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Outside the Classroom
Transforming Education through Innovation and Technology

 Innovating Teaching and Learning Practices: Key Elements for Developing Creative Classrooms in Europe The Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning  Children’s Experiences of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse on the Internet  Reflective Learning at Work – MIRROR Model, Apps and Serious Games  The International Student and the Challenges of Lifelong Learning

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eLearning Papers
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Special edition 2013
Mission Statement
eLearning Papers aims to make innovative ideas and practices in the field of learning more visible by highlighting different perspectives involving the use of technology.

eLearning Papers

eLearning Papers is an online journal highlighting the latest trends in the area, published five times a year, and offering an executive summary of each article, translated in 21 languages. eLearning Papers is free of charge, available at its own domain: www.elearningpapers.eu eLearning Papers is part of the www.elearningeuropa.info portal, an initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture, aiming to promote the use of ICT for lifelong learning. The site provides access to extensive information on policy, activities and resources and act as a European platform for cooperation and dissemination of good and innovative practice in the use of multimedia technologies and the internet for improving the quality of learning.

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By elearningeuropa.info and eLearning Papers. The views expressed are purely those of the authors and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the information contained in the present publication. The European Commission is not responsible for the external web sites referred to in the present publication. The texts published in this journal, unless otherwise indicated, are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 3.0 Unported licence. They may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e-journal that publishes them, eLearning Papers, are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. The full licence can be consulted on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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Special edition 2013 Outside the Classroom
Transforming Education through Innovation and Technology

Contents
Editorial....................................................................................................................6 In-depth....................................................................................................................7
Innovating Teaching and Learning Practices: Key Elements for Developing Creative Classrooms in Europe............................................................................................ 8 The Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning............................................... 21 Children’s Experiences of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse on the Internet........ 29

From the field.........................................................................................................39
Reflective Learning at Work – MIRROR Model, Apps and Serious Games..................... 40 The International Student and the Challenges of Lifelong Learning.............................. 44

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[ +] Jean Underwood, Professor of Psychology Nottingham Trent University, UK United Kingdom [ +]

Tapio Koskinen, Head of New Solutions, Aalto University Professional Development (Aalto PRO). Aalto. Finland [ +]

Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, Founder and Director. P .A.U. Education. Spain [ +]

Fabrizio Cardinali, Chair, European Learning Industry Group Italy [ +]

Lieve Van den Brande, Senior Policy Officer, European Commission. Belgium [ +]

Nicolas Balacheff, Kaleidoscope Scientifi c Manager; Senior Scientist at CNRS (National Scientifi c Research Center), France [ +]

Lluís Tarín, Strategic and Leadership Advisor Jesuites Education Spain [ +]

Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Director of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning University of Duisburg-Essen Germany [ +] Carles Sigalés, President’s Delegate UOC - Open University of Catalonia Barcelona. Spain [ +]

Maja Pivec, Professor FH JOANNEUM GmbH, University of Applied Sciences, Department of Information Design, Graz. Austria [ +] Katherine Maillet, Higher Education Institut National des Télécommunications France [ +]

Gráinne Conole, Professor University of Leicester United Kingdom [ +]

Hans Laugesen, Senior Educational Policy Officer. National Union of Upper Secondary School Teachers Denmark [ +]

Chief Editor
Jimena Márquez, P .A.U. Education Spain [ +]

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In-depth
In-Depth articles are full-length texts that discuss current findings from research or long-term studies. They should have the following characteristics: − Academic focus: Articles must be original, scientifically accurate and informative, reporting on new developments and recently concluded projects. − In good form editorially: Successful articles are clear and precise. They should develop their argument coherently and present a unity of thought. − Length: Articles should range from 4,000 to 6,000 words.

From the field
From the field articles are synopses of current practices or studies taking place within Europe or beyond. They should have the following characteristics: − Brief communications: These articles should summarise experiencies and practices in education, innovation and technology with a focus on the applied methodologies and impact evaluation. − In good form editorially: Successful articles are clear and precise, they should concisely communicate the key points of the practice being discussed. − Length: Should not exceed 1,200 words.

All article submissions should be in DOC format and must include the following: − Language: Both articles and summaries must be in English. Authors are responsible for ensuring the correct use of English in their texts, and translations should be revised before submission. Please note that the journal gives strong preference to articles that are correctly translated in a legible manner. − Title: Must effectively and creatively communicate the content of the article and may include a subtitle. − Summary: This is not an executive summary but rather should communicate the key points and conclusions of the article to a large audience. It should be written in an attractive and accessible manner. In-Depth summaries should not exceed 200 words. From the field summaries should not exceed 50 words. − Key words: Authors should include up to 5 relevant key words. − Conclusions: Special importance is given to the representation of the conclusions. Articles must go beyond telling about a research process and its methodology and provide an analysis of the findings. Conclusions should be clearly stated both in the summary and at the end of the article. − Images: Please send high-resolution JPEG files of all images you wish to include in the article. Please include captions for each image and indicate where they should be placed in the text. − References: References must be accurately cited following international standards, please consult the online guidelines for more details: http://www. elearningpapers.eu/elearning_ papers/instructions_for_writers − Author profile: Author name, institution, position and email address must accompany each submission. For multiple authors, please specify the relationship of authors (ie, if a work is co-authored, if there is a principal author, etc.)

Authors are encouraged to consult the website for the most recent call for papers: www.elearningpapers.eu

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Outside the Classroom
Transforming Education through Innovation and Technology
The integration of digital media and technology in education is a policy priority throughout Europe. Despite this, technology is only marginally used in an educational context. The gap between its potential and actual use is a paradox. It has been shown that better tools, design methods and approaches are needed to help teachers create pedagogically effective learning activities - as well as complete curricula - that take full advantage of technology. To be successful today, students and professionals must continually update their knowledge and skills, becoming participants in a process of constant vocational and professional development. This development indicates a cultural shift that transforms communication, knowledge and learning. In light of changing schools and the evolution towards open educational practices1, the Special Edition of eLearning Papers 2013 has selected five articles from last year discussing this transformation in our schools, institutions and learning centres. The first article describes a vision for ‘Creative Classrooms’ as a holistic learning approach that embraces the potential of ICT as an innovator for learning and teaching practices within and beyond the physical classroom. At the heart of this approach are new pedagogical practices that emerge when teachers use ICT to organise new and improved forms of openended, collaborative learning activities. The concept reaches system level by providing eight comprehensive dimensions and 28 building blocks. The second article observes learning from a perspective that is novel to our community. Today’s advanced research in neuroscience shows that brain ageing may be reversible: the brain retains its plasticity through all stages of life, and can restructure its mapping through learning experiences. In other words, learning contributes to keeping elderly people mentally active and flexible. Two of the articles focus on games. The MIRROR model proves that apps can support and increase the effectiveness of reflective learning. GGULIVRR presents learning communities with a framework that enables learners to practice and improve digital skills while creating and playing contextual mobile games. The last article in the selection provides insight into the prevalence of online sexual abuse of children. The article presents the results of a survey that are cause for concern. Online sexual abuse appears to be a far-reaching problem requiring serious police intervention and child protection actions. We would like to extend special thanks to all of our contributors whose work represents the research practices and themes that our journal fosters, and thank our readers for their continued enthusiasm and collaboration. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pierre-Antoine Ullmo www.elearningpapers.eu Member of the Editorial Board Founder and Director of P .A.U. Education [ +] Tapio Koskinen www.elearningpapers.eu Director of the Editorial Board Design and Innovation Initiative, Secretary General, Aalto University [ +]

1 

“Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, 20/11/2012.

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Fostering analysis and discussion on Learning trends in Europe nnovating Teaching and Learning Practices: I Key Elements for Developing Creative Classrooms in Europe  he Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and Lifelong T Learning  hildren’s Experiences of Sexual Harassment C and Sexual Abuse on the Internet

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Innovating Teaching and Learning Practices: Key Elements for Developing Creative Classrooms in Europe [ ]
Authors Stefania Bocconi Research fellow at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies stefania.bocconi@ec.europa.eu [ +]

In-depth

Panagiotis Kampylis

Research fellow at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies panagiotis.kampylis@ec.europa.eu [ +]

Yves Punie

Senior scientist at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies yves.punie@ec.europa.eu [ +]

Summary

This paper looks at how to innovate teaching and learning practices at system level. It describes the vision for ‘Creative Classrooms’ and makes a consolidated proposal for their implementation, clarifying their holistic and systemic nature, their intended learning outcomes, and their pedagogical, technological, and organisational dimensions for innovation. ‘Creative Classrooms’ (CCR) are conceptualized as innovative learning environments that fully embed the potential of ICT to innovate learning and teaching practices in formal, nonformal and informal settings. The proposed multi-dimensional concept for CCR consists of eight encompassing and interconnected key dimensions and a set of 28 reference parameters (‘building blocks’). At the heart of the CCR concept lie innovative pedagogical practices that emerge when teachers use ICT in their efforts to organize newer and improved forms of open-ended, collaborative, and meaningful learning activities, rather than simply to enhance traditional pedagogies, such as expository lessons and task-based learning. A preliminary analysis of two existing cases of ICT-enabled innovation for learning is presented in order to show (i) how the proposed key dimensions and reference parameters are implemented in real-life settings to configure profoundly diverse types of CCR and (ii) to depict the systemic approach needed for the sustainable implementation and progressive up-scaling of Creative Classrooms across Europe.

1. Setting the scene
Educational stakeholders recognise the role of ICT as a key enabler of innovation and creativity in E&T and for learning in general. Throughout Europe there are diverse national policies for ICT in education and many activities are undertaken to promote the use of ICT in education and training in Europe (Eurydice, 2011). Innovating in Education and Training (E&T) is also a key priority in several flagships of the Europe 2020 Strategy: for example the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs, Youth on the Move, the Digital Agenda and the Innovation Agenda (European Commission, 2010a). The need for more innovative Education and Training also has been confirmed by the work of the ICT cluster consisting of representatives of Member States under the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) E&T 2010 (European Commission, 2010b).

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Creative classrooms, innovative pedagogical practices, ICT-enabled innovation for learning, systemic approach, educational change
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However, it was also highlighted that there is still an implementation gap in formal education settings. International surveys such as PISA (OECD, 2011), EURYDICE (2011) and STEPS project (Balanskat, 2009) describe the seriousness of this implementation gap, its negative implication on learning outcomes and the need to take immediate action. The Digital Agenda Assembly session on “Mainstreaming e-Learning in education and training” in June 2011, confirmed that only a few innovative projects manage to reach beyond the early adopters’ stage. The key issue is how to tackle large-scale implementation of ICT-enabled innovation for learning: “We need to scale-up, learn from each other, be clear about visions, goals and outcomes and we need to act now” are amongst the main messages reported (European Commission, 2011). Putting ICT-enabled innovation for learning into practice on a large scale, involving large and diverse groups of learners and/or teachers/instructors at system level, has different enablers and barriers to small-scale projects and initiatives (Kampylis, Bocconi, & Punie, 2012). Thus, there is a need to clearly articulate the essential components of innovative learning environments associated with a systemic innovation of Education and Training. In general, the more innovative an initiative is, the more challenging it is to scale up (Law,Yuen, & Fox, 2011). As a result, a huge individual and collective
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effort from all the practitioners involved is required, as well as adequate support and recognition at system level of key factors such as teachers’ professional development in the pedagogical use of ICT or changing assessment strategies and curricula (OECD/CERI, 2010a; Ottestad, 2010). This contribution is based on the initial results of a study on “Up-scaling Creative Classrooms in Europe” (SCALE CCR) launched by the Information Society Unit at European Commission Joint Research Centre - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) in December 2011 on behalf of the Directorate-General Education and Culture (DG EAC), to be completed in June 2013. The study will identify and analyse existing initiatives of ICTenabled innovation for learning (i.e. Creative Classrooms) and clarify the nature of their innovative activities (cf. concept development), their aims (e.g. pedagogical, technological, organisational innovation), outcomes, impacts, and implementation and dissemination strategies. A set of policy recommendations for educational policymakers, stakeholders, and practitioners for the progressively up-taking of ICT-enabled innovation for learning across Europe will also be developed. The conceptualization of Creative Classrooms requires not only that the key characteristics of innovative pedagogical practices be detailed

at organizational, curricular, and assessment levels, but also an articulation of the systemic capability (at micro, meso and macro level) which involves the whole schools community practices. This conceptualization is based on previous and ongoing IPTS research works (e.g. Cachia, Ferrari, Ala-Mutka, & Punie, 2010; Redecker, Ala-Mutka, Bacigalupo, Ferrari, & Punie, 2009; Redecker et al., 2011), and also on approaches emerging from the wider international context (cf. for example: European Schoolnet, 2009; Facer & Sandford, 2010; Fullan, 2011; Hannon, 2009; IBM Global Education, 2009; Law, et al., 2011; Levin, 2008; OECD/CERI, 2012; Reflection Group on the Future of the EU 2030, 2010; Shapiro, Haahr, Bayer, & Boekholt, 2007).

2. What are Creative Classrooms?
‘Creative Classrooms’1 (CCR) are conceptualized here as innovative learning environments that fully embed the potential of ICT to innovate learning and teaching practices (Bocconi, Kampylis & Punie, 2012). The term ‘creative’ refers to the innovation of learning and teaching processes through technologies (e.g. collaboration, personalization, entrepreneurship, etc.). Likewise, the term ‘classrooms’ is used in its widest sense to include all types of learning environments: formal, nonformal and informal. 

Creative Classrooms’ concept originates from European Commission – DG EAC policies with the aim to support the mainstreaming of ICT-enabled ‘ innovation for learning. Currently, an EU funding call is open for policy experimentations on the implementation of innovative learning environments using ICT (http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/llp/funding/2012/call_et_2012_en.php).

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At the heart of CRR lie innovative pedagogical practices; inside CCR, open education principles (e.g.Iiyoshi & Kumar, 2008) are fully implemented, as learners are provided with concrete opportunities for developing 21st century skills, such as problem-solving, inquiry, and collaboration. Learning practices are flexible and engaging, designed to meet learners’ individual needs and expectations. In order to capture the complexity and richness of these learning eco-systems (Law, et al., 2011), a multi-dimensional concept for CCR is proposed (Bocconi, et al., 2012). It consists of eight encompassing and interconnected dimensions, which capture the essential nature of CCR. These are: Content and Curricula, Assessment, Learning Practices,Teaching Practices, Organization, Leadership and Values, Connectedness, and Infrastructure. A set of 28 reference parameters (building blocks) unravel the most innovative elements of the multidimensional CCR concept, by clarifying and exemplifying the key enablers of CCR. The aim of the reference parameters is also to depict the systemic approach needed for the sustainable implementation and progressive up-scaling of CCR across Europe. Figure 1 shows the interconnectedness between the eight key dimensions and the 28 reference parameters of CCR. Numbered bullets located in the centre of the figure represent the main

Figure 1: Creative Classrooms key dimensions and building blocks

connection of reference parameters with corresponding key dimensions; the smaller bullets depict a second level of interconnections with other CCR dimensions. For instance, the reference parameter “(12) Rearranging physical space” is mainly connected with the dimension “Infrastructure” (light blue numbered bullet), but it also impacts on “Leadership and values” and on “Learning practices” as depicted by the smaller light blue bullets. Innovation goes hand in hand with all eight dimensions, all of which are equally necessary for CCR, and significant effort should be made to address them all. To this end, CCR innovative learning environments need to be inspired and supported

by innovative policies, ensuring the progressive implementation at system level of all CCR encompassing elements (OECD/CERI, 2010b). These proposed eight dimensions and the related set of 28 reference parameters build on previous IPTS studies (Cachia, et al., 2010; Ferrari, Cachia, & Punie, 2009; Redecker, Ala-Mutka, & Punie, 2009; Redecker, et al., 2011) and other relevant works on creative learning and innovative pedagogies using ICT (ACOT2, 2008; Johnson, Smith, Willis, Levine, & Haywood, 2011; Kennisnet, 2011; Law, et al., 2011; Microsoft, 2011; OECD/ CERI, 2010a; OECD/CERI, 2010b; Shapiro, et al., 2007). Furthermore, consultations with educational

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policymakers, stakeholders and practitioners (e.g. DG EAC Thematic Working Group on ICT in Education consisting of representative of Member States Ministries of Education, eTwinning teachers) contributed to the further development and validation of the multidimensional CCR concept. The main characteristic of each CCR dimension, described in details in Bocconi, et al. (2012), are briefly summarised below: • Content & curricula: in order to leave enough room for experimentation and creativity and provide learners with concrete opportunities for developing 21st century skills (e.g. problem-solving, inquiry and communication), CCR content and curricula should be open, flexible, linked to real-life contexts and regularly updated, drawing on evidence-based research (Kampylis, 2010; Law, Pelgrum, & Plomp, 2008; Law, et al., 2011). • Assessment: shifting from traditional assessment of knowledge acquisition to innovative ICT-enabled approaches, CCR (e)Assessment strategies should transcend the standardize testing paradigm and develop integrated, authentic and holistic assessment formats that replicate real life contexts (Redecker, Punie, & Ferrari, 2012; Villalba, 2009). • Learning practices: focusing on the experience of learning and how
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learners engage with it (Bocconi & Trentin, 2012; Craft, 2011), learning practices established in CCR should be flexible, playful and engaging, meeting students’ individual needs and expectations, enabling self-regulation (Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011) as well as peer-learning. • Teaching practices: the role of the teacher in CCR should be that of a mentor, orchestrator and facilitator of learning (Cachia, et al., 2010; Hannon, 2009), acting as a rolemodel of creativity and innovation and applying expertise in pedagogy developed through adequate training opportunities and participation in professional networks (Kampylis, 2010). • Organization: CCR organisational practices for learning should be co-owned and shared among all community members, implying progressive breadth and depth of action to meet local circumstances and needs (Levin, 2008). Monitoring mechanisms should evaluate progress and effectively refocus organizational practices (Seidel, Tishman, Winner, Hetland, & Palmer, 2009). • Leadership and Values: school leadership inside CCR should be open and participatory and should play a crucial role in orchestrating innovations by applying in practice values like equity and inclusion (Hannon, 2008; OECD, 2012b) and by supporting staff professional development.

• Connectedness: focusing on the social and emotional factors that impact on engagement and motivation (ACOT2, 2008; Law, et al., 2011), CCR should empower both teachers and learners to connect with ideas, (their) interests and people (e.g. peers and parents), thus opening up and broadening the learning experience (OECD, 2012a). • Infrastructure: CCR should sustain a dynamic (technological and physical) infrastructure to facilitate, communicate and disseminate innovative practices and to extend the boundaries of the learning space (Burke, 2007). Effective support structures are also needed to implement smoothly all necessary technologies. In Table 1, the current set of 28 reference parameters of CCR are briefly described, including some concrete examples. In the following section, CCR key dimensions and building blocks are applied to two existing cases of ICTenabled innovation for learning in Europe.

3.  Two cases of Creative Classrooms in Europe
Case 1: Monkseaton High School (UK)
Monkseaton High School (http:// www.monkseaton.org.uk/Pages/Home. aspx) is a British Trust School2 with 700+ students aged 13 to 18 (Year 9 to Year 13). The school holds specialist 

onkseaton became England’s first Trust School in August 2007. The partners are the Monkseaton High School, Microsoft, Tribal Education, North Tyneside Council M and the Chair, Professor David Reynolds. The focus of the Trust is applying technology and neuroscience to education at the school and creating, testing and sharing solutions for better ways of learning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkseaton_High_School).

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eLearningPapers Table 1: Creative Classrooms reference parameters

In-depth

Reference Parameter
Fostering Emotional Intelligence

Description
In CCR, emotional intelligence should be recognised as a key factor for creative learning. A variety of activities help learners to manage emotions and form positive relationships. ICT enable the use of learning resources that foster learners’ emotional knowledge skills (e.g. self-awareness, empathy for others) (Domitrovich, Cortes, & Greenberg, 2007).

Example
PATHS is an example of successful promotion of socio-emotional competences. This is realized with practical tools for teachers to implement goal-oriented cultural education. Source: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ ceri/49750409.pdf The Media Lab at MIT engages learners in cross-disciplinary projects in a wide range of domains (e.g. nanotechnology and music). Source: http://www.media.mit.edu/about/ mission-history The Enrichment Programme implemented in a Slovenian school aims to increase learners’ inner motivation for learning by respecting their “interests and ideas” . Source: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ ceri/49768501.pdf Projects being developed in Fab labs at MIT’s Center for Bits & Atoms provide authentic learning and soft skills development. Source: http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/faq/ In Cyprus, the ‘simulation sample enterprises’ programme foster students to work on a specific area of entrepreneurship. Source: Eurydice p. 26: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/ eurydice/documents/thematic_ reports/135EN.pdf The CONNECT Project included interventions in Irish North & South schools that target the causes of anti-social behaviour and community disengagement by means of an innovative ICT-enabled approach. Source: http://scotens.org/ docs/2010-mvet.pdf Flipped classrooms follow a reversed teaching and learning model: learners watch lectures and at home and use the classroom time to interact with peers and teachers. Source: http://www.techsmith.com/flippedclassroom.html In the Qualities of Quality project, achieving quality in K-12 arts programs is an ongoing examination of programmatic, personal purposes, values, and “in the room” action. Source: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/research/ Quality.htm

Fostering multiple modes of thinking

In CCR, teachers should encourage learners to develop their talents and creative potential to the fullest extent in all possible areas (notion of polymathy) (Kaufman, Beghetto, Baer, & Ivcevic, 2010). ICT applications (e.g. audio editing) offer unprecedented opportunities for exploratory learning and creativity. CCR teachers should build on learners’ strengths, potentials and preferences (i.e. understanding their backgrounds, interests, skills) as crucial resources and drivers for motivation to learning. ICT offer multiple ways to express learners’ interests (e.g. through social networks) and can facilitate the development of their creative potential. In CCR, a great variety of activities should address transversal soft skills such as problem solving, collaboration and cultural awareness, in order to facilitate the learning of the hard, subjectspecific skills. ICT provide means for fostering soft skills, as the ability to communicate and work in team. CCR should provide learners with more opportunities to initiate, design and implement real-life projects with emphasis on innovative products/services for the school community in order to create a culture that values sensible risk taking, entrepreneurship, and innovation (Eurydice, 2012). ICT offer opportunities for both real and/or virtual entrepreneurship.

Building on individual strengths and preferences

Fostering soft skills

Facilitating (social) entrepreneurship

Applying in practice social inclusion and equity

In CCR, all learners (gifted students, migrants, drop-outs, etc.) should be provided with equal opportunities and appropriate means for quality learning, in order to mitigate social disadvantage and reduce schools failures. Evidence shows that ICT-enabled approaches offer tailored learning opportunities (and contents) inside and outside of E&T institutions (OECD, 2012a, 2012b). Informal and non-formal and learning that takes place outside formal settings should be recognized. Recognition of (both students and teachers) achievements constitutes a core factor inside CCR. The potential of ICT is exploited to facilitate ubiquitous learning through open educational resources (e.g. online videos, podcasting). CCR should develop and communicate a clear framework for quality, transparent to all members of the wider school community, in order to monitor and enhance quality in teaching, learning and assessment. ICT offers a broad variety of versatile tools to support incremental approaches and systematic review of implementation strategies.

Recognizing informal and nonformal learning

Monitoring quality

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Reference Parameter
Innovating timetables

Description
Innovative, flexible (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996), and tailored-made timetables should be used for providing teachers and learners with more opportunities to engage in creative learning in CCR. ICT offer new tools (e.g. online shared calendars) for sharing timetables and facilitate time management.

Example
A primary school in Seville, Spain has adopted an innovative timetable, dividing lessons in 15-20 minutes with subgroups coordinated by various actors. Source OECD: http://www.oecd.org/ dataoecd/0/61/49930737 .pdf Numerous large-scale 1-to-1 computing initiatives currently undertaken in Europe represent a qualitative move toward ubiquitous access to online resources through a personal device (netbooks) for all the learners. Source: http://resources.eun.org/insight/ Netbooks_on_the_rise.pdf The project “World of stars” offers tools (e.g. chat, videoconference) to children who have a long stay in hospital to communicate with school, peers and family. Source: http://www.mundodeestrellas.es/ opencms/index.html Vittra schools have adopted a new pedagogical approach, without any traditional classrooms. The challenging design and pedagogical zones offer a space for innovative pedagogical practices. Source: http://vittra.se/english/VittraEnglish. aspx The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a privately developed curriculum (adopted by over 1000 schools in 65 countries) providing a cross-curricular, thematic structure. Source: http://www. internationalprimarycurriculum.com Online laboratories allow learners and teachers to carry out experiments with advanced equipment. Source: https://wikis.mit.edu/confluence/ display/ILAB2/iLabs Stop-motion animation techniques are used in many schools worldwide for learning-bycreating. For instance, Daylesford Primary School students’ create their own clay animations working in small groups. Source: https://fuse.education.vic.gov.au/ pages/View.aspx?pin=7C8E6E Lego Mindstorms engages students in learning-by-playing e.g. Winterfest Source: http://is.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pages/ EAP/eInclusion/games/documents/Buchem_ CASE_Wintertest_short.pdf

Levelling-up and functioning ICT infrastructure

ICT infrastructure should reach adequate performance and interoperability in order to provide learners and staff with access to multimedia-rich contents and online services for innovative pedagogies in CCR. Research (e.g. Redecker & Punie, 2010) shows that ICT-based infrastructures such as broadband networks, cloud computing, web applications, and tablets offer great opportunities for innovating learning and teaching practices. CCR should make use of technological means in order to modernize existing services and/or offer totally new services both for formal and informal learning. ICT offer powerful tools for updating existing services (e.g. school library offering e-books) or introducing innovative services (e.g. online courses for ill students) for learning 24/7 . The CCR physical space should take advantage of colours, sounds, materials etc. in order to provide a flexible, aestheticallyappealing and inspiring environment for learning (Burke, 2007). Moreover, the physical CCR space should cover as far as possible learners’ special needs. ICT tools (e.g. video projectors) can be used for creating an easily adaptable physical space.

Innovating and renovating services

Rearranging physical space

Learning across disciplines / subjects

In CCR, a variety of learning materials should be organized thematically to foster “horizontal connectedness” (OECD, 2012a) and enable learners to analyse and understand things by multiple perspectives (Cachia, et al., 2010). ICT offer innovative ways to retrieve information from different domains and to create rich multimodal content. CCR should enable learners to explore complex concepts and manipulate ideas in order to enhance their critical thinking and ability to make connections about seemingly unrelated concepts. ICT offer new means such as online access to remote laboratories for exploratory learning. CCR should actively engage learners in producing and generating their own contents (artefacts) in order to nurture creative imagination, innovation attitude and authentic learning. ICT offer the means for designing, (re-) creating, and communicating learner-generated content worldwide, in new and cost-effective ways, from blogs, to wikis, to video making and sharing. CCR should extensively embed (both physical and mental) playfulness in order to fully engage students in the learning process. ICT offer great opportunities for playful learning through a great variety of digital games and simulations.

Learning-byexploring

Learning-bycreating

Learning-byplaying

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Reference Parameter
Addressing multiple intelligences and learning styles

Description
CCR should give value and provide the means (i.e. plurality of tasks, contents, etc.) for addressing multiple learning styles (e.g. Dunn & Dunn, 2008) and intelligences of learners (Gardner, 1999). Evidence shows that ICT have great potential to foster multiple intelligences (e.g. blogs/intrapersonal intelligence; motion-controlled videogames/body-kinesthetic intelligence).

Example
Within the framework of the Comenius project EduComics the creation of online comics is used to facilitate multiple learning styles, engage and motivate students, and utilize technology in a practical and effective way. Source: http://www.educomics.org Crescent Girls School in Singapore distinguishes itself in its exemplary educational practices that empower students to be self-directed learners equipped with important skills required for the 21st century. Source: http://www.crescent.edu.sg/ At E-Classrooms at Škofja Loka-Mesto Elementary School, a virtual learning environment is used in order to personalize student learning, foster creativity and innovation, and improve students’ digital literacy. Source: http://www.oecd.org/ dataoecd/1/38/49930715.pdf Fiskars elementary school provides students with active learning in authentic “real life” contexts through an innovative partnership with local artists. Source: http://www.oecd.org/ dataoecd/32/28/49750430.pdf eTwinning projects offer teachers from around Europe the opportunity to collaborate with their counterparts in designing and implementing innovative pedagogies. Source: http://www.etwinning.net/en/pub/ news/press_corner/statistics.cfm Several initiatives across Europe support teachers in using platforms to exchange and reuse learning resources. Source: http://lemill.net

Empowering selfregulated learning

CCR should empower learners with self-regulation skills in order to help them take control of their learning process, promoting self-directed learning skills and supporting reflection and metacognition (Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011). ICT provide attractive, encouraging and engaging environments that foster selfdirected learning, helping learners to cope with lifelong learning.

Personalised learning

In CCR, learners should be at the centre of any learning process. Accordingly, curricula and methods are continuously sensitively adjusted to respond to individual learners’ needs, fostering their motivation and self-expression (Redecker, et al., 2011). ICT increases opportunities for personalized learning, e.g. maintaining detailed data on learners’ academic progress and using OER for tailor-made learning activities. CCR activities should be carried out in an authentic context, encouraging learners to apply their prior knowledge, inquiry and independent thinking to enhance both soft and hard skills. ICT offer unprecedented opportunities for engaging learners in meaningful activities (e.g. museums virtual tours, geotagging, etc.). As learning is a social process, CCR should constantly encourage peer collaboration. This fosters learners’ ability to think both independently and with others, enabling them to consider a plurality of perspectives. Synchronous/asynchronous online peer collaboration in networks and communities of practice transcend space /time limitations and are likely to increase creative learning. CCR should make consistent use/reuse and remix of existing OER to broaden and update the curriculum and achieve the desired/expected learning outcomes. ICT increase opportunities for sharing/reusing/exchanging of resources, fostering learning communities around OER which contribute to raising stakeholders’ motivation to use OER. In CCR, assessment should incorporate creative tasks in order to engage and motivate learners while assessing complex skills (e.g. collaboration) developed inside and outside school, which cannot be measured by conventional assessment. ICT have the potential to keep track of, process and communicate the learning progress of each student in totally new ways (e.g. e-portfolios). CCR should embed a plurality of methods and tools for formative self- and peer-assessment, by assessing learners’ competences (rather than factual knowledge) for monitoring and feedback purposes. ICT tools (e.g. online forms, flash cards, study games creators) can provide immediate feedback to students.

Meaningful activities

Facilitating peer-topeer collaboration

Using/reusing and creating Open Educational Resources (OER)

Engaging assessment formats

The Danish Pedagogical Platform utilizes three different portfolios (working, selection, and presentational) portfolios to foster learners’ competences of ‘knowledge’, ‘self-assessment’, ‘conduct’, and ‘being’. Source: http://www.oecd.org/ dataoecd/32/55/49749695.pdf The University of Manchester (UK) is investigating peer-assessment in two contrasting scenarios. Source: http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/ltia/ issue4/langanwheater.shtml

Embedding formative assessment

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Reference Parameter
Learning events

Description
The CCR community should actively and systematically participate in learning events and also organise them (f2f, online and blended). ICT have the potential to deliver educational courses worldwide and offer innovative ways for online lifelong learning e.g. Massive Open Online Courses (Conole, 2010).

Example
The eTwinning Group Creative Classroom uses ICT for delivering online open learning events on topics related to creativity in formal education context. Source: http://groups.etwinning.net/web/ creative-classroom/welcome) Absolutely Intercultural uses podcast to facilitate intercultural dialogue in formal and informal learning settings, engaging students and teachers on intercultural simulations. Source: http://www.absolutelyintercultural.com The Ontario case shows how effective leadership should be fostered throughout the learning system, by putting in place a set of fundamental whole-system-reform strategies. Source: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/bb4e/ Ontario_CaseStudy2010.pdf In the Finnish Model Vihti, schools interact and cooperate with local municipalities, parents, NGOs, local farms and experts to learn by doing and to create sustainable learning environments outdoors. Source: http://www.oecd.org/ dataoecd/32/21/49750537 .pdf

Engaging through social networks

In CCR, social networks should be used to increase interaction in the school community, opening up and modernising internal processes (Ala-Mutka, 2010). Evidence shows that social computing (blogs, Twitter, etc.) enable learners and teachers to collaborate across cultures, language barriers, and institutional walls. CCR should implement a systemic approach to learning, defining and adopting a strategic and feasible development plan. Fostering a collective culture and engagement favours sustainable innovation and makes effective use of human resources. Social computing helps learning organisations become more dynamic, flexible and open, and also intensifies their collaboration with other organisations. CCR effectively interact and cooperate with a plurality of actors (e.g. industries, agencies, museums, etc.), on a regular basis in order to engage and experiment with social values and multiple cultures, and to support and foster learners’ motivation. ICT offer innovative, powerful and cost-effective ways of online networking, interaction, and collaboration across the boundaries of time and space.

Implementing innovation management

Networking with real-word context and actors

status in mathematics, computing and science and hosts a football academy. The Monkseaton High School has new purpose-built premises completed in the summer of 2010 that have won regional and national awards for their revolutionary design3. As shown in Figure 2, Monkseaton High School adopts innovative practices that cover 7 out of 8 CCR key dimensions and 21 out of 28 building blocks. The majority of building blocks are related to teaching and learning practices. Monkseaton High School facilitates active and engaging ways of learning such as playing by exploring, learning by creating, and learning by playing. Moreover, school’s inspiring learning spaces (rearranging physical space) allow the self-regulated learning, peer-to-peer collaboration and personalized learning
3

through playful, meaningful and crossdisciplinary activities (mainly ICT-based). Moreover, the school networks extensively with the real world context and actors. For instance, technology is widely used to inform and engage parents in their child’s learning (throughout the school portal). The school also benefits from a close and multidimensional collaboration with the Open University, which gives students the opportunity to enrol in 50 specially designed courses through the Young applicants in Schools Scheme (innovating services), and industry (Microsoft). The school’s state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure allows the development of students’ soft skills, such as problem solving and communication with the real-world context and actors, and the fostering of multiple modes of thinking

through multimodal teaching and learning materials. Most of the school’s innovations were initiated mainly by the ex-headteacher, Dr Paul Kelley, who sought to develop, test and share innovative solutions for education based on cutting-edge science and technology (innovation management). Among other innovations he introduced an innovative timetable. This is based on research on the biological mechanisms behind teenagers’ need to sleep in longer in the morning. The timetable also takes into account neuroscience research on long-term memory, and includes the ‘spaced learning’ (namely 10-minute breaks, during which distractor activities such as physical activities are performed by the students- between three intensive sessions of 15-20 minutes teaching. Thus, according to a preliminary analysis, based on literature research and online 

he design, beyond the formal teaching spaces, incorporates a number of learning areas for students to study independent of teachers. The light, airy feeling created T throughout the school encourages ‘open’ learning and is a move away from traditional, ‘institutional’ school design.

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sources, Monkseaton High School adopts a wide-ranging innovative model that impacts not only on teaching and learning practices but also on leadership and values, connectedness, content and curricula, organization and infrastructure. Following the CCR multidimensional concept, a future progressive up-taking of Monkseaton High School should focus on the shift from traditional assessment paradigms to innovative ICT-enabled assessment approaches that capture not only factual knowledge but also 21st century skills.

Case 2: Hellerup School (Denmark)
Hellerup Skole (http://www. hellerupskole.dk) is a primary and lower secondary school near Copenhagen. This public school is one of three pilot schools in Denmark (operating since 2002) and has up to 750 students and over 60 teachers. As shown in Figure 3, Hellerup school adopts innovative practices across all CCR key dimensions, implementing and building upon a significant number of CCR building blocks (24 out of 28). Though the school follows the national curriculum, several cross-disciplinary projects4 are also carried out each year, enabling students to form positive relationship (fostering emotional intelligence), while carrying out activities in authentic context (meaningful activities) and developing transversal soft 
or example see http://ingenious-science.eu/web/ F guest/hellerup-school

Figure 2: CCR key dimensions and building blocks covered by Monkseaton High School (UK)

skills (e.g. problem-solving, collaboration, etc.). This also contributes to keeping the curriculum creative and dynamic. Focus is on the individual learner (personalized learning), facilitating active and engaging ways of learning such as learning by creating and learning by playing. More than in other schools, students learn for themselves individually (learning by exploring) and with their peers (facilitating peer-to-peer collaboration). Students are also constantly challenged to take responsibility for their learning (empowering self-regulated learning). Innovating timetables are also applied: students start together for about 10 to 15 minutes and then they can choose to work alone or with their peers according to their needs.

A broad spectrum of evaluation methods is used, including logbooks, individual (digital) portfolios and student plans (engaging assessment formats). The aim is to help students become aware of their progress and future goals, as well as of how they learn (embedding formative assessment). ICT-based national tests are also part of the evaluation. The teachers also work in small (5 to 6) and autonomous teams, designing activities that address individual students’ interests and learning styles. In order to develop their professional practices, school staff participate in university-based training programmes on a regular base. The autonomy of teachers’ teams reflects the distributed leadership approach adopted by the school.

4

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The children work in constantly changing environments and collaborate with others. For two weeks of every year, children of all ages work together on a special creative art project, providing opportunities for mixed age learning and reinforcing the school community. Spaces are shaped to accommodate children and the way they learn: there are plenty of different corners, private/ collective, quiet/playful which allow children to seek their own preferred space that best fit their learning styles5. Thus, according to a preliminary analysis, based on literature research and online sources, Hellerup school implements a systemic approach to educational innovation that involves and impacts on the whole school community.

Figure 3: CCR key dimensions and building blocks covered by Hellerup Skole (Denmark)

4. Conclusions
The multi-dimensional conceptualization of ‘Creative Classroom’ proposed here, suggests that a systemic approach is needed in order to innovate teaching and learning practices. Based on the current research literature and existing best practices of ICT-enabled innovation for learning, eight key dimensions and a set of reference parameters (CCR building blocks) are identified as essential factors underpinning most innovative pedagogical practices, which lie at the core of Creative Classrooms. Two cases, the Monkseaton High School (UK) and the Hellerup

school (Denmark) illustrate how the systemic approach, captured by the proposed CCR conceptualization, can be successfully applied in practice, encouraging innovation and actively implementing a collective paradigm shift in pedagogical thinking and practices. In the framework of the SCALE CCR study, an in-depth analysis of a number of existing cases of significant scale and/or impact at system level (e.g. eTwinning) will be carried out in order to identify the enablers and bottlenecks for further take up of ICT-enabled innovation for learning in Europe. Through this in-depth analysis and an

ongoing wide-ranging consultation process with key stakeholders, policy makers and practitioners in the field of Education and Training (E&T) in Europe, concrete recommendations for the further development and mainstreaming of CCR in Europe will also be developed.

The views expressed in this article are purely those of the authors and they should not be regarded as the official position of the European Commission.

5

The unique school design is the result of collaboration between the architects, school staff, parents and even students. The goal was to ensure that the physical design of the school could support the school’s learning philosophy, which is rooted in Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (see http://www.elearningeuropa.info/ en/tv/hellerup-skole).

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The Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and Lifelong Learning [ ]
Author Eleonora Guglielman PhD, University Roma Tre, Italy mgea@ugr.es [ +]

Summary

The role of adult education is becoming increasingly important in the framework of policies to promote lifelong learning. Adult participation in training activities, however, is still rather low, despite the incentives and initiatives aimed at allowing all citizens access to education and training at all ages in their lives. Participation tends to decrease concomitantly with increasing age: the major difficulty that elderly people have in learning is due to a deterioration of brain function, causing a progressive weakening of concentration, memory and mental flexibility. Today, advanced researches in neuroscience show that brain ageing may be reversible: the brain is plastic in all stages of life, and its maps can restructure themselves through learning experiences.

and the sense of security needed to live in an autonomous and independent way; in other words, learning contributes to keep the elderly persons active and flexible (WHO, 2002). However, there is an obstacle to learning in mature age: the mental decline related to the deterioration of brain function, which is determined in the later stage of life. When the age increases, the ability to generate new synapses between neurons in response to external stimuli declines; this ability is the basis of fundamental and complex functions like memory and learning. The brain ageing causes various changes: reduction in brain volume and gray matter in particular, progressive atrophy of neurons and their interconnections, degeneration of cortical regions governing the functions of sensation, cognition, memory and motor control, metabolic decline of key neurons and loss of features related to physical and chemical deterioration (OECD, 2007). The acquiring of new knowledge and skills becomes therefore more and more difficult, and the execution of complex tasks requires more effort than the younger learners. This problem has been addressed both under the neurological and the educational side by the OECD, which in 2001 held in

1. Learning in mature age
In Europe the percentage of elderly people compared to the average age of the population is costantly increasing: withing the next 30 years, the under 24 population will decrease of 15%; according to World Health Organization’s data, 2 billion people will be aged 60 and older by 2050. Therefore, it is necessary to foster the participation of adult people in lifelong learning activities to contribute reaching Lisbon goals. The Communication Adult learning: It is never too late to learn focuses on the meaning of improving access and quality in adult education for personal development and social inclusion, listing a series of vantages

arising from system strategic actions: increased employment opportunities, increased competition, lower costs for social charges and for early retirement; among the effects on individual wellbeing: self-fulfillment, active ageing, a better health. Adult education has a crucial importance within the active ageing policy and should be recognized terms of vision, priorities and resources (Commission of the European Communities, 2006). World Health Organization has pointed out how low school levels are correlated to an augmented risk of disability and death in elderly people. Lifelong learning can support these people in acquiring new skills, and developing the awarness

Tags

neuroplasticity, lifelong learning, adult education, ageing, neuroscience
Languages
cz da de bg et el es fr it lv lt hu nl pl pt ro sk sl fi sv

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Tokyo the Forum for Learning Science and Brain Research project to discuss issues related to the nature of brain ageing and cognitive function in old age. Data gathered by OECD demonstrate that many cognitive abilities decline between the ages of 20 and 80; this reduction has effect especially on tasks like reading, recognizing letters and words, and generically on memory. The decay begins around age 30 and accelerates after age 50; it is characterized by memory lapses, delays in reasoning, communication difficulties, Freudian slips (OECD, 2002). Today the researches in neuroscience show that it is possible to prevent the deterioration of intellectual faculties, and to maintain the functionality of the brain to learn in an effective and satisfactory way even in old age; in short, learning can actually be lifelong. The key word is neuroplasticity.

were predefined and unchangeable and that the production of neurons ceased after the age of development, with the exception of structures dedicated to the memory, that continue to produce neurons throughout adulthood. The brain was considered an organ that, once reached its full development, became static and incapable of further growth and was therefore condemned to a slow and inexorable decline. The notion of plasticity was limited to the socalled critical period, that is the period corresponding to childhood pre-puberty, when the brain is particularly inclined to learn new skills with minimal effort, for example, learning a second language in addition to mother tongue. For decades the dominant model was represented by localization theory, according to which the cerebral cortex is composed of distinct regions, each one aimed at specific functions: language, vision, hearing, etc. The precursor of this idea was the German neuroanatomist Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828), who suggested that the cerebral cortex was divided into zones corresponding to the 27 “faculties” recognized by the psychology of the time. The list of “faculties” was quite heterogeneous and included, beside the memory, hope, faith, love, romantic love and similar concepts. Despite this theory appears rather naive today, it caused a great sensation at that time. The debate came to a turning point with the studies of Broca and Wernicke, two scientists who examined the brain damage suffered by individuals affected by aphasia, and who were the first to

postulate the different specializations of the two cerebral hemispheres. Their studies led to the current model, which assigns different functions to different brain areas: the frontal lobes are the neuronal centers that govern the activities of judgment and planning, development of concepts, organization and control of movements; parietal lobes are the centers of primary somatic and sensory information processing, ie those from skin, muscles, joints and internal organs; the temporal lobes collect and process auditory information; the occipital lobes process primaries visual information. Broca’s and Wernicke’s studies have allowed to confirm and further develop the localization hypothesis of Gall and, through the subsequent experiments, to identify the key functions in the two cerebral hemispheres. According to this model, the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for processing information in a comprehensive and perceptivespatial way, while the left hemisphere presides logical-mathematical abilities and symbolic thinking, besides containing the centers of production and comprehension of language. In the following years the representation of the brain has been enriched on the basis of observations showing that the lesions affecting certain parts of the brain cause the loss of specific functions; these studies have made it possible to reconstruct a map of the cerebral cortex. The localitation theory extends to hypothesize a neuropsychological model in which each region of the

2. The static model of localization theory
When we talk about neuroplasticity we refer to the change occurring in the brain as the consequence of an experience, involving the transfer of specific functions to cerebral areas other than those originally allocated to them. To better explain the meaning of this term, we have to step back and explain what was the commonly accepted conception of the brain until a few decades ago. In the past, scientists believed that the different areas of the human brain

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brain regulates a particular function independently and without interacting with other regions, and that assumes that the structure of the brain is fixed and immutable: a model that compares the brain to a machine, in which each component performs a genetically predetermined function. One consequence of this theory is that if one of these components is damaged, it can’t be replaced. The obsolescence of the brain is therefore considered an irreversible process.

3. Anatomy of a plastic brain
In the second half of the 20th century began to spread, supported by experimental data, the idea that the brain is sufficiently plastic to be able to reorganize in case of need even in adulthood, and that sensory signals can be processed in areas other than the ones destined to them. For example, people who have suffered damage affecting the language centers of the left hemisphere have a chance to regain the ability to speak normally, thanks to the restructuring of brain areas; tactile signals, in turn, can be processed in the visual cortex and converted in images, as shown by some experiments (Doidge, 2007). It is commonly believed that the brain loses about 100,000 neurons every day and that this loss is irreversible; actually, the neurons of large size decrease, while small ones are increasing in number. This causes a reduction of plasticity, but does not mean that the cognitive functions are reduced. The concept of neuroplasticity

is essential as an approach to therapeutic rehabilitation programs in the event of trauma and brain damage. The human brain is not “wired” with fixed and immutable neuronal circuits; the synaptic brain network and the related structures, including the cerebral cortex, actively reorganize themselves through experience and practice. Neuroplasticity is related to neurogenesis: neurons damaged can be replaced by stem cells (non-specialized cells able to transform into any cell type). The neuronal stem cells reproduce giving rise to exact copies of themselves, continuously and without showing signs of ageing; the neurogenesis process continues uninterruptedly throughout life, until the death of the individual. It is therefore evident that the discovery of neural stem cells was critical to demonstrate that the brain never stops producing new neurons, even in old age; currently scientists are studying the possibility of replacing the damaged brain tissue of adults to recover the functions in the case of degenerative diseases and brain injuries. On the concept of plasticity Gerald Edelman has developed neural darwinism (or theory of neuronal group selection). It is an evolutionary model according to which the brain maps are not completely predetermined at the genetic level but also depend on the individual experience and the interaction with the environment. Neuronal Darwinism has been developed in the same period in which scientists Michael Merzenich and Jon Kaas demonstrated by experiment that if a cortical map is no

longer receiving stimuli, it will be used for other functions, functions generally located in areas adjacent to it, giving rise to phenomena of reorganization of the cerebral cortex (Mahncke, Bronstone & Merzenich, 2006).

4. “Learn a trade for every day”
Neuroplasticity is linked to the concept of competitiveness: if we stop exercising our mental faculties we not only forget them, but the corresponding map is automatically assigned to other functions that we continue to play. We could change the proverb “learn a trade for a rainy day” in: learn a trade for every day, and continue to practice it regularly. Competitiveness explains why it is so difficult to “unlearn” something: if we have learned a behavior that has become dominant occupying an extended map, it offers resistance to attempts to substitute it with a different behavior, and it prevents that the same map is occupied by other functions. It also explains the difficulty in quitting bad habits, and the importance of learning a behavior in childhood, when brain maps are on the road to be structured. According to Merzenich, brain structure and cognitive skills can be improved through an appropriate exercise. The brain maps are transformed according to what we do in our lifetime; most importantly, they are able to change at any age, even in adulthood. Starting from the idea that learning corresponds to create new connections

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between neurons through their simultaneous and repeated activation, Merzenich has developed a theory that the neuronal structure can be changed by the experience, which means that even people who have congenital problems or lesions in certain brain areas can develop new neural connections. On the basis of these beliefs, Merzenich proposes a set of exercises targeted at people with language disabilities and learning deseases; the exercises are progressive and are followed by a positive feedback whenever the user reach the objectve, in order to keep constant attention and consolidate the achieved result. The feedback, in fact, causes the release of dopamine and acetylcholine, two neurotransmitters that contribute to the reinforcement of the memory; the result is a reshaping of the brain maps. These exercises have caused significant progress in students’ learning, also with autistic children and elderly people, improving their mental abilities. The basic idea is that it is possible to reopen the “critical period” of the brain plasticity so that even in adulthood brain maps can be “rewired”; this allows, for example, to learn a foreign language in adulthood as easily as in the case of prepubertal children, who learn a language easely and without accent. Merzenich’s system is based on different mental exercises specifically designed and calibrated to improve memory, reasoning and processing speed in older people. The assumption is that the mental deterioration in elderly people is linked to the loss of memory, which is caused by the difficulty of recording new events

due to a decreased speed of information processing and a deterioration in their sharpness and accuracy. The difficulty in finding words, a common phenomenon in elderly people, is reconnected by Merzenich to a form of atrophy which leads to an unclear representation of sounds and words, which consequently induces confused and disorderly memory traces. The exercises are proposed in a playful form and consist of computer activities in which learners must respond to certain stimuli by completing levels of increasing difficulty. Exercises were designed on the basis of studies conducted with experiments and neuroimaging techniques about the restructuring and reorganization of cortical functions. That is why these activities reach the goal of reactivating mental function in elderly people.

often limit themselves to carry out familiar and repetitive mental activities, routines requiring no application effort or acquisition of new skills.This kind of activity is not sufficient to keep the brain fully functioning: if we stop learning new things, we are destined to ageing brain. “Noisy” processes. In old people brain sensory deterioration causes noise; for example, in hearing loss the sound signals sent to the brain are more confused and difficult to interpret. Therefore the brain must slow its activities to decipher confused signals, so mental representations are incomplete. This causes a poorer memory and less elastic thinking skills. Weakening of neuromodulatory function. In elderly age the brain produces fewer neurotransmitters, chemicals like dopamine and acetylcholine, which play an essential role in learning and memory. Negative learning. People who begin to feel less mentally agile than once tend to implement mechanisms for compensation. If, for example, their hearing is impaired, they turn off the TV, or learn to read words on the lips (Merzenich, 2005). Merzenich has identified a number of strategies to overcome these problems: • To combat disuse: engage the brain in new challenging tasks; • To help the brain to order confusing signals: carry out activities that require attention and concentration;

5. Neuroplasticity: learning for a lifetime
The current research shows that substantial changes occur in cortical areas and that learning, thought and action deeply transform functional anatomical structures of the brain. The brain ageing is reversible, as neuroplasticity is bidirectional: it can cause the deterioration of the brain or its improvement. The physical, chemical and functional brain decline is caused by changes that give rise to a process of negative plasticity, causing a vicious circle of deterioration that includes four components: Disuse.The brain functions respond to the “use or lose it” rule; elderly people

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• To regulate the production of neuromodulators: activities able to activate their production; • To eliminate compensatory adaptive behaviors: engaging in activities that have become complicated to perform, rather than avoid them. The most effective activities are those in which is required to distinguish between what one hears, sees and feels and use this information to achieve goals more and more difficult.

of flexibility and personalization reflecting the increasing complexity and fluidity of real world (Willis, 2010; Keeling, Tevens Dickson & Avery, 2011; Boulton-Lewis & Tam, 2012; HartmanStein & La Rue, 2011). The peculiarities of the adult and his specificity as a learner require the development of andragogical strategies and approaches that respond specifically to his needs, identifying the factors and variables to be monitored to make effective the training action. The recent studies in adult education and geragogy field highlight how learning in mature age is characterized by its olistic nature, problem-centered, contextualized and personalized (Guglielman, 2004; Guglielman et al., 2005). Adult learning experience should be developed taking into account learner’s priorities, motivation, learning needs, learning request, previous knowledge, previous learning experiences, previous competences, and potential areas of development; the learning effort should be oriented towards an experience focused on themes and problems significantly connected to real life, useful and usable in daily practice. In this perspective a course need to be focused on themes and problems instead of contents and disciplines; it needs to adopt a situational approach instead of theoretical approach; it should include concrete tasks; it should indicate a usable application also referable to daily life. Moreover, should be proposed strategies and activities that exploit the principles

6. New learning and teaching strategies to address the challenge of adult education
Learning in mature age seems to be the most problematic: senile involution related to brain tissues’ ageing causes a loss of efficiency of the mind that progresses with age and that makes it even more complex the design and implementation of training programs tailored to the characteristics of older learners. The researches in neuroplasticity confirm that learning in adult and mature age can be successfull if we engage our brain in new challenging tasks, dealing with complex and problematic activities. Learning depends completely on the existence of neuroplasticity: it allows new information to be retained, represented and processed. The challenge the adult education is called to meet is to transform old pedagogic models, rethinking adult learning in a perspective

of neuroplasticity to improve cognitive function and ensure that education in old age is an enjoyable, rewarding and effective experience. First of all it is necessary to change a consolidated mental attitudes about learning and about teaching, taking in mind the complexity of new hybrid, ubiquitous and liquid learning scenarios. The Scaffolding Theory of Ageing and Cognition (STAC) postulates that changes with ageing are a part of a process of compensatory cognitive scaffolding aiming to alleviate the cognitive decline of ageing. This process is fostered by cognitive engagement, exercises, new learning and consists in the recruitment of additional brain circuits supporting declining structures that has become noisy or inefficient (Park & Reuter-Lorenz, 2009; Park & Bischof, 2011). Older foundations of thought were based on a linear stage development concept. The paradigm of connectivism, that considers learning as a process of building nets and connections, appears particularly close to this vision: according to this theory, knowledge is chaotic, complex and holistic, reticular and not linear (Siemens, 2004, 2006). Our life experience reflects the net system of interconnections; knowledge assumes the contours of a volatile changeable, dialogic entity rather than the form of a stable, structured and organized system. The application of connectivism-based learning strategies requires the reversal of traditional learning patterns. The first students’ reaction is generally of defence, rejection and cognitive dissonance,

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caused by the habit to live the educative process as relegated in a structured and “protected” environment. This dissonance represents a first indicator of the beginning of a change for the learner; this is the first step to make an effort carrying out stimulating and not repetitive tasks, and the opportunity to fight the brain disuse. One innovative educational model able to meet this challenge is Complex Learning (McDonald, 2005; Rohse, Anderson, 2006;Van Merriënboer, Clark & de Croock, 2002); under this term we can recognize various visions and interpretations, referring to common principles but realizing practices in different ways (Ferri, 2003). In this model is clearly recognizable the reconfiguration among several didactic means and tools, the emergence of new nexuses and hierarchies among media, the appearance of new languages and new interaction modalities. In Complex Learning the term “complex” refers to the problematic nature of reality and, consequently, of knowledge: learning is, in fact, a complex activity. According to complexity and chaos theories, human cognition can be viewed as a complex system, that interacts with its environment and can be modified by it; traditional approaches often don’t adequately address the complex and multi-dimensional nature of cognition. The learning experience is not limited in the course boundaries: learner interacts not only with his peers and with the course staff, but also with domain experts, key actors, stakeholders, individuals and communities sharing his

interests at both formal and informal level (Guspini, 2008; Guglielman & Vettraino, 2009). The integration among different educational procedures, communication tools and technologies contributes to develop and improve learning in the age of knowledge, generating value and competitiveness. The chance to create a customized environment deeply changes the way we learn: the structure of a learning environment, in fact, directs the student to certain learning schemes, fostering from time to time dynamics linked to the space design and its features (Goodyear, 2001). Active involvement of the student in designing and building his space represents an innovation compared to models that offer prearranged learning environments.

Alzheimer’s. A deeper understanding of the brain appears highly relevant to education: understanding how the brain works in the elderly can help us in developing methods of teaching and learning more effective and appropriate for different ages and to keep people active throughout life (Lovat et al., 2011; Willis, Schaie & Martin, 2009; Greenwood & Parasuraman, 2012). The static model of the brain based on the idea of irreversible neuronal decay has been for a long time the basis of the prejudice that elderly people are unable to learn new things. Neuroscientific researches demonstrate that specific sets of activities and exercises designed to stimulate new neural connections and reorganize cortical maps allow to make successfull and rewarding elderly learning. Now we know that learning is ageless: it is a cumulative process that continues throughout life. Even if the way of learning diversify and change with age, the ability to learn remains (Tyler John, 1988). According to Goswami, “Biological, sensory and neurological influences on learning must become equal partners with social, emotional and cultural influences if we are to have a truly effective discipline of education” (Goswami, 2008). The application of neuroscience theories about brain plasticity to adult education is therefore essential to promote lifelong learning through the creation of learning environments based on competences, situated learning and active construction of knowledge.

7 . Conclusions
The recent progresses in neuroscience demonstrate that learning is not confined only to younger generations and to persons with a mindat full capacity, but that it can be implemented in all stages of life with equal effectiveness; and, most important, that a continuous learning activity contributes to increase neuronal regeneration and to avoid the effects of ageing. A specific mental training can improve motor and sensory representations in the cortex, fostering the signal transmission restitute effectiveness to the neuronal connections. An uninterrumpted and constant mental activity constitutes an important factor in delaying the arise of neurodegenerative diseases like

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References
 Boulton-Lewis, G.M., & Tam, M. (Eds.) (2012). Active Ageing, Active Learning. Issues and challenges, New York: Springer.  Commission of the European Communities (2006). Adult learning: it is never too late to learn, Brussels. Doidge, N. (2007). The brain that changes itself: stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science, New York: Viking. F  erri, P . (2003) L’e-learning, i suoi antenati e il Complex Learning, in Nacamulli, R. (Ed.) La formazione, il cemento e la rete. E-learning, management delle conoscenze e processi di sviluppo organizzativo, Milano: Etas. G  oodyear, P . (2001). Effective networked learning in higher education: notes and guidelines. Networked Learning in Higher Education Project (JCALT), January 31, Deliverable 9. Retrieved april 26, 2012, from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet21/goodyear.html Goswami, U. (2008). Principles of Learning, Implications for Teaching: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42, 3-4, 381-399. G  reenwood, P .M., & Parasuraman, R. (2012). Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind, Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Guglielman, E. (2004). L ’educazione degli adulti nello scenario comunitario. Servizio Informazione Anicia, n. 1-3, 16-17 . G  uglielman, E. et al. (2005). La personalizzazione degli apprendimenti nell’educazione degli adulti: lo stato dell’arte, in Progetto Pilota “Peapeda” . Personalizzare l’apprendimento in ambito EdA, Roma: Anicia, 19-73. G  uglielman, E., Vettraino, L. (2009). Complex Learning. Un modo possibile di essere DULP. Magazine of Interaction Design and Architecture(s), 4, n. 7-8, 16-20. Guspini, M. (2008). Complex Learning. Roma: Learning Community. H  artman-Stein, P .E., & La Rue, A. (Eds.) (2011). Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults. A guide to the use and development of community-based programs, New York: Springer. K  eeling, R.P ., Stevens Dickson, J., & Avery, T. (2011). Biological Bases for Learning and Development Across the Lifespan. In London, M. (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning, New York: Oxford University Press, 40-51.  Lovat, T., et al. (2011). Values Pedagogy and Student Achievement. Contemporary Research Evidence, New York: Springer. M  ahncke, H.W., Bronstone, A., & Merzenich, M.M. (2006). Brain Plasticity and Functional Losses in the Aged: Scientific Bases for a Novel Intervention. Progress in Brain Research, 157 , 81-109. McDonald, D. (2005) Complex Learning Communities. IADIS International Conference e-Society, Retrieved april 26, 2012, from http://www.iadis.net/dl/final_uploads/200505L014.pdf Merzenich, M.M. (2005). Change minds for the better. The Journal of Active Aging, november-december, 22-30. OECD (2002). Understanding the Brain. Towards a New Learning Science, OECD Publishing. OECD (2007). Understanding the Brain: the Birth of a Learning Science, OECD Publishing. P  ark, D.C. & Bischof, G.N. (2011). Neuroplasticity, Aging, and Cognitive Functions. In Schaie, K.W. & Willis, S.L. (Eds.) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging. London: Elsevier, 109-117 . P  ark, D.C. & Reuter-Lorenz P . (2009). The Adaptive Brain: Aging and Neurocognitive Scaffolding. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 173-196. Rohse, S., Anderson, T. (2006). Design patterns for complex learning. Journal of Learning Design. 1(3), 82-91.

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Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved april 26, 2012, from http://www. elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm Siemens, G. (2006). Knowing Knowledge. Retrieved april 26, 2012, from http://www.elearnspace.org/ KnowingKnowledge_LowRes.pdf  Tyler John, M. (1988). Geragogy. A Theory for Teaching the Elderly, New York: Haworth Press. V  an Merriënboer, J.J.G., Clark, R.E., & de Croock, M.B.M. (2002). Blueprints for Complex Learning: The 4C/ID-Model. ETR&D, Vol. 50, No. 2, 39–64. Retrieved april 26, 2012, from http://www.cogtech.usc.edu/publications/clark_4cid.pdf WHO (2002). Active Ageing: a Policy Framework, WHO. Willis, J. (2010). Current Impact of Neuroscience on Teaching and Learning. In Sousa, D. (Ed.) Mind, Brain, Education: Neuroscience Implications for the Classroom, Bloomington: Solution Tree, 45-66. W  illis, S.L., Schaie, K.W., & Martin, M. (2009). Cognitive Plasticity. In Bengtson, V.E. et al., Handbook of Theories og Aging, New York: Springer.

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Children’s Experiences of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse on the Internet [ ]
Authors Laiho, Mari Child Protection and Digital Media, Save the Children, Finland mari.laiho@savethechildren.fi [ +] Lampainen, Katri Child Protection and Digital Media, Save the Children, Finland katri.lampainen@savethechildren.fi [ +]
Antikainen, Jutta Helsinki Virtual Community Policing, Finland jutta.antikainen@poliisi.fi [@+] Forss, Marko Helsinki Virtual Community Policing, Finland marko.forss@poliisi.fi [@+] Manninen, Mikko Helsinki Virtual Community Policing, Finland mikko.manninen@poliisi.fi [@+]

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Summary

A survey conducted by Save the Children and the Helsinki Virtual Community Policing Group provides insight into the prevalence of the sexual abuse of Finnish children on the internet. The anonymous survey took place in four online communities in 2011. The report presents the results regarding respondents under 16 years old (62% girls, 38% boys), accounting for 54% (2 283) of all respondents. The focus was on online interaction where the counterpart was an adult or someone clearly older. 33% of the children had received sexual messages, photos or videos experienced as harassing from an adult or someone clearly older; 24 % had entered into discussions of a sexual nature, and 20 % had had a sexual webcam contact with an adult or someone clearly older. 11 % had appeared scantily dressed or naked on webcam. Bearing in mind the restrictions regarding online surveys, the results provide cause for concern. Online sexual abuse of children – whether experienced as harassing or not - appears to be a far-reaching problem requiring determined law enforcement interventions and child protection actions.

1. Introduction
The Helsinki Virtual Community Police Team and Save the Children conducted a survey in June 2011 to investigate child sexual abuse on the internet. The survey was carried out online and replied to anonymously. The questionnaire contained 18 questions, two of which allowed respondents to give free-form answers. Four Finnish online communities disseminated the link to the survey – IRC Galleria, Habbo, Demi and Aapeli – through which one could take part in the survey. The results reflect the respondent’s experiences on a general level and do not concern problems encountered in individual online communities. There were a total of 4,256 survey respondents. This report only examines the replies by respondents under the age of 16, who accounted for 54% (2,283) of the total number of respondents. 62% of the under 16-year-olds were girls and 38% were boys. 10% of all respondents indicated that they were under 12 years old.

Tags

child sexual abuse, online sexual abuse, internet safety, online interaction, sexual harassment

Languages
cz da de bg et el es fr it lv lt hu nl pl pt ro sk sl fi sv

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It is not possible to verify the true age or gender of a person who answers an e-survey. With an anonymous survey a respondent may be tempted to depart from the truth. There is therefore always a problem of reliability with surveys conducted over the internet. Answers that were clearly instances of trolling were removed from the survey results. Special attention was paid to the answers of respondents who indicated that they were under 12 years old, of whom 19 were eliminated on because of prank answers.

2. A sexual act directed at a child by an adult is also a criminal offense on the internet
One in three survey respondents under 16 years of age said that they had been the recipients of sexually harassing messages, photos or videos from people who were clearly older than them or from adults. Almost half (46%) of girls had experienced this, as had 13% of boys. A sexual act directed at a child is no less a criminal offense when it is committed over the internet. Sending messages, photos or videos of a sexual nature to under 16-year-olds in itself therefore constitutes a criminal offense. “I’ve experienced this a lot in just one place: the internet.” A quarter of all under 16-year-olds said that they had got into discussions of a sexual nature online with someone clearly older than themselves or with an adult that had concerned such things as having sex or genitalia. 31% of girls had experienced this, as had 13% of boys.
      “I asked more questions, precise questions, for

     

instance about school etc so I could find out his age… in the end I was a bit pushy and asked what his parents do for a living (the questioner was clearly an adult)… he reacted by going off-line when I said/lied that my father is a lawyer and my mother a police officer”

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3. Photos and webcams
37% of respondents under 16 years old reported that someone had asked them online to send photos of themselves scantily dressed or naked. Over half of girls under 16 years of age had experienced this, as had over 10% of boys. “I’ve never agreed to anything like that, because often those guys who say they’re 13 years old are in fact much older.” Although girls in particular are frequently asked for sexually suggestive photos, only a few of the young respondents said that they had sent or uploaded images of themselves scantily dressed or naked online. 5% of girls under 16 and 3% of boys answered the question affirmatively. 6% of under 16-year-olds said that someone had threatened to put photos of them scantily dressed or naked on the internet. There was no real difference between girls and boys in this respect. “I can’t understand how some people could even put someone else’s photos online that spread throughout the internet like flu at school in winter.” 3% of girls and boys who responded to the survey said that someone else had put photos of the respondent scantily dressed or naked on the internet. 11% of all respondents under 16 years old said that they had been on webcam scantily dressed or naked. 14% of girls answered affirmatively to this, as did 7% of boys. “I was drunk and appeared naked on webcam to a man who was clearly older. The man initially suggested everything and started to tempt me to do everything, praising my appearance. I ended up naked in front

     

     

    of the camera. I didn’t tell anyone about it,  

even though it upset me.”

“I chatted on windows live messenger to someone who i’d just got to know online.

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this person started talking about all sorts of stuff to do with sex and eventually asked me to show my bum on the webcam. at first i refused but finally agreed under pressure from this person. i felt ashamed for a long time afterwards and i deleted the person from my contact list and blocked him. the next day this person sent me an email asking me not to tell anyone and saying hat he was sorry. i didn’t answer. it still disgusts me.” Over a third of all respondents under 16 years old related that someone else had shown themselves to them scantily dressed or naked via webcam. 45% of girls reported this, as did one in five boys. “Some people put out fun/joke sex remark, some have said that they’re under 20 and jerk off in front of the web cam – of course I turned the webcam off, don’t feel like watching a +40 year-old man.” One in five under 16-year-olds tell of having shown themselves by webcam scantily dressed or naked or, conversely, that someone who was clearly older than the respondent or who was an adult had shown themselves in such a way. 27% of girls answered affirmatively to this, as did 8% of boys. “I’ve come across adult men on online chat forums (where you can use a webcam) who masturbate in front of the camera. I haven’t had the camera switched on.They’ve maybe suggested something like ‘let’s see your tits’. I’ve never taken them seriously or replied. I’ve visited these sites just for fun, and haven’t really taken the suggestions you get on open chat forums seriously. I don’t give out my person info to others, so I feel safe.”

     

     

     

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4. Widespread online propositioning for sex
One in three of respondents under 16 years of age reported that they had been propositioned for sex online by an unknown person. Girls received sexual propositions for often than boys; nearly half (48%) of girls aged under 16 reported having received sexual propositions, as opposed to 15% of boys. “I think sexual harassment is disgusting and I can’t understand how so many older men, even married ones, can proposition young girls. It ought to be stopped.” “A 47-year-old man started talking with me on messenger. He went on all the time that he was in love with me and sent me a photo of himself. I blocked him and haven’t heard anything more from him.This happened about two years ago. But I still don’t want it to come out or be checked out at all.” “And often the web’s full of retards who can’t get a chick in real life and so desperately go begging online ‘cos there’s so much pressure.” “Once I met a nice older Indian man in a chat room.We started to see one another a lot on Messenger, and it was nice.Then he suddenly asked ne about my periods and asked why don’t I marry him. I started to get a bit worried, but I didn’t expect that he’d say that I’m sexy and tell me to touch myself. I refused and he said that I’d better obey him. I exited Messenger and deleted him from my list of friends. I’ve never heard form him since.”
                 

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One in 10 of under 16-year-olds reported that a stranger had offered them money or presents in return for sex or sending their photos. 15% of girls and 7% of boys had been propositioned for sex or offered presents for it. 8% of all under 16-year-olds reported that they had been met someone in real life who has propositioned them online to have sexual intercourse and who was clearly older than them or an adult. 10% of girls reported this, as did 6% of boys. Due to the way the question was put it was not apparent if the child was aware of the other party’s age before meeting

or whether they found out only in connection with meeting the stranger. 3% of all under 16-year-old respondents reported having had sex with someone clearly older than them or an adult who they got to know online. The percentage of girls and boys who had done so was the same.

     

and 48% of boys). In cases where the matter had been reported, it was mainly girls (57%) who had told their friends. Boys open up to friends more rarely (29%), but on the other hand had more often taken the matter to the police (17%), their parents (29%) and other professionals. “I turned off the computer and tried to forget about it. I wasn’t scared that someone would to my home because I never give out my personal information online.”

5. Sex crimes committed online rarely reported to the police
45% all under 16-year-old respondents had told no one about this (44% of girls

6. Increasing occurrence and prevalence of internetrelated child sexual abuse
According to previous studies carried out in Finland, about 15-20% of teenage girls have been sexually harassed online by a person clearly older than them (Save the Children Reports: Child’s Voice 2008, Familiar Strangers 2011). Fewer than 200 cases of internet-

 

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associated child sexual abuse and related attempts were reported to the police in 2010. The results of the June 2011 survey conducted by the Helsinki Community Virtual Police Team and Save the Children strongly suggest that the internet-related sexual abuse of children may be a much broader problem than previously realised. The opportunity offered by the internet has implicated people who would not otherwise necessarily be guilty of sexual offenses against children. Unlike with real life cases, those seeking to make sexual contacts with children online are often previously unknown to the children concerned. Those involved come from all social classes and as a rule those apprehended for such crimes have been men. The opportunities afforded by the internet for social interaction make the pursuit of contact with children by those with a sexual interest in them easy, and, what is more, as things now stand the risk of getting caught may seem relatively slight under the perceived cover of anonymity. Perpetrators also find it easy to contact many children simultaneously. The shame, guilt and fear felt by a child crime victim all too often prevents the case from coming out into the open and being reported. A child who is victim of an online sexual offense may not necessarily even understand the criminal nature of the communication. The child does not know how to comprehend an adult’s sexual acts and approaches – for which the perpetrator alone is responsible – as being criminal in nature.

The following may constitute distinctive characteristics of child sexual abuse: • sending of sexually charged messages to a child • showing a child masturbation of gestures to do with it, for example by webcam • getting a child to watch sexual intercourse or pornographic material • asking a child to pose for pornographic pictures • getting a child to send pictures or videos of him/herself of a sexual nature • sending a child pictures or videos of one’s own genitalia etc • getting a child to behave in a sexually charged manner, for instance by masturbating, urinating, undressing, putting on underwear or getting a child to wear revealing clothing whereby the perpetrator can watch the child’s actions in real time via webcam

The biggest problem and challenge to do with the internet in sexual offenses is getting the perpetrator reported to the police. This is supported in the survey by the fact that only 10% of respondents who had been subject to sexual harassment said that they had brought the matter to the attention of the police. Nearly half of the under 16-year-old respondents had not told anyone that they had experienced sexual harassment.

7 . When sexual harassment online is a crime
The sexual harassment of minors on the internet generally constitutes a crime. Chapter 20 of the Criminal Code defines sexual offenses in order

to protect the individual’s right to sexual self-determination. Offenses related to the internet can be found in Chapter 20, section 7 of the Criminal Code: the aggravated sexual abuse of a child, the sexual abuse of a child, the enticement of a child for sexual purposes, forcing a child to perform sexual acts, sexual abuse, the purchase of sexual services from a young person and as a consequence of an indecent sexual proposal involving a child. The most common sexual offence involving the internet clearly concerns the sexual abuse of children. Even discussions of a sexual nature with an under 16-year-old in online constitutes child sexual abuse. Other forms of abuse include images to do with the perpetrator’s or victim’s

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genitalia and performance of a sexual nature in real time via webcam, for instance involving masturbation. Many instances of internet-based child sexual abuse are such that the child concerned is involved in what is happening up to a certain point. The onus of responsibility, however, rests with the adult. Rape or coerced sexual intercourse may be related indirectly to the sexual offense committed via the internet. In this case at least one of party has to be physically having sex with the victim. A second perpetrator may watch and record the incident, for instance by webcam, and may order or incite the first party what he wants to be done to the child. In addition to Chapter 20 of the Criminal Code, the offenses contained in Chapter 17 are also relevant to the internet, as they concern various offenses to do with child pornography. The aggravated distribution of sexually obscene pictures depicting children, the distribution of sexually obscene pictures, the possession of sexually obscene pictures of children and the publication of sexually obscene pictures are possible on the internet. Finnish legislation has been amended and supplemented to correspond with the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. The purpose of the amendments to legislation that have entered into force is to emphasise the condemnation of sexual offenses committed against children and to enforce harsher penalties.

Among other things, legislation related to child sexual abuse and aggravated child sexual abuse has been amended in this respect. The minimum penalty for child sexual abuse was increased to four months imprisonment, while sexual intercourse with a child under 16 years of age is as a rule considered as aggravated child sexual abuse. A sexual act or acts directed at an under 16-year-old, which are regarded as child sexual abuse, may damage the child’s development. Getting a child to engage in sex acts is also considered to be child sexual abuse. An aggravated act is interpreted by law as involving sexual intercourse with an under 16-year-old, when the child subjected to the crime was clearly young or the criminal offense has been going on for a long time. Other criteria include the humiliating nature of the offense and the particular harm that the crime has inflicted on the child due to the special trust in which the perpetrator was held or other position of dependence on the perpetrator. The law considers the crime to be aggravated overall, and the characteristics of the offense fulfilled, even if some of these factors are met. The enticement of children for sexual purposes, so-called grooming, was included in the Criminal Code this year in the form of a new paragraph and subsections. Concerning the enticement of a child for sexual purposes the paragraph states that the offense takes place when the perpetrator suggests meeting or other such interaction with a child and that the nature or

circumstances of the proposal otherwise indicate that the intent is to make child pornography or subject the child to criminal abuse. This therefore concerns the premeditated nature of the offense. The second sub-section of the paragraph on grooming criminalises the enticement of an under 18-year-old to sell sexual services or perform in a sexually offensive presentation.

8. Impacts and challenges concerning legislative reform
Some of the attributes of internetrelated child sexual abuse could basically be characterised as on the whole constituting less serious offenses than most so-called real life incidents: child sexual abuse may simply constitute sexually loaded writing or sending nude pictures to an under 16-year-old, which is a far more usual method via the internet than in the real world. However, at its worst internet-related child sexual abuse can make the abuse of the child permanent and neverending. Graphic material related to sexual offenses that is stored and distributed in public media may in practice be impossible to ever completely remove from the internet. This material, which violates the privacy and dignity of the child gets copied, disseminated and consumed for sexual purposes indefinitely. The constituent elements of child sexual abuse are fulfilled as soon as

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there is evidence of a sexual act by an adult against a child. Sexual contact and sexually-charged talk with a child therefore constitute sexual abuse. In practice it is more challenging to prove the enticement of a child for sexual purposes. In reality the suspicion that an adult is guilty of enticing a child for sexual purposes can be based on the tone or intensity of the discussion that takes place between an adult or child, the adult’s efforts to control the child or to instruct the child to keep what they talk about secret or to arrange to meet the child. Other possible actions suggestive of a crime may include the use of false identity by an adult or providing the child with a pre-paid mobile phone connection or phone to use to ensure the privacy of their contacts. The maximum penalty for enticing a child for sexual purposes is a year’s imprisonment. This does not at present enable telemonitoring by the police under the Coercive Measures Act, whereby the maximum penalty for an offense committed must be at least four years imprisonment, or any of the offenses stated in Chapter 5, paragraph 3 of the Coercive Measures Act. In the forthcoming amendment to the Act the possibility for telemonitoring crimes committed on data networks is extended to suspicion of having committed a criminal offense, where the maximum penalty is at least two years imprisonment. Cases that are interpreted as the enticement of children for sexual purposes currently remain outside the scope

of telemonitoring jurisdiction, and so many cases may remain unresolved. As a result a perpetrator’s possible other crimes against children may remain hidden, because such crimes would only come to light during police investigations to do with impounded computers. The paragraph of the Act relating to the extension of the police’s telemonitoring powers to include the enticement of children for sexual purposes would improve the possibilities both to prevent and to expose sexual offenses against children. In terms of the work of the police, a major change is that sexual contact with an under 16-year-old is considered basically as aggravated child sexual abuse. This in turn has an impact on the police information gathering, because in a case of suspected aggravated child sexual abuse the police has the possibility to use telemonitoring and wiretapping.

in Helsinki by separately designated personnel in the sexual crimes investigation division of the violent crimes unit. In Helsinki in particular good results have been achieved through detective work, whereby a single crime team uncovered a wider series of cases. The Helsinki Virtual Community Police Team has managed to lower the threshold for reporting in particular concerning internet-related child sexual abuse. In 2010 the team dealt with 10%-20% of sexual offenses and the number of reports of incidents has increased this year. The activity by the police in detecting such crimes and the lower threshold for reporting them are not sufficient by themselves in intervening in child sexual abuse crimes that remain concealed. There is a need for new modes of action, practices and possibilities to expose and prevent such sexual offenses from happening. In France, for example, a solution to the problem has been successfully sought using undercover work, in which the police are able to use infiltration and to appear as children on social media. Since 2009 there has been legislation in force in France whereby the perpetrator can be convicted of online sexual offenses against children regardless of whether the victim is in reality underage. In practice the “victim” may be a profile of an under 15-year-old created by the police. This approach has proved useful in detecting internet-

9. Averting internet-related sexual offenses
In practice it has been hard to intervene in activities by adults to contact children online for sexual purposes, even when there would be strong suspicion of the perpetrator’s intentions to commit criminal abuse against a minor. Establishing criminal liability has only been possible once a sexual offense or an attempted one actually happens. In Finland, the investigation of sexual offenses is dealt with in police units focusing on lengthy investigations and

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related sexual offenses against children. In Finland too a greater scope for the police to conduct undercover work would be an effective way to expose online child sexual abuse.

10. Conclusion
The development of technology has created new forms of child sexual exploitation. These include going after children on the internet, maintaining an exploitative relationship or pressurising a child into one online, documenting sexual offenses using mobile phones and webcams by photographing children in the abuse context, and disseminating such photographic material online. The problem is multidimensional and there is no single solution to it. The issue must be approached from a variety of angles in which all actors have their own role to play. The presence of parents and their involvement in their children’s lives are of crucial importance, both in terms of the internet and real life. Internet use is primarily a positive thing in children’s lives and is an important channel for social interaction and gathering information. A negative attitude to the internet on the part of adults who are in close relationships with children and their imposing undue restrictions on internet use easily leads to secrecy and mistrust. This hinders children from resorting to adult support precisely when it is most needed.

Different viewpoints among children and the young or among professionals who work for their benefit play an important role both in terms of preventing sexual offenses against children and intervening in problems, as well as in identifying, helping and supporting children who are subject to abuse. This means that there has to be sufficient information and understanding of the part that digital media plays in child sexual abuse and the related efforts to establish contacts with children. Informing the police about contacts of a sexual nature is an act of responsibility in terms of the child involved and of safeguarding other children.

Further information: www.poliisi.fi/nettipoliisi www.pelastakaalapset.fi/nettiturvallisuus

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Experiences with technologies in learning environments  eflective Learning at Work – MIRROR Model, R Apps and Serious Games  he International Student and the Challenges T of Lifelong Learning

g n i n r a e L e ers p a P
.e w w w g n i n r lea .e s r e pap u
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Reflective Learning at Work – MIRROR Model, Apps and Serious Games [ ]
This report discusses the initial results of a 4-year FP7 research project that developed a theoretical model and worked on the creation and evaluation of a range of ‘Mirror’ apps based on our Mirror reflection model. The findings divulge how the apps and serious games can facilitate reflectionº at work, by empowering employees to learn by reflection on their work practice and on their personal learning experiences. effectiveness of learning can be increased significantly in situations where no teachers, no formal content, and no explicit knowledge are available. Specifically the MIRROR project has promised to provide the following output: 1. Conceptual model of holistic learning by reflection, which incorporates the essential ingredients of training critical thinking, awareness of emotions, (collaborative) knowledge construction, creative problem solving and innovation. 2. A bundle of learning applications (the ‘Mirror Apps’) that can be used within the collaborative and social work environment of the employees. 3. Proof of learning effectiveness, through evaluation within five testbeds across Europe, in sectors as diverse as health and social care, civil emergency planning, and IT consultancy The preliminary results of the project are described in the following two sections.

1. Background
In 2010 a 4-year research project called ‘Mirror – Reflective learning at work’ started. It is co-funded by the EU in the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). The MIRROR consortium brings together 15 partners across Europe’s TEL industry, with high-quality research and testbeds. In some 12 streams of activity, the consortium has developed a theoretical model and worked on the creation and evaluation of a range of ‘Mirror’ apps based on our Mirror reflection model. The project is now in its third year and we are ready to share our vision, our first findings, our experiences in the testbeds, and tell you more about

the apps and serious games that can facilitate reflection at work. The vision of MIRROR is to empower employees to learn by reflection on their work practice and on their very personal learning experiences. MIRROR aims at assisting employees in capturing experiences and in developing creative solutions for problems that need to be solved. This will be achieved by personal MIRROR apps for learning through reflection. These can be individual, collaborative, creativity-based, game-based, or for the organisation. MIRROR provides new learning technologies for ’learning on the job’, ’learning by doing’, ’learning from peers’ and ’experiential learning’. With MIRROR applications, the

Tags professional development, personal learning environment, reflection, educational technologies
Author Ellen Leenarts, Learning consultant at BT Learning Solutions ellen.leenarts@bt.com [ +]

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Figure 1: MIRROR CSRL model: Reference model for process steps in a reflective learning cycle, with associated categories of tool use. Published in (Krogstie et al.: Computer support for reflective learning in the workplace: A model, ICALT 2012)

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2. Using the MIRROR Computer Supported Reflective Learning (CSRL) model in analysis and design (by Birgit R. Krogstie)
During 2012 we refined the MIRROR CSRL model (version 1.0) by applying it to the MIRROR testbed cases. Based on our experiences we developed a general procedure for applying the CSRL model to a case of computersupported reflective learning for the purposes of analysis or design, i.e. to model the ‘as-is’ situation and/ or the ‘to-be’ situation in which new reflection tools are adopted in the organization. The figure below shows the CSRL process steps reference model, which is the starting point for creating a process steps diagram. We call it a reference model because it contains a large set of elements from which the relevant ones can be chosen in a specific case. The rounded rectangles in the middle of the figure represent the steps in a reflective learning cycle. The more detailed steps have been derived from theories of reflective learning as well as empirical findings on reflection practices in the MIRROR testbeds. The top-down sequence of the steps in the diagram fits many cases of reflective learning. The Mirror apps are designed to support these process steps. In the diagram, this is shown by the left and right columns of rectangles, which represents categories of tool use.
Figure 2: Mirror Talk Reflect app

In May 2012 the CSRL model and the procedure for applying it were evaluated within the project by groups of developers and testbed partners. The results are promising, showing that use of the model helped refine understanding of our cases of computer-supported reflective learning and helped generate new ideas about the design of the MIRROR apps. The evaluation also brought about many useful ideas for the further refinement of the MIRROR CSRL model into its version 2.0 (to be completed in June 2014). For more information about the MIRROR CSRL model contact Birgit R. Krogstie (birgitkr@idi.ntnu.no).

3. Mirror apps and serious games
Reflection is an important starting point for learning. Reflection can be triggered by games, apps or real-life situations. After reflection, creative thinking enables the MIRROR user to find alternatives. Using this approach we believe we can enable workers to quickly adjust to fast changing circumstances and learn in real-time and improve their performance. The MIRROR project contains a balance of research and practical implementation. The five testbeds demonstrate how reflection can enable learning in hospitals, sales organisations,

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HR, and care homes, and after our first round of testing users of the apps and management have already provided enthusiastic feedback1. For an overview of our apps that facilitate reflection at work, please have a look at our website. To get an idea of the very different types of apps we are creating, we mention a few examples here: The Talk Reflection App focusses on support for articulation and collaborative reflection for physicians. As a part of their daily work physicians at one of the testbeds have to inform patients and their relatives about the current health status and possibilities for therapies of patients after they suffered from a stroke. This are often challenging conversations since telling “bad news” produces emotional stress on both sides. The Talk Reflection app allows physicians to articulate and share their experiences with colleagues to discuss and reflect on them and find a way to deal with more difficult situations. Capture and share your mood with the MoodMap App. Capturing your mood during work, important meetings or interesting discussions helps you to become aware of your personal mood

as well as the collaborative mood of your team. CLinIC-The Virtual Tutor and Think better CARE-The Virtual Tutor are two twin 3D serious games focused on difficult communication between nursing/carer staff and patients/ residents. These tools aim to foster reflection around difficult dialogues and situations, and to maximize the learners’ ability to self-regulate their training with the support of a ‘Virtual Tutor’ inside the game. The Carer App is a mobile creativity support app to assist staff in the care for people with dementia. Care staff can use it to create new solutions to challenging behaviours through systems with case-based and analogical reasoning, and with recorded good care practices. If you are interested in the Mirror Project and our apps and would like to test them, please contact BT Learning Solutions, hans.dirkzwager@bt.com. You can stay informed and become a member of our LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/ groups?home=&gid=3357670, or follow us on Twitter @MirrorIP.

1 

ore on the evaluation framework can be found in our deliverable D1.5 Specification of Evaluation M Methodology and Research Tooling (Editor: Birgit R. Krogstie, NTNU) http://www.mirror-project.eu/work-packages/reflection-model-a-user-studies

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The International Student and the Challenges of Lifelong Learning [ ]
Although few people would oppose the view that lifelong learning is intended to be a positive experience, it should be borne in mind that an ageing student body might require the development of additional tools and skills for the online educator. In this short paper we present two cases of challenges faced by international learners who brought with them into the learning environment some issues that were the product, not only of the age of the learner in question, but also of the geographical environment in which they studied. The names of the learners have been changed. partly (it turned out) because of the mixed-sex groups. The tutor explained the place of women in British society, and Khan was open and honest, saying that in his family women were seen as subordinate to men; their presence on the course, however virtual, was totally unexpected. As time passed and Khan became more relaxed, he helped facilitate discussion groups by offering his experience. In this way he gained respect from the class as they could see him as a professional person. Life seemed to be going smoothly until he became upset while listening to presentations in which he was made aware of how women felt about some of ways that they were treated. This led to some (non-curricular but extremely useful) time spent exploring how the modern woman was being educated, and Khan was unaware of the impact of mobile phones, the Internet and Facebook. Helped by Muhammad, Khan assessed these opportunities and how they would alter understandings in the next ten years. It helped him to question what his

1. Learner in India
Khan worked in India, in a similar practice to British General Practitioners. He wanted to obtain his Masters but found it hard to be among a younger online group, who were academically able; furthermore, his knowledge of using a computer was very limited, and he knew nothing about academic skills such as referencing or a literature review. At the start of course, while students were making friends and links, it was discovered that there was a very bright young Indian student called Mohammad, who by chance came

from the same area as Khan, and who would understand the customs and the respect which would be given to the older professional. Mohammad agreed to offer his services, and this example of peer assisted learning turned out to be a mutually beneficial pairing. They spent many hours working together to achieve a set of agreed skills. Khan’s first term assignment grades fell in the middle band, which was admirable considering his starting point. Khan did not feel comfortable in the initial discussion groups, and this was partly because of the technology and

Tags distance learning, non-traditional students, pedagogy, e-learning
Author David Mathew, Centre for Learning Excellence, University of Bedfordshire, UK David.mathew@beds.ac.uk [ +] Susan Sapsed, Health and Social Sciences, University of Bedfordshire, UK Susan.Sapsed@beds.ac.uk [ +]

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expectations of social involvement using new technologies really were. Muhammad gained a distinction and Khan surpassed his expectations and gained a commendation.

to be on both sides, with which she did not agree. She went on about young people respecting their elders. So, trying to and move the situation forward, the tutor asked her to lead an online discussion group on a subject area with which she was well acquainted. At the start of her second year the tutor asked if Hilary had had a good break and if she was looking forward to the year. The answers led the tutor to believe that she had moved on a little. One Canadian student was an out-andout feminist, and discussion groups were both interesting and sometimes fun. During one discussion, the Canadian student called Hilary ‘hen pecked’ - and this became a lesson that the tutor could use, the message being that pejorative comments would not be tolerated in the learning environment. The ironic thing was that the Canadian student had taken Hilary under her wing; in effect she had assumed the role of the online pastoral tutor. Their friendship developed during the writing of their dissertation, which resulted in Hilary re-assessing her future. After graduation she changed her job, and she was happy with her new challenges. Approximately two years later, the tutor received a letter from Hilary, saying that the course had been a turning point for her...and that she was moving to Canada and felt ten years younger!

4. Commentary
For Hilary, the course was a lifechanging success, but the whole situation had needed to be handled extremely carefully. Although there was an element of peer assistance to this matter, it seems apparent that e-learning was also used in a pastoral context. One student showed empathy for an older member of the virtual group, empowering her to strive for her goals in the meantime.

2. Commentary
We conclude that this particular learner brought very specific challenges to the group, partly because of his age and partly because of the attitude to women that are prevalent in his part of India (particularly among the ageing population).Via the employment of a younger peer learner, we were able to empower this learner to question his own beliefs and his own doubts about his abilities.

5. Brief Discussion
We hope that these two simple examples have indicated a few of the ways that technology-enhanced communication and e-learning have improved the learning experiences of two learners who happen to be older than the more ‘traditional’ student. (Here is not the place, perhaps, to debate what is meant by ‘traditional’ in this context anymore. As with most other things, the Internet has made us challenge what we mean by a ‘traditional’ learner; arguably, he or she does not exist any longer: but this is an argument for a different paper!) However, the course has done much more than to improve the quality of learning: it has improved the quality of life for these learners, and has prompted them to consider other opinions, other choices – and other countries. The experience has been transformational.

3. Learner in Africa
A female learner named Hilary expressed dissatisfaction when the tutor asked her how the course was going so far. She also said that once she had finished her Masters, she wanted her staff to look up to her. She felt downtrodden by her organisation; she had no confidence in her ability, and felt her team members were laughing at her behind her back. All in all, she was a very unhappy person. Hilary considered the younger group members rude; she would ask, “Whatever happened to respect?” Taking on something of a pastoral care role, the tutor informed her that respect needs

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