A lot about new protocols, transmission rates, data packet sizes and most importantly I rediscovered the joy of learning.

Every school holiday I try to develop a new skill (ranging from speaking Swedish to Origami). It’s fun to learn something new and I find it a great way to connect with my students. The fun and uncertainty of learning is something I really enjoy and it’s the modus operandi for a lot of students. From frustration to understanding, discovering, applying and implementing. A lot of these aspects my students experience on a daily basis.

These are the modules almost production ready. The core curriculum is being developed at the¬†educational publishers (Instruct, Informatica-actief & Enigma). I’m so proud of what we have achieved. This really is a great step and a good journey for computer science in the Netherlands. I’ll update this blog when new teaching materials will be made available!

  • Networking / Internet of Things (by Eelco Dijkstra)
  • Physical Computing (by¬†Martin Bruggink)
  • User Experience (by¬†Ingrid Breymann)
  • Programming paradigms (Kees Huizinga)
  • http://elm-lang.org
  • Computational Science (by NataŇ°a Grgurina)
  • Gaming (by Paul Bergervoet) with Unity3D (just started)
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Colab? Spotify colaberative‚Äč

Connecting with my students is something I really enjoy. One of my newest experiments is a collaborative playlist on Spotify. An easy way for students to send me tracks on Spotify.

‘Mister Moorlag, this you really need to hear‘.

With the greatest of care, they arranged a starting playlist with 25 tracks. And then things started to grow! Now with over 28 hours of music; 420 tracks and 38 followers I think I found a new way to interact with my students. I’ve added the occasional song, and the feedback was great. We are not just exchanging songs, we are having a conversation about music, mood improvements and life. Life’s for sharing.

Want to be surprised by something new, something funky or something old? Subscribe to our music stream. Listen to it via Spotify Moorlag playlist via the list below.

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Get ready to innovate, start your engines

Ladies, start your engines and may the best woman win. Get ready to innovate!

With the help of my students, I discovered¬†RuPaul’s Drag race. I think it gives an alternative view on how Americans see themselves and each other (and ¬†Facebook has 70 (!) genders to choose from). I’m happy my students share these experiences with me. With a good connection, the learning happens almost automatically.

Innovation is just like gender; we are born with it and try to make the best of it. Innovation thrives with a cadence, a way of handling the process, an ideal system based on time or effort. And somehow RuPaul brings a smile to my face. And now, lip-sync for your life. 

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This blog is now protected

Cloudflare?

With the help of Cloudflare my blog is now HTTPS enabled and in case of a DDoS attack the service also can help manage the traffic. It’s free! Cloudflare is a ‘content delivery network’ service. Basically is helps the web server to serve the website in a durable way to visitors¬†(and prevents attackers from accessing the website).

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Student centered learning

Student-centered learning and subject cluster projects.

Hello World is my favorite magazine. It’s from the UK and is all about computer science and teaching/learning the subject. I was asked by my dear friend Miles Berry to prepare a 1000 word piece about student-centered learning. Quite a challenge¬†I can assure you. I wrote about student-centered learning with ‘profielwerkstukken’ (final research projects in the last phase of education).

My students loved it, made my mother proud and I found a new skill.

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Experimenting

Eat, sleep, learn & repeat

Based on the song from Fat Boy Slim; Eat, sleep, Rave & Repeat this is a mantra that sticks. Experimenting!

Learning is what sets us apart from the Neandertal. We can cope with setbacks, a change in environment and the ability to learn from feedback.  In this short blog a few experiments to keep the mind busy, keep my employer happy, enjoy the benefits of being a Homosapien, to learn and share what is working!

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A few days in Berlin

Really enjoyed a few days in Berlin.

In a few pictures here or with the context on Instagram

 

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