The Chair strengthens interuniversity cooperation by facilitating the exchange of learning methodologies, methods and technologies in education as well as by extending the collaboration and transfer of knowledge with other universities and UNITWIN/UNESCO chairs. The UNESCO chair objectives are oriented to the Global Campus Model (GCM). It is based on some advanced ICT and incorporates the main characteristics of the Research, Entrepreneurial, Digital and Virtual University models [11, 12]. The GCM universities consider their mission as transcending the boundaries of thenation-state, educating for global perspective and advancing the frontiersof knowledge worldwide. The GCM is intrinsically global since the ICT provides natural means to cross borders. As we can observe a clear trend of integration of all existing forms of education we might expect that an ultimate result of the process of transformation of education the whole world would become a Global Campus in the next few decades.  The tendency On 14-16 June 2011 the International workshop QED: Re-Designing Institutional Policies and Practices, to Enhance the Quality of Education through Innovative Use of Digital Technologies was organized, held in Sofia, Bulgaria. The QED workshop was an action taken by UNESCO’s Teaching Policy and Development Section, co-organized with the SULSIT, together with The BAS, The Bulgarian Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO. It has been successfully implemented and has achieved multi-direction positive results and impact. Useful ideas and practices have been discussed, which will continue to be built up and used in the future including the following ones:
to re-establish the Children in the Information Age Initiative and Conference with the support of UNESCO, IFIP, and other international organizations to establish forums and communities of practice for cross-stakeholder ICT in Education communication to develop and establish a repository of open ICT in Education best practices (SULSIT) and to develop and launch an initiative for multi-lingual and multi-cultural communication and exchange of best practices in ICT in Education.
The contributions reflect the main ideas conveyed by the QED workshop and will hopefully serve as an inspirational source for further work towards advancing education into the digital age.
A special attention was paid to the teachers as a main factor for a high quality education and upbringing. A satellite event of the QED workshop was a seminar with teachers presenting their best practices in applying the inquiry based mathematics and science education . The ideas shared at this event confirmed the understanding that If a society is striving to optimize its development, social status of the teachers in this society has to be very high and go up .
Conclusion In harmony with the UNESCO World Reportpublished in 2005 we strive for the transformation of the information society in a knowledge & creativity-based society offering an intellectual, strategic and ethical vision for:
education and access to knowledge, quality education for all, knowledge sharing as a development imperative, the innovative approaches to e-learning, providing a rich spectrum of environments for self-expression and creativity.
The main lesson for us as educators could be summarized as follows: if we hope for a real positive change in education, we should bring today’s and tomorrow’s learners (including the teachers in this category) in situations in which they would stop thinking about the education in terms of tests or exams. They should experience education as something intellectually enriching, exciting and joyful.
6. Nikolov, R, Logo. An Experimental Textbook for 5th Grade, Sofia, RGE, 1983 (in Bulgarian) 7. Nikolov, R., Sendova, E. Language and Mathematics, An Experimental Textbook for 6th Grade, RGE, Sofia, 1984 (in Bulgarian) 8. Kenderov, P. (2007) Bulgaria – Birthplace of International Competitions in Informatics for School Students, IT STAR Newsletter Vol.5, no.3, Autumn 9. The I*Teach (innovative teacher) Project http://i-teach.fmi.uni-sofia.bg (20.08.2012) 10. Stefanova E., Boytchev P, Kovatcheva E., Nikolova N., Sendova E. (2009a) A handbook for the ICT teachers for 7th grade (together with textbook ”You and ICT”), Anubis, 2008 (in Bulgarian) 11. Nikolov R. (2011), Web 2.0 and the Global Transformation of Education, invited paper, Proceedings of the 40th Conference of the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians, Borovets, 5-9 April, pp 109 – 12. Nikolov, R.(2010), The Global Campus: ICT and the Global Transformation of Higher Education, Serdica Journal of Computing, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp 183-13. Nikolov, R. et al.(2012), Open Education and Open Innovation in a Global Learning Environment, UNESCO IITE and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs International Conference "UNESCO Chairs Partnership on ICTs use in Education", 5 – 10 September 2012 St.-Petersburg, Russian Federation 14. Chehlarova, T. (2011) If Only I Had Such a Math teacher. UNESCO International Workshop: Re-designing Institutional Policies and Practices to Enhance the Quality of Teaching through Innovative Use of Digital Technologies, 14 – 16 June., Sofia, 15-15. Sendov B (2011) Upbringing in the Digital Age, Proceeding of UNESCO QED Workshop, June 14 – 16, 2011, Sofia, Bulgaria Developing Computational Thinking in ECCE (Ivan Kal a) Ivan Kala Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic firstname.lastname@example.org In my presentation I reflect on the field of computational thinking (CT in short, sometimes referred to as educational programming or simply programming), which has recently regained a lot of attention (after the previous period of considerable enthusiasm in 80s and 90s within so-called Logo culture, see Papert, 1980 and 1999).
Since 2007 due to several reasons on which I will elaborate later, our team has been conducting several educational research projects in the pre-primary or early childhood education stage (with approximately 3 to 6 year old children). Those inspiring and encouraging projects range from small national doctoral studies to huge nationwide and even international UNESCO research projects with surprisingly stimulating influence on real ECCE (i.e. Early Childhood Care and Education) settings in Slovak Republic and elsewhere, see (Kala, 2010). This unexpected success has encouraged our long-dated interest in studying the role and forms of computational thinking or educational programming for ECCE children and building appropriate software environments for these children, see (Blaho and Kala, 1993), which would support the development of the corresponding understanding and skills.
When reflecting upon the computational thinking it is helpful to refer to its specification published recently by ISTE (see Barr et al., 2011), where they define CT as a problem-solving process that includes:
formulating problems in a way that enables us to use digital technologies, logically organizing and analyzing data, representing data through models and simulations, automating solutions through algorithmic thinking, working with possible and efficient solutions, generalizing this problem solving process to a wide variety of problems.
Interesting, then, is to ask who needs such skills. However, if we agree that CT or educational programming supports and is supported by 1. confidence (in dealing with unknown and complex);
2. persistence (in working with difficult problems); 3. tolerance (for ambiguity and ill-defined problems); 4. ability (to deal with open ended problems); and 5. 21st century skills (to communicate and collaborate), then the answer is evident: Computational thinking is important for everybody, including every child and student who will live, work, educate and entertain in 21st century learning society.
I am pleased to observe that educational programming has become as issue worth explicit research also for developmental psychology. Ackermann (2012) for example explores what programming means to children, particularly to ECCE children. Programming is many things to many people, she argues. For a developmental psychologist it is... an issue of control and communication between humans and machines, it is something that turns a “digital consumer” into a “digital creator”.
Programming for young children has become more informal, approachable, intuitive, and natural than ever before. Ackermann also distinguishes three different roles that children attribute to programming. They perceive it as:
1. making things do things: give instructions, tell it what to do;
2. animating things: lend autonomy, let things “live by themselves”;
3. modulating things: use, share and modify artefacts (programs, behaviours etc.) of others.
In the programming environment which I will present the problems to be solved focus on the first of these perceptions, i.e. making things do things or giving instructions to Thomas the Clown to solve a variety of problems. Before that, though, I will clarify my engagement in the inspiring world of early childhood education.
Recently, in our team we have been studying potential of ICT in ECCE through several small doctoral research projects. Besides that, I became responsible for one of four tasks in a Slovak national project for 2.500 kindergartens and 8.000 teachers, namely, a task to develop their digital literacy and find ways how to use digital toys and other tools in playing and learning processes in that environment. My main lesson gained in that project is: The only productive way to do so is to initiate on-going professional development process and together with experienced ECCE practitioners find ways how to integrate digital tools and toys into current everyday learning activities – not adding them as new toys, not using them as a substitute, but find creative ways how to use them to support children’s development in most or all of the domains. In the recent UNESCO IITE project on this issue I tried to formulate a strategy of such process, see (Kala, 2010).
If we now concentrate on one kind of digital technology, namely, educational software, what could such developmental domains be that it may support Our recent findings show that through building explicit behaviours and working with them children obtain learning opportunities which may support all of their developmental domains (physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and creative).
Thus, digital tools – including educational software – may help children express themselves, explore the world and gain mastery over it.
In the next part of my presentation I will focus on the issues connected with developing educational software for the ECCE environment. I will summarize our recent findings and experience in this exciting and not properly studied area. In one of our doctoral research projects we managed to formulate and verify new approach to such development, which fully respects and supports children’s physical, cognitive and emotional development.
In the concluding part I will concentrate on our recent development of a software environment for building the above mentioned ‘computational thinking’ skills. In its essence, it is based on our older Thomas the Clown environment (published by A.W.Bruna, The Netherlands and Logotron, UK) previously implemented in Comenius Logo for Windows, see (Blaho and Kala, 1993). Its goal was to create a playful opportunity for children to accept and understand a limited “vocabulary of symbols”; use it to represent behaviours, and through them solve given problems. In our new and ambitious on-going implementation we want to harness the potential of the original idea by extending the set of expected cognitive operations and learning goals and – most of all – we are opening the environment, so that teachers and children have more opportunities to integrate it into different playing and learning situations and customize it to their actual needs and feelings.
Visiting ZOO – One of the scenes from the new environment We are inviting children to perform and develop such cognitive operations as reading and understanding connections between different representations; interpreting a plan (externalized behaviour) as a sequence of symbolic instructions; verifying such plans by comparing them and identifying mistake(s); building such plans so that they represent solutions to given problems/situations. Doing so we are making extensive use of animation for presenting problems;
supporting children; interpreting their solutions by showing them the correspondence between different representations and importance of order, revealing the final result etc. Our educational goal is to – being compatible with our understanding of the ECCE playing and learning environment – develop constructive, interactive, inspiring, and open educational software, which will mediate new contexts, new interpretations, and new learning challenges to children through supporting computational thinking and 21st century skills.
Conclusion One of the key questions in our actual engagement in developing educational programming skills or computational thinking for very young children is: What is the effect of programming on learning However (based on seminal work of Papert, 1980), even more important is to reflect on: Can computational tools provide new opportunities for learning and play, for exploring, expressing, and sharing ideas, otherwise impossible Our experience and research findings prove that the answer is positive.
References 1. Ackermann, E.K. (2012). Programming For The Natives: What Is It What’s In It For The Kids Proc. of Constructionism 2012, Athens. University of Athens.
2. Barr, D., Harrison, J. and Conery, L. (2011). Computational Thinking: A Digital Age Skill for Everyone. ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). Available at www.iste.org/docs/learning-and-leadingdocs/march-2011-computational-thinking-ll386.pdf (accessed 27 November 2012).
3. Blaho, A. and Kala, I. (1993). Thomas the Clown’s Circus: Order in Action in Picture Languages. In:
Johnson, D.C. and Samways, B. (Eds.) Informatics and Changes in Learning. Proc. of IFIP TC3. NorthHolland 1993, pp. 79-86.
4. Kala, I. (2010). Recognizing the potential of ICT in early childhood education. UNESCO IITE, Moscow, 2010, 148 p.
5. Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. New York: Basic Books, 1980. 229 p.
6. Papert, S. (1999) What is Logo And Who Needs It In Logo philosophy and implementation. Highgate Springs, Vermont: Logo Computer Systems Inc., 1999. 164 p.
Augmenting teacher education to involve public education, professional development and informal learning (M rta Tu rc snyi-Sza b) Mrta Turcsnyi-Szab ELTE University, Faculty of Informatics, Dept. Media and Educational Informatics, T@T lab, Hungary email@example.com Introduction The structure of teacher education is not suitable to handle the extent of changes in ICT progressing in our daily lives influencing the next generation of learners. Thus, there needs to be a sustainable flow of innovation continuously shaping public education in order to bring up a generation that can stand up to requirements within the future workforce. The paper describes how ELTE University teacher education programs adapts to new tools and methodologies as well as topples courses by introducing students to the T@T Mentoring Network and leads students to become active members in knowledge building for their sustainable professional development . The outreach projects initiated within teacher training  and the continuum within the community of practice ables future teachers to transfer competencies into public education  as well as into different forms of informal learning situations .