From the daily archives:

Quinta-feira, Junho 25, 2009

MOMENTO HUMOR LARANJA

por Pedro Sousa em 25 de Junho de 2009

em País

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O ELOGIO QUE VEM DE FORA

por Pedro Sousa em 25 de Junho de 2009

em País

American classrooms need to enter the 21st century. Thousands of teachers agree. Earlier this year, several important educational groups urged the president and Congress to spend nearly $10 billion to improve technology in the classroom, and ensure teachers know how to use computers most effectively.

To show the way, I suggest the president take a look at a modest country across the Atlantic that’s turning into the world leader in rethinking education for the 21st century.

That country is Portugal. Its economy in early 2005 was sagging, and it was running out of the usual economic fixes. It also scored some of the lowest educational achievement results in western Europe.

So Prime Minister Jose Socrates took a courageous step. He decided to invest heavily in a “technological shock” to jolt his country into the 21st century. This meant, among other things, that he’d make sure everyone in the workforce could handle a computer and use the Internet effectively.

[...]

Teachers often feel that this is the only way to teach a large classroom of kids, and yet the classroom in Portugal shows that giving kids laptops can free the teacher to introduce a new way of learning that’s more natural for kids who have grown up digital at home.

First, it allows teachers to step off the stage and start listening and conversing instead of just lecturing. Second, the teacher can encourage students to discover for themselves, and learn a process of discovery and critical thinking instead of just memorizing the teacher’s information. Third, the teacher can encourage students to collaborate among themselves and with others outside the school. Finally, the teacher can tailor the style of education to their students’ individual learning styles.

It’s not easy to change the model of teaching. In fact, this is the hard part. It’s far easier to spend money, as Portugal did, to put Internet into the classroom and equip the kids with laptops. ( By now, half of high school students now have them, as do four in 10 middle school students.)

Yet Portugal has been careful to invest in teacher training to capitalize on the possibilities of the laptops in schools. They’re also thinking of creating a new online platform to allow teachers to work together to create new lessons and course materials that take advantage of the interactive technology. Through this collaboration, the Portuguese school system will create exciting new online materials to educate children

[...]

Yet Portugal is on a campaign to reinvent learning for the 21st century. The technology is only one part of that campaign. The real work is creating a new model of learning.

I believe this could help the U.S. revive students’ interest in school and perhaps keep them in school long enough to graduate, and even go to college. It would be a substantial investment. It’s estimated that the total cost of giving a computer to each student, including connection to networks, training, and maintenance, is over $1,000 per year.

Yet after seeing the promise of the exciting classrooms in Portugal, I’m convinced it is worth it. Your child should be so fortunate.

in www.huffingtonpost.com escrito por Don Tapscott “[..]the author of 13 books about new technologies in business and society, most recently Grown Up Digital. He is Chair of the nGenera Insight think tank, and an Adjunct Professor at the Rotman School of Management, University of TorontoDon

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Interrupção voluntária do TGV

por Pedro Sousa em 25 de Junho de 2009

em País

A Alta Velocidade era, já nos anos 90, uma necessidade estratégica, num quadro de integração europeia. Portugal não podia ficar passivo no seu papel de país periférico. Um facto que devia ter entrado a Ferreira do Amaral pelos olhos dentro. O “Mário Lino de Cavaco” cometeu o erro estratégico de, em tempo de vacas gordas, não ter avançado para o projecto que teria sido o da sua vida.
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O comportamento do PSD, em matéria de TGV, é inaceitável e tem todas as marcas da incompetência, da demagogia e do oportunismo. O que não faz justiça ao PSD, partido reformista e de obra feita. O PSD cometeu três erros, que não reconhece e de que não se arrepende ou envergonha. Primeiro, não avançou com o TGV quando podia e devia. Segundo, assinou com Espanha um “contrato” discutível, que subalterniza o País. Finalmente, desrespeita as suas próprias assinaturas – e está lá a de Manuela Ferreira Leite como ministra das Finanças… – na luz verde ao projecto, pretendendo fazê-lo parar só porque acha que isso coloca dificuldades a Sócrates e rende votos “laranja”. Sem qualquer sentido de pedagogia cívica, guiado por uma ética vesga e um oportunismo saloio, o PSD renega por três vezes, como São Pedro, a alta velocidade que, embora tarde e a más horas, havia apoiado. É por isso que, na mercearia partidária, ganham os campeões da pequena história.

in Visão nº 850

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