Dorset’s young musicians form virtual orchestra

4 Junio 2020

Musicians people flat vector illustration — Vector de stock

Young musicians from across Dorset have recorded a version of What A Wonderful World.

The musicians from Dorset Youth Symphony Orchestra, Dorset Youth Jazz Orchestra and Reel Dorset folk ensemble each recorded their parts at home for the project by Dorset Music Hub.

The song, by Bob Theile and David Weiss, was arranged by Dianne Ely of Dorset Music Hub and performed by 32 young musicians and six members of staff.

The hub, operated by Dorset Council, has been offering online lessons to pupils while they are unable to have face-to-face teaching.

Education in times of Coronavirus

9 Mayo 2020

 Coronavirus and Iran's experience on distance learning - Tehran Times

UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he wants nothing more than to see schools back up and running following their closure during the coronavirus lockdown. But he insists he cannot yet give a date for that to happen since there were “no plans” to open schools over the summer while the UK awaits “scientific advice”.

In contrast, Denmark began reopening schools in April. Germany and France will reopen progressively after May 4 and 11, respectively. Different contexts, different decisions in Europe.

As the director general of the World Health Organization said on 12th March, management of the COVID-19 pandemic is a question of “finding a delicate balance between health protection, the prevention of economic and social risks and respect for human rights”. The reopening of schools is seen as a symbolic and practical herald of recovery. These are important political decisions and must be based on robust evidence.

School closures affect all students and play a role in amplifying inequalities. The school is both a living environment for students and staff and an education setting. Besides the impact on learning and the consequences for the mental health of students, closure deprives the most vulnerable students of school meals and support from education, health and social staff.

Learning from countries that have reopened schools

Even if comparisons are limited by cultural and social differences, learning from the successes of countries that have kept schools running is helpful.

Taiwan, for example, has been widely recognised for successfully managing the crisis. The number of cases has remained very limited; largely because institutions have learned from past epidemics and were prepared. Testing the close contacts of people who were infected and then quarantining them for 14 days at home was a primary strategy for containment.

Differentiated school closure rules were also enacted at the national level. If one teacher or student is affected, they are quarantined for 14 days at home. If two or more teachers or students have a confirmed infection, the school is closed. And if a third of schools in a district or city have to take this measure, then all schools in the area are closed too.

In classrooms and canteens, students are separated from each other by plastic partitions between desks, systematic temperature checks are carried out and masks are compulsory. A survey of secondary school students showed the majority (70%) considered that these measures had not affected their learning.

Making it work

The challenge is to design an education system that delivers effective learning while protecting staff and students. Available data allow us to identify four benchmarks that can guide both political decisions and the action of parents, students and professionals.

1. A differentiated system

The level of epidemic risk and the vulnerability of students differs across regions and even from one school to another. That means it won’t be possible to reopen schools the same way everywhere.

A framework for decisions should be produced at the national level, but elected representatives and education professionals should be empowered to make decisions at the local level. This should be done in extensive consultation with education managers, administrators, teachers, families, students, health and social workers as well as technical support experts and those working in safety and transport. The aim must be to create a strategy that works within the local context.

Professionals need training, intersectoral health and education support and high-quality resources. The plan must include public health risk assessments of services outside direct school control – such as public transport used by children and parents.

Finally, because of the lower learning autonomy of young children, and the early onset of social and educational inequalities, priority should be given – as in Denmark, France and Germany – to primary school reopening before secondary schools.

2. Organising to protect students and staff

Research confirms the value of social distancing combined with frequent hand washing or sanitiser use. Mask-wearing remains a controversial issue, although a recent review recommends widespread adoption in line with the “precautionary principle” when scientific data remain elusive. The mask offers limited protection, but it is a visual reminder and could provide a “behavioural boost”. A robust reopening plan must include all these hygiene measures.

The number of students present simultaneously in different spaces can be reduced by specifying methods of circulation in the establishment. Classrooms can be reorganised to increase the space between students and breaks and lunchtimes can be staggered. If teachers move between classrooms instead of students, circulation around buildings can be reduced. School weeks could also be shortened and different groups of students can attend on different days throughout the week. School transport will need reorganisation.

3. A hybrid approach

The lockdown period has led to the exploration of new teaching methods, such as online learning. In countries where these changes have been studied, a large majority of teachers and parents have adapted well to distance teaching and learning, but a minority face significant difficulties.

Specific arrangements will be needed for students who need more support. In the UK, the launch of a scheme to supply laptops and routers to disadvantaged students during lockdown highlights the fact that some homes lack the equipment, quiet space and broadband connectivity students need.

Given that it will most likely be necessary to reorganise school and home attendance times, there is already a need to prepare for hybrid teaching arrangements. That will mean thinking more often about the individual needs of pupils to help reduce inequalities.

4. Redefining our vision of the epidemic

Absenteeism of both students and professionals can be very high during epidemics due to both illness and voluntary withdrawal. Everyone, therefore, needs to be empowered to understand why schools are reopened even if the “war” against the virus is not won. They need to be helped to develop a more operational vision of the epidemic for their own ongoing daily lives.

The epidemics of Sars, Mers, HIV/AIDS and Ebola disease were controlled mainly by screening and population-based approaches to protection. This calls for the development of citizen skills and personal responsibility. To understand how to live with the virus, it seems important to help everyone to understand that a new balance will be established – not by the virus disappearing, but by limiting its transmission.

When classes reopen, it will be essential for students to reinforce their knowledge of microorganisms (and not only viruses) and to have a more ecological vision of the relationship between microbes and everyday health. They will need to work on media literacy and critical thinking. Existing curriculum materials such as the EU “e-bug” series may be helpful in this regard.

How the World will look after the Coronavirus Pandemic

4 Abril 2020

 Cerca de un centenar de aislados en las residencias de mayores y ...

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

9 Marzo 2020

Resultado de imagen de coronavirus

27th January, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, is an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust (Resolution of the UN)

2 Febrero 2020

 27th January is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The atrocity of war left little chance to survive, but in spite of this, there were courageous men and women of different nationalities, who took great risks to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Let’s share amazing stories to remember the Righteous Among the Nations. Let’s show the world the lesson of the Holocaust is not only one of sadness, but also a lesson of courage, dignity, compassion, and heroism.

Resultado de imagen de the righteous among the nations

The Ocean Cleanup

9 Enero 2020

 Resultado de imagen de The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is awarded Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, August 27, 2019 – The Ocean Cleanup has been chosen as one of five recipients for the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award. The Macquarie Group Foundation chose The Ocean Cleanup because of the unique nature of the project, the boldness of its mission, and the motivation and dedication of the team. The award of $10 million (AUD) will be received over a five-year period.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary Macquarie Group, through its philanthropic arm the Macquarie Group Foundation, will award $10 million (AUD) to five non-profit organizations who have a project which will have a lasting community benefit.

Boyan Slat, CEO and Founder, said in response to being a recipient of the award: “It is very exciting to be one of the five nonprofits chosen for the Macquarie Anniversary Award. I am honored that they have chosen to support our mission. With this funding we will be able to begin designing our next cleanup system and make our way to scaling up to a full fleet.”

Those who are awarded have met a select criteria for eligibility, including: an organization who is a registered nonprofit, operations have been in place for at least three years, has an annual operating budget of a minimum $4 million (AUD), data and evidence must be provided to support the expected outcomes and proposals of the organization, and the proposed project must be delivered within five years of an agreed project timeline.

On behalf of the Macquarie Group Foundation, Mary Reemst, Chair, added: “The Ocean Cleanup is a bold idea to confront the significant challenge of restoring our ocean ecosystem. This is a unique opportunity to profoundly impact our environment, pursuing an ambitious solution to remove plastic waste from our oceans with significant benefits for wildlife, the food chain, and community health.”

In 2019, The Ocean Cleanup aims to reach proof of technology with its cleanup system that is currently deployed in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Once this is achieved, The Ocean Cleanup will begin to design, procure, and assemble our next system. The award funds will be used to facilitate the development of this next system and to begin the process of scale-up to a full fleet of cleanup systems.

The Ocean Cleanup is honored to have made it through the application process and to be one of the finalists of the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award. With the support of the Macquarie Foundation, The Ocean Cleanup is making another important step towards realizing its mission of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic.

Further details about the Award and all the winners and their projects can be found on

The Climate Summit will be held in Madrid from 2nd to 13th December 2019

2 Diciembre 2019

 The Climate Summit will be held in Madrid from 2nd to 13th December 2019

The  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has issued a brief communication announcing that the 25th edition of the Climate Summit will be held in Madrid. The COP25 has thus taken only a few days to select a new venue after the recent renunciation by the government of Chile due to the violent protests currently taking place in the country.

The press release, whose content was approved by Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s executive secretary for climate change, maintains the scheduled dates of December 2nd to 13th, and establishes the Feria de Madrid (IFEMA) as the venue for the international meeting. The event is expected to attract between 20,000 and 25,000 delegates from the 197 member countries, according to estimates by the summit organizers in Chile.

Spanish offer

Chile officially renounced the organization of the COP25 on Wednesday, October 30th. The decision was notified by the Chilean president Sebastián Piñera, to Farhan Haq, the UN’s deputy spokesperson, who said: “There have been past precedents of cases where the hosting country is not the same as the venue countries”. This has allowed Chile to retain the presidency of the meeting and hence the leadership in spite of not hosting the event.

One day later, Pedro Sánchez, the acting prime minister of the Spanish government, conveyed to his Chilean counterpart Spain’s willingness to “collaborate in everything required, including, if necessary, hosting the Climate Summit in Madrid”. Chile can thus capitalize on “the immense effort that it has made since the start of its preparations for the summit ten months ago”, in the words of the Spanish government’s communication.

Third venue in under 12 months

For the Spanish government: “The multinational action on the climate is a priority on the agenda of the United Nations and the European Union and demands a major commitment from everyone”. The event will still be chaired by Carolina Schmidt, the Chilean Minister of the Environment.

Chile had already taken over from Brazil when president Jair Bolsonaro renounced the presidency and organization of the COP25 when he came to power. The climate summit has thus suffered two setbacks this year before finding its definitive site.

Gabriel García, chairman of the Madrid Hotel Association (AEHM), was quick to react. In declarations published by Europa Press he said that the Spanish capital is “more than prepared” to host this event and mentioned a very recent precedent, the final of the Copa Libertadores, which was also held in Madrid in December 2018 after an outbreak of unrest in Buenos Aires before the match.

Is it safe for a teenager to be vegan?

4 Noviembre 2019

Being vegan means you don’t consume or use any animal products, which means everything from not eating cheese (I know, I know), to not wearing leather, and only using beauty products that are cruelty-free. Most people choose to try a vegan lifestyle for one of the following reasons: to save the planet by reducing the impact on global warming, for ethical reasons and animal rights, or to improve their health. All are very valid reasons to try it even for a short period of time. Being vegan means being more conscious of what goes in and on your body, and it can require planning ahead whenever possible to set yourself up for success.

Like anything, adopting a new lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. Here are some tips that should help get you get started. Chose a few at a time and implement them slowly. (And of course, make sure you talk to a health or nutrition professional to make sure your nutritional needs are met on a vegan diet!)

Octoberfest 2019 Begins

2 Octubre 2019

  Resultado de imagen de oktoberfest 2019

The 186th Oktoberfest is officially under way. The mayor of Munich opened the annual event, and the first glass of beer was filled.

Millions of party lovers from across the globe travel to Munich each September to visit the world’s most famous beer festival.

People expect that more than 7 million litres of beer will be consumed during the 15-day event. People can enjoy the festival in 38 big tents. They can also take part in some historical tours.

Salman Khan and the Khan Academy

13 Septiembre 2019

Salman Khan and the Khan Academy, Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation

 Resultado de imagen de Salman Khan khan academy

Salman Khan and the Khan Academy have been bestowed with the 2019 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, as made public in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

Son of an Indian mother and Bangladeshi father, Salman Amin Khan was born on 11th October 1976 in New Orleans (Louisiana, USA) , where he grew up. A graduate in Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Khan earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University, after which he began working as a financial analyst. In 2004, Salman Khan offered to help his cousin Nadia with her Maths schoolwork. Due to living in different cities, they communicated by telephone with the support of some basic computer tools. As this formula yielded quite positive results, within a short time Khan was remotely monitoring the progress of several relatives with similar problems at school. In 2006, Salman Khan began publishing videos on the YouTube platform explaining his lessons so that everyone could view them on their own. These videos began to be seen by more and more people, who encouraged him to continue publishing new lessons. So, in 2008 he created the Khan Academy, a non-profit organization to which he has devoted himself full time since 2009, when he presented his resignation from the investment fund for which he was then working.

Salman Khan’s academic preparation and his teaching capacity quickly led him to discover his interest in the field of education. The Khan Academy is the consolidation of an innovative, transformative format that offers free educational material on the Internet for all ages, from primary through to high school. Although the content was initially aimed at students, it has gradually become a very useful tool for teachers who wish to complement their classroom lessons with additional material. Oriented towards mathematics in its origins, the educational platform has gradually opened up to new fields including science, history and grammar.

The Khan Academy is currently found in more than 190 countries, with nearly sixty million registered users. It also has around 20 000 videos available that have been viewed more than 1400 million times. Complementing the function of the videos by offering the possibility of monitoring individual student progress, doing practice exercises or providing additional tools to teachers, the Academy’s web platform is available in five languages in addition to English: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Turkish and Bengali, and its videos have been translated into 36 languages. The Khan Academy also offers the possibility of preparing for general college and medical college admission tests (SAT and MCAT, respectively). In 2017, it became an official partner for the preparation of American College Board tests and, since 2018, it also offers preparation for law school admission tests (LSAT). The Academy likewise promotes the concept of the ‘flipped classroom’, which seeks to ‘flip’ the traditional teaching method, encouraging students to prepare theory at home so as to allocate class time to the more practical part, working directly with the teacher. Salman Khan’s commitment is thus to the universality of education and the empowerment of people from an early age. His motto is: “You only have to know one thing: you can learn anything.”

Distinguished with the 2014 Heinz Award for innovative contributions in the category of the Human Condition, Salman Khan has managed both to draw the attention and seek the support of prestigious personalities and institutions such as Bill Gates, Google (2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities), Carlos Slim and Disney, among others, who have seen his project as a way to support free universal education.

As stated in the Regulations, the Princess of Asturias Awards are aimed at rewarding “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions”. In keeping with these principles, the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation shall be aimed at recognizing “individual or collective work, in cooperation with another or others, to develop and promote public health, universal education, the protection and defense of the environment, as well as the economic, cultural and social advancement of peoples.”

Each of the Princess of Asturias Awards comprises a Joan Miró sculpture –representing and symbolizing the Awards–, a cash prize of 50,000 euros, a diploma and an insignia. The awards will be presented in the autumn in Oviedo at a solemn ceremony chaired by TM The King and Queen of Spain.