First SONETOR Workshop in Spain.

May 25, 2013 | Eduardo

1st Sonetor workshopOn 30th April 2013 we carried out the first Sonetor workshop. 12 professional mediators took part in the event.

At Marque we have been collaboration with partners of Greece, Austria, Poland and Ireland to develop Social Networking Software at the SONETOR PROJECT (http://www.sonetor-project.eu) in order to develop educational Social Networking Software for cultural mediators.

The workshop took place at Paris 365 a volunteer Soup kitchen that belongs to the foundation Gizakia Herritar which encompasses several other social projects, such as Paris 365, legal advice for immigrants and a school for immigrants.

The participants included the mediation team at the Government of Navarre and representatives of other organizations that provide with cultural mediation in Navarre.

The workshop was well received by the participants, who made some enriching contributions to it.

In general, they appreciated the benefits of Sonetor, as it seemed a good idea to reinforce the mediator’s professional profile creating spaces and meeting points for local professionals that can create professional networks and synergies with other countries.

They insisted upon the necessity of keeping a tight control over the unwanted individuals or groups of a racist and / or xenophobic bias that might want to disturb the constructive activity on the Platform.

The core of the workshop was made up by cooperative exercises inside the Sonetor Platform. Along with the navigation through the different areas of the platform, the participants debated and added some content to an unguided learning scenario on the platform.

Macmillan-Pulitzer

May 8, 2013 | Eduardo

Macmillan and Playing for Learning (this is, us, the company behind Pulitzer) have brought to market a new version of Pulitzer specially designed for Schools: Macmillan-Pulitzer (https://macmillan-pulitzer.com).

The editors at Macmillan have spent months working with us. Our partners have validated, enriched and adapted Pulitzer into an educational game especially designed for students aged 10 to 18 years.

Presentation Video. Macmillan-Pulitzer

In this first campaign of Macmillan-Pulitzer, the video-game is being offered to Schools as a self-learning summer course for the digital native generation.

Macmillan-Pulitzer is a motivating way for students to use and improve their English. Pulitzer is an adventure videogame, that motivates students to work on their own by providing challenges they have to solve. With grammar and vocabulary, listening and reading.

PULITZER TRAVELS AROUND THE WORLD

Joe Pulitzer, a journalist, travels around the world (London, San Francisco, New Zealand) investigating mysteries, and writing articles. Students will need to complete challenges, exercises, and conversations with other characters.

REAL WORLD SCENARIOS

Dialogues in real world situations in British and American English. Students interact with other characters by making and answering questions.

INTEGRATED TRACKING SYSTEM

Pulitzer offers tutors a number of tools that allow them to track the progress of their students. The administration also includes comprehensive statistics on the time spent learning with Pulitzer.

ADAPTATIVE LEARNING

As the students progress in the lessons the system identifies which aspects need more revision and suggests additional activities.

Playing for Learning has another version of Pulitzer,  called Pulitzer English (https://pulitzerenglish.com), which is similar in many aspects to Macmillan-Pulitzer. Pulitzer English, however, is intended for students over 18.

MACMILLAN-PULITZER: https://macmillan-pulitzer.com

Educational video-games up!

March 1, 2013 | Eduardo

Joe wears a mortarboardPulitzer belongs to the category of  Educational video-games. There are some positive statistics about these type of games that are worth sharing.

The Oregon Trail: 65 million copies sold

The Oregon Trail is arguably one of the most popular educational videogames ever. The original game was designed to teach school children about the realities of 19th century pioneer life on the Oregon Trail. The player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding his party of settlers to Oregon in 1848. By 2011, after 40 years of its first release,  it had already sold 65 million copies.

25% use educational games

Teachers are increasingly aware of the advantages of using educational games in the classroom.

According to the SPEAK UP online survey, which yearly collects views from close to 400.000 education stakeholders (from students to teachers to principals) in the USA, this increasing level of interest also results in more and more use. In 2007, only 10% of teachers were using some kind of online games in education, in 2011, 24% of them were using online games in the classroom.

51% of Students: learn more with games

According to the Speak Up 2008 survey, students:

  • 51% of 6 – 12 graders said games make it easier to understand difficult concepts
  • 46% say they will learn more about a subject if it is presented to them through a game
  • 44% say that gaming would make it more interesting to practice problems
  • More than 33% of students say that the use of games in schools will help them learn how to work in teams and see the direct results of their problem solving activities

65%% of teaches: gaming creates engagement

In the same 2008 SPEAK UP survey, teachers’ views  are also fairly positive.

  • 65% said gaming will help engage their students in the coursework and provide them with an effective tool for teaching to students with different learning styles.
  • More than 50% expressed interest in learning more about educational games
  • 46% said they would like to receive specific professional development on how to effectively integrate gaming technologies into curriculum.

Pulitzer English: basically playing

February 8, 2013 | Eduardo

Pulitzer Basic: 3 episodes - London -San Francisco-New ZealandWe have just released Pulitzer Basic, the easy version of Pulitzer is already available. This new version of Pulitzer English is suitable for those who are in their first years of English (A1-A2).

The story is the same as the one for the intermediate level learners (B1-B2).  You know… Joe Pulitzer, a journalist,  travels around the world (London, San Francisco, New Zealand) investigating mysteries, and writing articles. The same characters, the same scenarios and the same story, but dialogues and exercises adapted to the level of beginners.

What will you learn with Pulitzer Basic

Pulitzer teaches all the grammar that beginners of English need . There are also hundreds of dialogues recorded by British and American native Speakers. In addition to that, Students also learn vocabulary, written comprehension and spelling.

For complete information on our pedagogical approach, we recommend you to download: Teachers’ guide. 6,5 MB. PDF

Each level of Pulitzer English (BASIC AND INTERMEDIATE) requires about 40 hours of learning.

How to play with Pulitzer Basic

Follow this link (http://bit.ly/UX8rFZ), enter a mail, a password and begin to play with PULITZER BASIC.

And just tell us if you want to know more about Pulitzer English BASIC: We will get in touch with you to find out more about your business, and to discuss how we can best suit your English-learning needs.

The first version of the Cultural Mediation learning platform by Sonetor

January 22, 2013 | Eduardo

Sonetor. e-learning: My homeAt Marque we have been collaboration with partners of Greece, Austria, Poland and Ireland to develop Social Networking Software at the SONETOR PROJECT (http://www.sonetor-project.eu) in order to develop educational Social Networking Software for cultural mediators.

We have just released the first version of the Sonetor platform. This multilingual training platform integrates existing social network applications with specified adult educational methodologies and contents and services produced to assist Cultural Mediators in developing formal and non-formal skills and competences.

Cultural mediators now have access to the training content and scenarios. At the same time, cultural mediators can use the social networking applications which will allow them to enhance the learning outcomes of their  training through developing relationships, sending friend-ship requests and exchange messages.

Cultural mediators are able to create their own material, articles and share it with the others authenticated users. Read here a shortlist of  some services offered by the  SONETOR platform:

  • -create/moderate/join a training scenario,
  • -view scenario contents (e.g. videos, text, presentations, etc)
  • -join a discussion, post messages to the forum, post news, announcements etc.
  • -maintain a blog related to Cultural Mediation
  • -create a community of users interested in specific topics

The platform can be reached via: http://www.culturalmediators.eu

Joining the Sonetor Project: Training of cultural mediators utilizing new Social Networking Software

May 8, 2012 | Eduardo

Sonetor Logo

Marque (http://www.marque.es) has joined partners of Greece, Austria, Poland and Ireland to develop Social Networking Software for cultural mediators at the SONETOR PROJECT (http://www.sonetor-project.eu) in order to develop educational Social Networking Software for cultural mediators. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

The phenomenon of immigration is one of the main challenges of today’s societies. Over the last decades, the scale of migration has been growing considerably throughout Europe. EU Member States received a total of 3.8 million immigrants while at least 2.3 million immigrants are reported to have left one of the EU Member States in 2008. With the increase in immigration, racism and xenophobia are also on the rise.

The profession of cultural mediation aims to facilitate relations between nationals and foreigners, to promote mutual knowledge and understanding designed to encourage a positive relationship between individuals of different cultures.

The project‘s main results, learning services for Cultural Mediators, will be deployed via a special social networking platform. This multilingual training platform will integrate existing social network applications with specified adult educational methodologies and contents and services produced to assist Cultural Mediators in developing formal and non-formal skills and competences.

How come that 400 entrepreneurs from Navarra ( Spain) learn from Israel

December 4, 2011 | Eduardo

The NASF expedition with Edna Pasher. Picture by @lola_vicente

I have just spent one very rewarding week in Israel. Between the 23rd and the 30th of November I have been part of a group of 9 entrepreneurs. The trip was organized and paid by ourselves. It was not a funded or sponsored travel.

I talkedMost important thing new connections and friends

But we came here to learn from the phenomenal energy of entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel. And we learnt a couple of things and above all, were inspired by Israeli entrepreneurship spirit.

Whatever we have learnt was shared with a community of over 400 entrepreneurs that are part of the #NASF community. During our stay in Israel they followed us on social networks (Twitter #NASF and the blog http://nasf.es).  Once in Navarra we are meeting up to tell them our experience first hand.

About the #NASF community

In November 2010 a group of 15 entrepreneurs from Navarra (a small province of Northern Spain of 500.000 inhabitants) travelled to Silicon Valley. The trip was called #NASF (Navarra-San Francisco). They had met on Twitter. Behind #NASF there was not the Chamber of Commerce, not a company, organization or institution. Exclusively entrepreneurs that wanted to learn first hand what entrepreneurship meant in San Francisco. They said no to public and private subventions.

The #NASF guys were so active on social networks that over 400 entrepreneurs joined their community. #NASF (http://nasf.es) became a community of people that  promote entrepreneurship and creative attitudes that issue from civil action.

#NASF people ACT a lot and DEBATE very little. Whoever proposes any new initiative to the community, has to lead it themselves. If you are a #NASF you may not say “Why don’t we do this?”, you just say “I am doing this, will you join me?”.

They meet up quite often and carry out several activities connected with entrepreneurship in their region. But #NASF is not an association. #NASF people define their movement as an attitude, a SPIRIT (their TWITTER id is @EspirituNASF “NASF SPIRIT”. There are only a few rules  they follow:

1)    It is about creativity and entrepreneurship

2)    People act always as individuals, not as organizations. Behind #NASF there is not any company, organization or institution.

3)    Just Lead!, don’t say “shall we do?”

4)    They don’t accept any kind of public money or private donations or sponsors.

PULITZER, learn English with a Social Game

September 25, 2011 | Eduardo

After several months of hard work and fun, we are about to release Pulitzer, PULITZER[1]. Play and Learn English,  a Facebook-based social game that helps you learn English the fun way.  There is also a web based version of the game for those that will not use FB.

In the game, Joe Pulitzer is a journalist working for a news agency called Amazing News. Pulitzer has to travel around the world to obtain as much information as possible to publish his articles. The protagonist needs to complete successfully grammar exercises, maintain several dialogues and solve questions and enigmas in order to travel to the next city or stage.

Have a look at this video below to see the game in action. But let’s Show, don’t tell:

YouTube Preview Image

The first episode of Pulitzer (entitled The mysterious secret of Hugh Grand) is being released in November 2011. This episode requires 6 hours of playing and learning. It will be the first of a total of 18.

¿What do you think? We want to sell it all over the World, ¿would you give us a hand?


[1] The name of the game is a homage to Joseph Pulitzer (April 10, 1847 -October 29, 1911) also known as Joe. J. Pulitzer is best known for the journalism prizes that bear his name. He was an American editor, born in Mako (Hungary), known for his fierce competition with William Randolph Hearst.

Stalin’s World. Back in the USSR.

June 20, 2011 | Eduardo

Stalin and Me at Grutas Park

I paid a visti to Grütas Park (also known as Stalin’s World)  in Southern Lithuania. It is a surreal experience. It combines beauty, horror, morale and nostalgia.

Grütas Park is an open air exhibition of 86 statues of Lithuania’s Soviet-era, as well as hundreds of other relics from the times of the Lithuanian SSR: pictures of Lenin, Pioneer drums, communist flags, paintings, etc

It was founded in 2001 by entrepreneur Viliumas Malinauskas, a wealthy snail, berry and mushroom farmer. From 1989-91, during the restoration of Lithuanian independence, many ideologized monuments from the Soviet times were dismantled and were about to be destroyed, as happened in the neighbouring republics.

Soviet Partisans

Grūtas Park and its founder Malinauskas won the 2001 Ig Nobel Peace Prize. The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given for trivial “achievements” in scientific research. The self proclaimed aim of the prizes is to “first make people laugh, and then make them think”.

To enhance the surreal athmosphere, the park also contains playgrounds, a mini-zoo and cafes. On special occasions actors stage re-enactments of various Soviet-sponsored festivals.On the 1 of April each year Grūtas Park shows “live” characters of the Soviet period: Lenin, Stalin, pioneers, partisans, secretaries of the central committee, etc.

Menu Nostalgia at Grutas Park Restaurant

The Restaurant offers a NOSTALGIJA menu, a hardly appetizing proposal of soviet era daily food

Watch Tower at Grutas Park

Watch Towers and barbed wire around the exposition to create the GULAG sensation

HTML 5, THE NEXT BIG THING

May 13, 2011 | Eduardo

These slides below were originally shown at UPNA (Public University of Navarre. The small auditorium was incedentally full with Software Engineering Students).

The purpose of the presentation was to emphasize the window of opportunity that is opening for those developing contents using HTML5 for mobile devices.

The argument went a bit like this:

-The Internet becomes increasingly mobile. Month after month, Internet traffic on mobile devices grows, compared to the desktop web.

-There are many incompatible mobile operating systems: IOS (Iphone-IPAD), Android (Google), RIM (Blackberry) WebOS (HP-PALM), Symbian (Nokia), BADA (Samsung).

-Html5 offers the opportunity to have a standard for creating graphical content for mobile internet friendly, running on any device: iPhone, Android, Windows, Blackberry, etc.

-Moreover, being html mobile content indexed by Google and can be analyzed by tools like Google Analytics.