Let´s get real. Real competences for real life.

Last week I attended and participated in the “I Jornadas de Asesoramiento sobre secciones Bilingües”, held in a series of cities around the Castilla-La Mancha region.

On this occasion the workshop was focused on why and how to introduce Inquiry-Based learning in our lessons and how to include media making in the process as an answer to the real competences that our students will need to acquire in their lives. Here is the presentation (and at the end an interview with the organisers). I hope our non-Spanish speakers reading this get the general idea.


This region has a growing bilingual project and this was the first conference organized by the Administration. As they explain here, teacher training is going to be a key element in its success.

Leading while being led

In my travels and dealings with teachers around Spain and Portugal one of the hot topics right now, especially in relation to teaching teens, is 21st Century Skills.  And many teachers are asking how we “old dogs” are supposed to be teaching all these “new tricks”?  But could we be getting the question the wrong way around?

Do our digital teens really need new-fangled tricks, or just some old-fashioned wisdom to unlock, organize and make sense of a new information rich world?  As with any generational shift, the new challenges the old, but time-honoured traditions can also temper and put into perspective the most radical technological developments.

This fantastic video by Pearson author Kath Stannett really hits the nail on the head.  21st Century Skills are really timeless core human values of applying logic, sharing, and being open and creative in a new digital landscape.  Our students crave our experience to make sense of a quick moving and chaotic world.  And they have more than a few things to teach us as well!  It is all about “leading while being led.”

What if homework was playing a video game?

Video games are present in our students life, so, why not using this reality in our behalf? Why fighting if we can use it as a great source of knowledge and not just a resource?

In this video, Nick Perkins shares some interesting reflections around this question: Can Online games make a real difference for today´s learners?

And you? What is your opinion? Do you integrate or avoid online games in your classes?