The KitCaixa Communication reaches schools!

La-Caixa_001-CaixaComunica

After several co-creation workshops for schools in three different Spanish regions, working with professionals in the performing arts and a team of designers, linguists and journalists, and making testing workshops with new schools, the KitCaixa Communication was born. The KitCaixa Communication is an educational resource that aims to help improve the skills of students in different schools, with particular emphasis on their communication skills.

The objectives of this kit are to contribute, in a stimulating way, improve educational skills of each subject with an emphasis on communication skills and to familiarize the educational community with the opportunities and potential of the performing arts.

For those teachers who are interested in these materials within their educational proposal for the new course, they contact EducaCaixa. You can find it in Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician and English!

Share

CaixaEscena Pedagogical Kit

 

Cakxa
CaixaEscena and La Mandarina de Newton have been working together with the aim of creating a pedagogical kit that could be used as a new and innovative tool when sharing and educating dramatic arts topics in the classroom. In order to do so, we found it essential to have the collaboration of theater professionals and teachers from other disciplines during the different phases of the process. For that we have organised three co-creating sessions with professionals from different areas of Spain.

These sessions started in Murcia (January 24) and this first workshop was a meeting for brainstorming and ideation. There was an interesting discussion on how theatre can be helpful for academic performance, the generation of debates and the personal growth (improving the self-esteem and the perception of others). Nearly a dozen participants assisted the workshop and it was really inspiring.

The second session took place in Madrid, on February 20, and it focused on the prototyping process. Ten participants nailed down the ideas generated in Murcia, added the online proposals, and all ended up combined in two different kit prototypes.

After these two workshops La Mandarina de Newton worked on the two designs proposed by the participants and was able to integrate both of them into a single prototype kit.

Finally, the last workshop was held in Barcelona, on March 20, and the attendees tested this prototype and gave feedback and new ideas in order to improve and extend it.

Now, with all this material, and with the help of theater experts and specialised designers, we will keep working on the prototype in order to achieve the final design of the CaixaEscena Pedagogical Kit.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress!

Share

CaixaEscena Pedagogical Kit - co-creation of educational content

CaixaEscena

 

La Mandarina de Newton starts a new collaboration with Obra Social “La Caixa” within one of its educational projects, ‘CaixaEscena’.

CaixaEscena is a program that aims to support to the teachers who promote theater at their schools, by encouraging the exchange of knowledge between them and theater professionals. Through different activities for both teachers and students, CaixaEscena is a participatory project that proposes theater as a tool for cultural, social and educational development of young people.

This year La Mandarina de Newton will be the entity responsible for the organization of a new series of workshops within this educational program. The goal is to share the knowledge generated during the previous activities and give it a new form  that will allow to expand and share, in a useful and intuitive way, that knowledge – a pedagogical kit. Over several co-creation sessions with teachers and theater professionals, we will be creating the basis of the didactic contents of that kit and which will afterwards be produced by CaixaEscena, along with specialized designers. This kit will then be available to both workshop participants, as to any other teacher that want to use it.

We will be leading three co-creation workshops throughout the first quarter of 2015, in three spanish autonomic regions:

January 24, 2015, Murcia.
Workshop 1: Ideation and prototyping. Together we will create the basis of the didactic contents of the kit.

February 20, 2015, Madrid.
Workshop 2: Content sprint. To identify and produce the main contents of the kit.

March 20, 2015, Barcelona.
Workshop 3: Testing and final validation. Improvement suggestions and final presentation event.

All participants will be acknowledged and cited in the final design.

Participation in these workshops is open to all professionals interested in participating. Registration is free and the places limited!

To confirm your participation please contact us via email: espai@lamandarinadenewton.com.

La Mandarina de Newton, is the entity that collaborates with CaixaEscena, devising, coordinating, producing, executing and analyzing these sessions.

If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

Share

TalentLab: Amongst Intelligent Machines–session II

The second session of the “Amongst Intelligent Machines” workshop, from the TalentLab project, took place on March 21st. On arrival, we resumed the groups of the previous session and we started working. First we warmed up engines with an activity that sought to recover and share ideas from the first session. Thus, each group summarized the main lines that define the resources proposed in the brainwritting or fast rain of resources.

After being placed, we got straight to the matter and the groups were proposed to specify a single resource proposal. The proposals were constructed by combining knowledge (imagination, experience, talent, etc.) and available materials (clay, ribbons, sticks, balls, etc.).

The first group came up with a platform (or box) from wich emerged challenges to be solved by users based on his knowledge of constraints. The challenges could be to design an urban ecosystem management (dams, nuclear plants, etc..) and the users would be different educational centers proposing solutions based on collaborative work. The second group proposed a game that could be physical (boardgame) or virtual designed to exercise how to make decisions and work with values (money, culture, welfare, autonomy, etc.) in connection with the introduction of technology in society. The aim of this dynamic would be to show the influence of values when citizens of a given society make their own decisions. The third group conceived of a resource that would combine computers and robotics in order to work collaboratively. The idea is that two computers or users should design a common task to be performed by two robots like, for instance, two units transporting an object together. To accomplish the goal both robots should establish communication successfully, using Scratch programming to design and simulate the robotics tasks.

When the proposals were enough defined, we proceed with a series of iterations in order to improve them. The groups were divided so that one half stayed to defend the proposal in front of “potential users” posing doubts and exposing limitations. The other half went to see the proposal of another group putting on the skin of the “person” defined in the first session. After iterating a couple of times, each group shared the contributions made by other participants, identified certain deficiencies and incorporated new elements from the suggestions received. Thus, the first group saw the need to limit the approach of the platform to a single challenge with goals that should be defined. The second group incorporated the idea that the issues raised should be based on specific situations (such as a daughter that leaves her mother one afternoon with a robot companion). It was stated that the differences in values would emerge more clearly from this kind of situations. Also, he suggested the possibility that the users ponder by themselves the values associated with certain activities. Moreover, was made known the existence of similar resources as the Deliberatorium MIT or a card game. The third group saw the need to establish some kind of sensor-based communication between robots.

Later, participants were required to assess in more detail the main aspects of the resource to design (philosophy, theme, methodology, requirements, problems, budget) and these considerations were exposed to the other groups. Once done, there was a vote (I can’t remember the name of the voting system used). The most voted proposal was ArgumentaTIC, created by the second group, although all were well balanced and fairly valued. The possibility to incorporate aspects of the first and third proposals to the chosen proposal was also discussed.From now on we have to work on this proposal and see if it is possible to perform with the available resources, and other to come from other sources (sponsors) or if is more convinient to produce it at a later stage.

In the final reflection, some participants expressed their interest in seeing the work done in the workshop translated into an educational resource. A point shared by the organizing team, who reiterated the idea of producing educational resources arising from a process of co-creation, as one of the goals of this project. But at the same time, the team stressed the importance of the working process by itself, ie, the fact of involving teachers and researchers, the working dynamics, contacts established (worknetting) etc.

With this workshop we end the series of workshops planned for this year. Hopefully we will see soon the educational resources produced. We also hope that next year we can make the second edition, coming with with new topics (archeology, marine sciences, astronomy, etc.) and work together with more research centers that are asking for more activities. New workshops and new resources.

—————–
Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

Share

TalentLab: Among intelligent machines – session I

Last Wednesday we conducted the first session of the workshop “Among intelligent machines,” in the Research Institute in Artificial Intelligence IIIA (CSIC). This was part of the TalentLab project.

An intensive work program was scheduled for that day, starting with a site visit guided by David Sierra. His explanations helped to introduce ourselves to the different research lines undertaken at the institute, including a demonstration of dog-like robotic football players to explain how they manage machine learning.

After entering the work room, participants were divided into three groups and we began the session itself. In the inspiration stage, common ideas emerged within each group, although with different approaches. The first group  suggested the idea that “everything is connected,” and proposed a kind vision about technology, based on thought and physical reality (people, nature), combined with the use of the network and the “cloud”. This framework of connections could collapse under pressure of cutbacks. The second group drew some “axes” to be positioned between the “information chaos” of the network and the abstract order, on the one hand, and the boundaries between utopia (thought) and reality, on the other. These axes guide the use of technologies by people in everyday life and decision making. The third group showed the role of people in the “choice of the future” desired, taking into consideration knowledge, people and their own needs. They placed the dichotomy between two realities according to the role of technology: one supporting autonomy, responsibility and sustainability and another that creates dependency, is unsustainable and wants to control.

Then, the three groups proceeded to imagine the newsworthy events of an 8th March 2025. The predominance of digital format and new ways of communication were highlighted, while the shortcomings of infrastructure to bring connectivity to schools and the problem of energy resources were evidenced, as well as the possibility to have cars autonomously driven or the incorporation of robots in real life. There were also some coincidences in imagining a return to the pesseta (old currency). Regarding user profiles, was deeply discussed the idea of curiosity among young people, despite their lack of perseverance in completing tasks. Music, sports and technology were highlighted as main interests of this target group deeply based on friendship and social relations. Other comments pointed to their ability of not being always faithful to the truth or trying to invent excuses somehow suspicious.

Considering the ideas, concepts and debates hold during the three previous exercises, participants in each group did a quick brainwriting about educational resources that could allow teachers to work with technology and artificial intelligence in the classroom. Among all the proposals, the first group showed a preference for generating a networked resource that would promote an individual game to work with ecology and/or musical issues. They envisioned the possibility of linking this resource with robots or virtual reality, make it fun and, if possible, multi-platform. The second group proposed an online resource intended to promote collaboration for solving a current problem or challenge. Finally, the third group proposed work in a cross-resource that include patience as an ability to be learned.

In coming  days we will evolve ideas and we will continue with our work dynamics next session to help us define an unique educational resource.

—————–
Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

Share

TalentLab: Listening to the Earth - Session II

On February 15th we started the second session of the “Listening to the Earth” workshop, within the TalentLab project, with a visit to the centenary facilities of the Ebre Observatory (Observatori de l’Ebre de Roquetes). From the beginning the center was focused on the study of the relationships between the Sun and Earth, a pioneering research that, over time, has become increasingly important.

The visit focused on three main areas: the astronomical observatory, the meteorological station and the library. At the observatory we saw different telescopes used to observe the activity of the Sun and other less bright celestial bodies. At the weather station we saw different devices (traditional and modern) used to measure weather parameters. The Observatory owns a very homogeneous and stable data register (temperature, precipitation, humidity, etc.), which is highly relevant for climate studies. Finally, we accessed the library, specializing in Earth science, a pleasant place that over a century has accumulated more than one linear kilometer of publications. A centenary documentary essential for students of History of Science, where you can find technical books from the library of Narcís Monturiol.

After the visit, we went to a room to continue with the workshop in order to reach a specific proposal for an educational resource. We decided to join together in one group and to start working with our hands. But it took us a while: our engines were still cold!

Slowly, the first ideas arose: vegetation, facilities of the Observatory, videos, students, researchers, teachers, a wiki platform, a channel, weather stations, etc. From this point we began to mold the shape of the resource. It could be a wiki platform to work on the local climate combining the data collected with the observation of the vegetation. Students could try to find answers to the questions posed in a questionnaire and the results would be published on the platform with short videos easy to produce (MovieMaker). The idea is to offer an independent and interesting practice in itself, but could be complemented with a visit to the Ebro Observatory, thus adding value to the resource, comparing and discussing the data with professional researchers. The platform could also allow to compare data from different locations provided by different educational centers and, if done continuously, establish temporary records.

At this point, the proposal was contrasted with “future users”. They pointed the need for scheduled resources (files), that can be done in the classroom and in a cooperative way. Finally, the proposal was refined by introducing a wiki page for teachers and researchers where answer questions, include a protocol for making a rain gauge (if the school does not have one) and the possibility of comparing data between countries.

The group felt that the coordination between the Ebro Observatory and the CSIC Delegation is essential to go ahead with the project, both in preparing the contents and in managing the access to the wiki platform. The budget for this educational resource should not be too high. Finally, concluded that the title could be “My time and wether”. We could not ask for a more specific proposal.

—————–
Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

Share

TalentLab: React with the environment session II

On November 30th, we performed the second session of the ”React with the environment” workshop, at the Institute for Environmental Diagnostics and Water Research (CSIC). This time, all the participants sat around a table to share the highlights of the proposals that were presented in the previous session in order to design a unique proposal.

The need to create a resource that encouraged students to perform some type of research was highly mentioned. On the other hand, it was also stresses the need to look for subjects that students could find interesting and relate to everyday life. It was also spotted that this research had to be performed in small groups and it had to be independent of the research center. However, it was said that the educational resource could be adapted so the most interested students could extend their knowledge on the topics through a more extensive research project.

We discussed the topics that could be the source of these first level research projects. We chose three main areas: pollution, health and nutrition. Therefore, it was proposed to develop three research projects to address some environmental contaminants such as mercury, the trialometans and TBT (tributyl tin), and its effects on living organisms. The first two projects were thought for students at high school level and the third project was thought for students who are at 4th ESO grade. There would be the option to make some adjustments to adapt the projects to the Science for the Contemporary World school subject.

It raised the idea of ​​collecting information on the diet of the students in a class and relate it to the presence of organic forms of mercury in their hair, in order to work on the analysis of the accumulation of mercury in the food chain. To make this analysis we need to use some laboratory technique at the IDAEA. A few students and a teacher could go to the research center to visualise the process and then share it with the rest of the class. The second projet would consist in a collection of real data on the trialometans presence in chlorinated water (eg swimming pools) that CSIC could provide to students. Finally, the third proposal consisted on studying the TBT compound (used in paints for boats to avoid algae and other organisms) through the IMPOSEX effect in a kind of a marine snail. From the observation of many samples obtained in markets, students could study the phenomenon of masculinization of these snails.

It was suggested that the three research practices had an area of ​​documentation, a protocol of the test to be performed and/or some data to be analysed. We also talked about the possibility of students publicating their results. In addition, the educational resource could combine these three research practices with short videos and some visits to the research center. The researchers suggested that visits to the center could be concentrated twice a year during the first and the second term.

Now, we will continue working on the adaptation of these three educational proposals, which already have a high degree of precision, into a digital educational resource.

—————–

Laura Valls. Unitat de Cultura Científica Delegació del CSIC.
Irene Lapuente. La Mandarina de Newton S.L.

Photo credits: Luís Echanove
Share

Looking around the world

Training

Publications

Press clipping

Working Groups

 

@CoCreatingCult Tweets

Follow @CoCreatingCult on twitter.