Saturday, May 12, 2012

Journalist report

This week, apart from watching a very interesting video of education in Finland, has been a week of  important information. We have received all the assessment criteria to be ready for the exam which is REALLY near! So, we are all a little bit more nervous than usually, running from here to there, with papers in one side and in another, speaking louder, tired, being confused, many things to remember… What can we say? We are almost in exams period!! 

We have been also working in a Gymkhana using augmented reality but that is part of another subject (RICT). The thing is that because of both are taught by the same teacher sometimes it is confused to distinguish among them.

Now that we have already made a summary (you can see it below) with the differences in education between  Finland, which is in the first position in Pisa, and Spain I would like to share the video we watched (in Spanish) and also an interesting video about what is Pisa which I´ve found quite interesting (in English).

Comparison between Finish's and Spanish's educational systems

Here it is our comparation between Finland's educational system and the Spanish's one:

There is hardly ever private education only 1%, every school is cost-free.
In private schools parents have to pay a lot of money.
They give a special importance to language since they are child, the learn Finnish, Swedish and another more language compulsorily.
In Spain the importance of language is increasing nowadays.
They have a break of 15 minutes after every class of 45 minutes.
According to LOE, breaks have to be 30 minutes a day and a maximum of two and a half hours a week.
They start the compulsory education at 7 years old. Children start to learn how to write and read at 7.
Compulsory education starts at the age of 6 and shildren usually start to learn reading and writing in pre-primary education, at the age of 4.
Less than 1% of students in Finland don’t finish the compulsory education.
Almost 30 % of students in Spain don’t finish the compulsory education.
Teachers are very specialized, only the best people can be teachers. They do 5 years of degree and they are very well considered.
To access students have to pass some exams obtain high assessment. They do 4 years of degree, but they are not very well considered.
In normal classes there are helpers for the teacher not to be alone with 30 students.
Helpers are only for classes in which there are children with special needs.
Supported teacher are only in charge of supporting other teachers
Supported teachers are for supporting but they also teach when another teacher is ill.
In every school in Finland there are psychologists, social workers, physical and psychological support, analysis, talks and checkups for every student.
Psychologists, and orientation departments are only compulsory for high schools. There are groups of psychologists that go once a week or each fifteen days in order to help teachers and pupils but as they are not in the school they can’t do a lot of things.
Meals, transport and school material like books are free for every student.
All has to be payed by families.
They have another practical subject apart from language, math or science like cooking or DIY.
Practical subjects are not very common.
Same educational system since 1970.
The educational system has changed twice since 1970. In 1992 the LOGSE was approved and in 2006 was the LOE.
There are a lot of grants.
There are not a lot of grants and these grants are for those that have almost no money.
Before 7 years old children can go to the kindergarten that is from the government so their parents don’t have to pay.
Between cero and two years old parents have to pay in order that their children can go to a kindergarten while they are working. Every education at this age is nor cost-free.
They have a medical exam at least once a year in order to detect problems and send them to an specialized doctor that is also free.
Here there are not usually nurses in schools.
17 private schools in the hole country.
In pre-primary the 50,9 % of the education is private. In Primary education 28,2% are concertado schools and 3,3% private schools. For ESO there are 2768 concertado schools and 350 private schools. For Bachillerato, 1378 schools are private.

Done by all of us using GoogleDocs.

See you!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Facilitating with vitamins

As the facilitator of my group this week and taking into account that we are very busy those days, I have thought about charging my group with vitamines (as Super Ratón used to do) in order to have strength to finish this course. I don´t know if they knew him but I will explain it to them.

Roles for the week

As the facilitator of my group this week here there are the roles for this week:

Pilar: Star
Laura: journalist
Dinka: analyst
Paloma: helper

Friday, May 4, 2012


Today has been the last day of the game and there are the winners:

ALL THE GROUPS had performed well, and all the groups became winners in the category of HOW TO LEARN WHILE HAVING A GOOD TIME 

Second price in the category of BEST QUESTION: Never Too Late
First price in the category of BEST QUESTION: Chameleon Ladies

Second price for the category of GAME WINNER: Hakuna Matata
First price for the category of GAME WINNER: Never Too Late

Congratulations to all the winners!  
We started with Paloma’s turn and we hadn’t good luck. But on my turn, all the bad luck that we had had disappeared. It was as a mathematic problem: when you multiply two numbers with minus sign you have as a result a positive one.  It was incredible, we were on square 89 and there were two more snakes to rich the square 100. Then I threw the dices and I got an eleven. It was exactly what we needed to finish the game. We were very excited. We didn’t expect to win the game, only to learn and to finish with the game, because we were very nervous. But definitely we are very, very happy because of the joker that we win for the final exam.  We have the option to use it, but not the duty. So we’ll give the best of us, and we won’t relax, but if we are not in our best moment on the exam, we’ll use it.
The extra point that we win is as goos as the other price, because be have all the task on time in our blog, but there are many things to do for the final e-Portfolio, so if we can't get on time with all the task, or they aren't so good as we want, we´ll have the joker.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another day of Oca's game

This morning we continue playing Ocas’ game or Snake and ladders’ game, in the same place where we lifted on Friday. But nothing changed. Our bad luck, and particularly my bad luck was present in every single moment of the game. It was so bad that it would be better if I had given wrong answer. The snake had bitten us two more times.
We are on the third turn, so all questions have been answered at least 2-3 times and there are less wrong answers, but the big problem is our pronunciation. We have to work more on it, in order to pronounce clearly and correctly. On Friday we are going to continue playing. It’s seems that Snake and ladders’ game will never finish. The truth is that we are little bit tired because it’s only question of hazard and not of knowledge and three days playing the same game or doing the same activity it’s boring. Two days were more than enough to select the winner, but now there are more possibility to win the game. Despite everything my group is very optimistic, because we started the game on the 59 and we finished on 89, so we moved forward. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Roles don't change


I am Paloma, the facilitator. We have thought that we are not going to change the roles this week because we are going to finish with the game so we will change the roles for the next activity.

See you!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Analist's reflection

This week, as you already know, we have played “The Oca’s game” or one of its versions called “Snakes and ladder”. This activity has been a very good way for us to study and understand deeply about the current Spanish educational system. We have done a great effort but at the same time we have enjoyed a lot thinking about real life and different cases to write the questions and also to play and get the answers of our classmates. The worst part of this activity is the responsibility of failing in the game, because it can work against our group mates.

The best moment of the work of the group was when we selected and discussed about our questions. It was very funny how some of us realized about different things of Spanish educational system which we have never thought about before, and also how we reflected about them. The worst moment in the work of the group was when we had to select the eight questions for each topic because we have two topics and although we knew what they meant J it was difficult to select them in a right way. It was very stressful.

We have learnt lots of things about how is organized and how the educational system works. I am sure that we are going to remember them longer because of the methodology used. We had never thought about some of the things that we have learnt and that is nice. As a group, all of us are very hard workers and we have improved a lot our communication but we have to improve more. I have detected that some of us are getting used that others assume different roles in the group and this is not good. For example, when I have some problems with the computer I always ask Dinka for help, if the group has to speak in English we look at Laura. In my case for example, I tend to do it for both convenience and lack of time. Although we are learning a lot and we are grateful, we are very tired because we have a lot of work to do and also most of us have personal responsibilities apart from university and we are nervous and we can influence badly to our group mates. We would like to have more time to enjoy searching information, reading about education, chatting with our classmates…

Still playing

On Friday we started playing the Oca’s game. I had never played it before, but I supposed that it included at least one oca. I was wrong; there were many snakes and any oca. It was nice board, but the sweetest thing were the magnets from The Wizard of Oz, from Linda's private collection.


When the game started, we were more nervous than for an exam. We started to play but soon we had to sit down and try to calm down. 

 We started well with Laura’s turn. Ana and Paloma had done it as good as Laura, but I had bad luck: a snake bit me and I had to retreat. I suddenly remembered why I had ever hated play games. Later Pilar had to answer to a difficult question, but she did it well. On the second turn the same snake bit us again, and we fall down. So although we knew the answers of the questions, we couldn’t progress in the game. It was very frustrating.

 Real life is frustrating too, so this situation is very realistic. You may find it hard to believe, but finally we pass a great time. The game hasn’t finished, therefore there is still hope. On Wednesday we’ll continue playing until there is one winner. And as the song say: “the winner takes all”. Because it’s only a game, but besides the prize we bet our self-esteem.

And if we don't do it as well as we want, we still have the good experience and the knowledge which we acquire by just playing a game.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Let's listen to them

I'm the facilitator this week and yesterday I found in twitter an interesting blog post called: "25 ted talks perfect for classrooms". I have not seen all of them but I would like you to see this one in particular:

This girl touched my heart. Teachers have to listen to the pupils because they can learn a lot from each other. After watching this video I reafirmed my thoughts, I am studying the right degree. Children have a lot of things to teach us. So I would like to encourage you to continue with energy and learn something new everyday.

 We all have a kid inside but we are almost always afraid of letting him going out. Kids see life from a different point of view so why don't we try to see it like them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Second week of Oca's game

Some of us don’t like playing games, so I don’t understand at all haw Linda could convince us to play Oca’s game. But I suppose that is because of the fact that we hate learn by heart. So, this is our fifth activity and it’s the fifth time that our colleges from the Spanish group said that we are lucky people. And our answer is that it’s true, but it’s also true that we had to work with great effort.

The activity of this two weeks takes us long time to prepare it, therefore we are so overwhelmed. The last week we had to read the paper of Eurobase and prepare 3 questions of each eight topics. This Monday our group had to organize two of the topics in order to select the best eight questions and we had some rules for the process. We had to make a kind of assessment to the format of the cards with the questions, said if the questions and answers are the required, pertinent, if they represent the topic, if they are a literally in the text or if they has a mistakes. It was really difficult task, because this is one of the few times when we see the assessment from two different points of view: the first is that we are the people who make the assessment and the second is that we make self-assessment too. The other cause to find the task difficult is that we have too little time to value the questions and we couldn’t do it as we wanted, because we couldn't change some mistakes in the questions and answers where they were. We met several times this week, in order to organize the questions, because some of them weren’t so clear. And we also used Google Docs to help as each other with the search of the answers and to communicate. 

This night I’ll dream about Eurobase, I’m sure.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New roles

The new roles for this week are:

Facilitator: Paloma.
Analist: Pilar.
Helper: Ana.
Journalist: Dinka.
Star: Laura.

 Soon we will tell you more about the game!

Monday, April 23, 2012

THE GAME. Questions

Today we haven't started yet to play but it's near. During the class today we've been reviewing every card with the questions, shared by topic. My group has been revising 2 topics out of 8, and they are:
·        1. Differences between public and private centers
·        2. Management

And now, here they are, separated by topic:


-          Have the private and the public sector got the same legislative framework? Say the law or laws that constitute this or these frameworks.
-          Unlike the public education, private institutions are free to establish their own…
-          If I receive “educational agreements” for financing, what kind of school am I?
-          In a public educational institution, where must they communicate the organization and use of their resources, material and human?
-          If I have passed a teaching degree but I have not passed the opposition and I am working in a school paid by public funds, in which type of school am I working?
-          Who authorizes and oversees that a private school has the necessary requirements for opening and management?
-          Can the private schools choose their own name?
-          What are the differences between the choice of the head teachers in public schools and in private school?
-          Reflection about three differences between private and public schools.
-          If you want to operate a private school what do you have to get?
-          What type or types of school can be if it has the following characteristics? Cost-free education, teachers, parents and pupils participation through the school council, the admission system, and the nonprofit nature of their extracurricular activities and services.
-          A private school can´t receive support from private institutions as religious orders. True or false.
-          If I have the option to enroll my child in a public school or colegio concertado, but I don’t want him to study religion, where can I apply?
-          What kinds of institutions are the centros concertados?
-          How is the head teacher of colegio concertado selected?
-          Is the same owner for a public school and private one? If it’s the same, say who is. If not, what is the different?
-          What school does this definition characterize? Governing bodies must comprise at least the head teacher, the school council and the teacher’s assembly. The head teacher represents the owner and is appointed by consensus reached between the owner and the school consensus. The head teacher’s duties are similar to those in public schools
-          Public school characteristics: Say which are true and which are false and correct the errors.
·         Free and secular Hay educación
·         The proximity criteria is used in the admission process in public school
·         The concertado schools must only respect certain rules of the Ministry as do public school
·         Public school have total autonomy in all aspects

MANAGEMENT (person and groups of management and government).

-          Which are the three elements used by the Educational Institutions to formulate their pedagogical and curricular organization?
-          Say the name of the governing body responsible for conducting the following functions: to approve and asses the proyecto educativo, the management project, the rules of organization and procedure and the programación general annual.
-          How long is the term of office of head teachers in public and private schools?
-          Which is the educational organism that allows pupils parents to cooperate and to participate in the educational tasks of the school?
-          Which kind of educational institutions is able to determine the constitutional principles of its centre?
-          If you were a member of the school council, what functions would you have?
-          Mention three duties of the head teachers.
-          What is the state school council?
-          How is the Proyecto Educativo de Centro related to the organizational management of the centre?
-          What teacher coordinating body is composed of: the principal, vice principal, cycle coordinator, responsible for the orientation of the centre and in some case the support teacher?
-          If you are the tutor of a group of 3rd primary grade, what are you in charge of? (Being one of the basic education coordinating bodies?
-          Associate the following statement (functions) powers with their corresponding person: head teacher, head of studies or Teacher’s Assembly
·         Responsible for planning, coordinating, informing and making decisions for educational aspects
·         To supervise and coordinate the school activities without detriment to the power of the Teacher Assembly and School council
·         Person responsible for all academic-educational matters in the school
-          State the persons that integrate the School Council
-          State the three areas where educational institutions enjoy a wide degree of autonomy:
-          Which part of proyecto educativo from a public school has to read a student who wants to form part of the School Council?
-          Do centros concertados enjoy autonomy to structure their organization and governing bodies?
-          Is every cost-free education in a school in Spain compulsory?

Working on

We spent most of last week doing the current activity, therefor today we are so tired. My group is working really hard, so as helper I decided to provide the last part of the activity (for now) and print and cut out the cards.  it's not such a hard job as others' one, but someone have to do it.


The topic of this week is about how Spanish education is organized. But the task that we have to do doesn’t only consist in reading the current law; we are going to play a game. We have to read the European document that explains the organization of the Spanish Educational System and then each group must to design 3 questions for each of these topics:

1. Laws and Structure of our educational system
2. Management (person and groups of management and government)
3. School time and grouping
4. General indications about teaching methods
5. Assessment and certification
6. Differences between public and private centres
7. Financing issues
8. Other structures and variations

Each of the questions only can have a possible answer. Then with our answers we have to prepare white cards including in one face of the card: the question, the answer, name of the group that build the card; and in the other face of the card we have to write the topic in which this question are included. We have the whole week for preparing them and on Monday by groups we are going to review our questions. We have to value them by groups, and each group has to review at least one topic and choose the 3 more representative and good questions. The same Monday after class we will publish the questions that we have review in our blogs. But the only things that we can publish are the questions. On Friday next week we will play a game done with all the questions and by turns each group (each turn will be done by a different member) will have to participate. There are prices in two different categories: the best question and the game winners.

This week we had lots of work to do so we decided to have a meeting to start to do the questions on Wednesday morning, from 9 to 12 and from 13 to 14 in the morning. We didn’t have enough time so we decided to continue on Thursday afternoon.

We prepared a lot of questions of each topic and on Friday morning we decided which of them were better and more representative for the game. At the end of the morning we corrected the spelling and this weekend Dinka printed them.

 We have made a big effort this week to play a good game next week so let’s play!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Analist's Reflection

This week we have worked a lot of hours together in order to elaborate the questions that on monday we have to bring to the class for the game about LOE. As I am the analist this week I'm in charge of doing the reflection so here it goes:

The best part of the activity I think is coming but during this week, in my opinion, the best thing has been the interest and the motivation of being reading a document and finding a lot of interesting things. I don't know how to name it but that kind of curiosity and enthusiasm that you have when you are "discovering the world".

We had to read the hole document at home without the rest of the group so we had a lot of questions because it had some words in spanish in the middle of a text in english that wasn't a simple story. If you go to LOE it doesn´t say the same as the document that we had because LOE had another structure so...

Some things that we found in the law left us thinking: Wow! Things that were not obvious and are said in LOE. The best moments have been when someone discovered an interesting sentence or parragraf and showed it to the rest of the group as if she had find a treasure and then one of the others already knew it. We have also shared a lot of information about personal experiences.

When we were doing the questions it was difficult because we weren't sure if we had understood correctly the parragraf. A lot of times not every member of the group understood the same so it was hard because we had a big mess composed by all the messes that we had in our brains.

 We have learnt a lot of things that we didn't know. working with LOE we have seen that there are thousands of things that influence education. Now we know what part of the curricula can Autonomous Comunities elaborate and why. It is not the same if the child lives in a big city in a small village or in a house in the middle of nowhere but all of them will have to go to school. In the city the parents will have more schools to choose between them and in the village maybe the school has only one classroom.

In my opinion, as a group we should conserve the patience that we are having with the rest of the group. We do not always think or see things in the same way and I would say that now we are better than at the begining listening to the rest of ideas and choosing that which we think is the best. Now we lose less time.

 Maybe we should learn how to read faster but it would take us a lot of time. Communication between us is a thing that sometimes works wrong so we must do something in order to foster it. But, what? We will have to look for a solution.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Hi everyone!

After two weeks of holidays, Easter week and our Spring Festival week (typical festival from Murcia) here we are again!

During this week I´m the facilitator and the roles of my group mates are:
Ana: Star
Paloma: Analist
Dinka: Helper
Pilar: Journalist

And the first thing that I´ve done to help my group is to book a cabin to work next Wednesday because we need a quiet place to work and to be able to concentrate :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Analyst's reflections

As you know, during this week we have been preparing a campaign called “The dark side of text books” for which we had to prepare a series of advertisements based on the reading of 4 texts. Thanks to this lecture, Linda’s explanation and the reflection of all the entire class that we did about each of the ads, fables and speeches we had prepared this reflection. Our group has learned and reflected on many things that were partly covered by the adverts and now I relate.

Education is not neutral even when you try, as it depends on the ideas of the teacher, school and even the textbook. It is also a matter of the publishers, who control the knowledge and thus have the power, although the administration dictates the contents, but the textbook does not have the absolute truth, they are not neutral and may contain errors. Publishers act as experts who provide content and the consumer does nothing, so they have no competition and it just makes your prices higuer, which has enabled this business to be one of the few businesses that have not lost money in recent years. After 3 or 4 years what they do in general is reorganize a bit the content or minimally change a few things to force parents to buy the book again and thus they can not use what they already had of his eldest son, or the one you can borrow from the neighboor or friend. Usually the price tends to rise in the new edition. Many authors criticize the illegality of the use of used books and blame administrations of complicit in piracy by promoting free educational content. In countries like USA the used book market is more popular than here, where students donate or sell them to schools. We think this also should be introduced here in a normal way and we think it should be illegal to take away the opportunity of a family without resources to acquire a book donated free and force them to spend money. The state would also cut spending and subsidies in such families.

Publishers also believe that the properties of the contents are the most important thing. Mr. José Moyano, belonging to the national association of publishing and teaching materials also agrees that publishers should take the lead role in creating digital content adapted to new technologies. In addition, those publishing houses are critical saying that there are not studies that demonstrate that the use of technology enhances the process of teaching, and that the machine (referring to the computer) does not apport knowledge. In response to this man and many others, our group as primary consumer of them replied that it is true that they improve the process and the only thing that make the contents of the books explained and worked from traditional methodologies are repetitive and memory skills. We also have to say that the computer could allow significant savings of paper, efforts to bring children so much weight, economic spending by parents and government.

From our point of view, the knowledge that can bring a group of teachers working together and exchanging ideas can be much richer than that of the publishers. Jordi Adell gives a series of ideas about it saying that the best thing that the government could make is subsidizing the most innovative groups of teachers to share their material free on the net. In fact he says that these groups already exist but are not supported by the government. As shown in one of our ads, in general the methodologies in the classroom have hardly changed and the role of the textbook continues to exist even in digital format. How can we use them as the main tools in school like 500 years ago? How can we want to use them in this era of new technologies in the same way if neither the content you have to transmit nor the available resources nor the context is the same? As Jordi Adell says, digital format that publishers are proposing is almost the same as the book, but only by putting a flash animation. Even many publishers create add-ins cd type or websites where there are some exercises, animations and videos about the topic and that are accessible only with a special code you get when you buy the book. This is a way of increasing the sale price and ensuring the sale.

Finally, after the activity and through our own experience with different teachers we have had throughout our lives is clear that anyone can be a teacher today following the textbook, of course a bad teacher. This use of the textbook as the Bible means the deprofessionalization of teachers, who could be replaced by a machine perfectly. These teachers are those who prefer the use of digital books because they are less innovative and less involved to student learning. Classes do not always have the same type of children and a teacher must be able to explain things in different ways for them not only as coming in the textbook and must be receptive to their students existing a feedback between them. The book can be used as a support for your explanations and methods, not as a bible that will tell you all you have to do. We must not be afraid of the change and we hope that Jordi Adell success in their predictions about the future, about those centers that do not use computers will have to start giving explanations soon and that schools that insist in the extremal use of the textbooks having Internet will not be very well received. We also want to include that a bad teacher is still bad even using new technologies in the classroom.

Reflection of practiceAccording to what we have learned by doing the reflection of the ads, we conclude that we should spend more time doing the brainstrorming as we focus on an idea and what we have to do first is to consider them all and then delve into each one of them. In this way we believe we may have more ideas. Another thing we need to improve is the planning, that although we have not done wrong because we have followed a proper order (brainstorming, script, role distribution, equipment and props ...) we should get together every day after school to organize our time in a natural way without anyone having to be remembering anything.

The truth is that we all were surprised at the amount of time and recordings that requires recording an advertisement. We were more than 4 hours recording, and editing about 12 hours because you have to manage well the program and spend time to view tutorials.We have also realized the importance of not violating copyright by both the use of music and taking care in not showing books for avoiding any problems with the book publishers.We really enjoyed this activity despite the time spent and difficulty. This makes us reflect on the difficulties we encounter in other courses that use a different methodology compared to Linda’s. We have concluded that if you compare the two apporaches for web 1.0 (other subjects) and web 2.0 (Linda's metodology) it is truth that for students using web 2.0 is more difficult at the beggining but then is easier because you are very motivated and have fun with your work. I hope you have learned something like us with these posts. I have uploaded a video which talks a bit about the things we have learned. This is a video of Professor Richard Baraniuk from Rice University. He is a founder and leader of the open education movement, which aims to share knowledge and teaching materials freely over the internet. In this video he explains the vision behind Connexions, his open-source, online education system. It cuts out the textbook, allowing teachers to share and modify course materials freely, anywhere in the world.