BETT 2019, vooral meer van hetzelfde ?
In Dutch, sorry folks! Also published in Vives!

Wat is BETT?

De 35e Bett show werd dit jaar voor de zevende keer gehouden in de ExCel hallen in Londen. De afkorting Bett staat voor British Educational Training and Technology Show. Jaarlijks bezoeken ongeveer 35.000 belangstellenden uit 113 landen deze ICT beurs. Onder de 850 aanwezige bedrijven bevinden zich ruim 100 startups. Nagenoeg alle aanwezige standhouders richten zich op onderwijs en ICT. Voor bezoekers is de BETT show gratis.

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Brave, a new world?

The internet has changed us as a society. It has penetrated (almost) every aspect of our lives. Being online was a new outlet when I was young. I still hear my mother raising her voice when the telephone company sends its bill for the monthly usage. And still, I was allowed online. Under the supervision of my mother, who thought that it was a great invention at the time (1992/1993).

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CIDREE meeting

On the 11th of April, ten countries joined their computational brainpower to explore each other’s vision on Computational and Mathematical thinking. What started as a little chaotic conversation, after 30-45 minutes this conference found it’s a voice. We started with a Skype call to Paul Drijvers from the University of Utrecht. I love a chaotic start of a conference. ūüôā

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Understanding Music and taste better

Reviewing project, ‘help Moorlag understand music’. This is the result of one year of collecting music. The link to the playlist can be found here.

Using a collaborative playlist on Spotify, I started the project.  One thousand songs later, I can conclude that the plan was a success. My followers on Instagram contributed, my students participated, and the internet learned the elegance of Musical preferences via crowdsourcing.

I felt a full array of emotions while listing to the Playlist. It was fun, sad, colorful, abrupt, slow, fast, and most of all, it connected. I feel that I understand my students better because of the music they shared. The contributor is mentioned in the Playlist. The top three contributors added value, not only in absolute terms but also in a relative sense. I was shocked that my students had a very, very broad sense of musical taste –  music from the 50s to the present. I listened to it all. Even better, I use the playlist daily. It helps me connect with students, to their emotions, to their needs. And it is also great fun!

To prevent spamming on my playlist (yes, c-artists use it a lot!), the link can be found via my instagram account

Top contributes
Top artists
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Numworks

What is it and how does it work?

This quick review of my unit starts off with a short story Numworks about Numworks”.  There is an online simulator of Numworks. It has all the same functions as the physical device.

Targeting a high school audience and competing with Texas Instruments’ Ti-nspire family, the NumWorks calculator is equipped with a non-touch color LCD2.

Translated from the Wiki

It offers a programmable interface in Python. Launched in France in the summer of 2017, the NumWorks calculator was quickly sold to several thousand students among French high schools, mainly thanks to a fine design, Python interface (programming language whose learning is mandatory in secondary education in France), the recommendations of many teachers and the creation of a community of users offering various applications online. The calculator is announced in open hardware (“open hardware”, schemas and plans are available) and under open source with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND4 license.

Translated from the Wiki

This is a calculator that has a great design and Python build into the OS. Updating is easy, just a modern webbrowser with webUSB. The device runs on a 100 MHz Cortex-M processor. It’s lightning fast and the fun part… it runs Python! With software on GitHub and the community on Reddit makes for an impressive online presence. Repair is easy! The entire process in terms of hardware is open source, The level of documentation is impressive. It’s excellent. This is what documentation should look like. Did I already mentioned that it runs Python?

Why do you need it

Great design, build with durability from the beginning and it can be upgraded. It has all the functions of a regular calculator and it can be programmed without much extra training.

What’s the fun part?

It runs Python, had a USB connection and utilizes webUSB for updating. The calculator runs the core uPy and can be programmed with a computer. Or if you are up for a challenge… with the ABC-keyboard on the device. I’ve written a small script to return a random value of a dice.

Code Example

The example can also be found here

import random 

#returns a number
def roll_dice():
  print (random.randint(1, 6)) 

print("""
This python script returns a random value between 1 and 6. It's a dice
""")

flag = True
while flag:
   user_prompt = input(">")
   if user_prompt.lower() == "quit":
      flag = False
   else:
     print("Rolling dice...\nYour number is:") 
     roll_dice()
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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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