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…..the year moves on!

It is with some concern that I post…particularly as I appear to have started a completely new blog in the interim while this blog has lain somewhat fallow. I do have the oddest compulsion to begin blogs…. and then wander off into the distance leaving them somewhat high and dry. It is time now to get back on track, concentrate and of course to reactivate this blog.
The little gem that I would like to share with readers today is the MuseumKaart

This neat little card that can be bought for Eur39.95 allows free access ( or great discounts) on entry to 400 museums across the country for a whole 12 months.  I for one have used this great card to visit some of the great museums that are local to me.
My present all time favourite is the Museum Beelden an Zee – a sculpture museum that is partly underground in Scheveningen…. the setting is brilliant allowing the sounds from the nearby beach to float over into the calm of the museum. Then there are the special exhibitions and collections themselves… including this amazing piece by Man Ray

The sculpture is not very big, however it is stunning.

Another gem and home to many 20th Century masters is the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag , another striking building designed specially for its collection.

The Gemeentemuseum is one of the most important museums in the world for modern art. The museum’s permanent collection contains not only works by Mondrian, but also works by Picasso, Appel and Klee as well as the Dutch landscapes of the Hague School paintings. In addition, the Gemeentemuseum organises dozens of top-notch expositions each year on modern art, decorative art and fashion.

You’ll find the ‘Treasure Rooms’ on the ground floor, containing highlights from the various museum collections such as paintings by Picasso, Kandinsky, Toorop, Willink and Appel and the fantastic dollhouse from 1743. In the basement there is a special permanent exhibition for children and teenagers called the ‘Wonderkamers’. ( from denhaag.nl)

Don’t miss out on the Mauritshuis – home top Vermeer’s ‘Girl with the Pearl Earing’.., Vermeer lived an died in nearby Delft…. To find out more about the building and collections check out Wikipedia.

I would recommend everyone to make the best of their time in The Netherlands to buy a Museumkaart and get busy exploring.

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Calon Lan

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Welcome to 2011

A New Year dawns and while not promising to post every day I will be attempting to post weekly at the very least.
This year holds much as I plan my transition to Den Haag on or around January 17th….

Having visited the city now on two occasions I can confirm that it has an amazingly positive vibe and I am looking forward very much to getting under the skin of the city.
My first piece of advice to anyone looking to move to The Netherlands on a permanent basis would be to ensure that you have your important documents ( Birth Certificate, Marriage/Divorce Certificates) apostilled prior to leaving your own country. This is required by the local authority with whom you are required to register for your BSN or SOFI Number within days of your arrival. Also required are your job contract and proof of residence ( rental agreement etc). You will need to set up this meeting at your local Town Hall ahead of time, in addition you should arrange for a meeting with a Dutch Bank in order to set up an account into which your salary will be required to be paid.
I will report on these meetings closer to the time that I attend.

Leading up to the Peterson Symposium which will be taking place in Cardiff  next month there have been a series of Reading Groups which have been meeting in all of the IB Global Offices and considering a set of texts once per month. This month’s readings were based around inclusion/the digital divide with the main reading being ‘ Distance training of teachers in a rural area in Kenya‘ by Chiara Pozzi, Sociologist, e-learning didactic designer, Centro di Produzione Multimediale, University of Milano-Bicocca. The study looked at the effective models that worked in the training of teachers in rural Kenya. The main reason for the selection of the text was the image which appears in the paper which shows the world at night with electrically lit areas glowing brightly while some areas of the globe are in darkness in more ways than one. The question raised was how do we bring digital literacy to those dark areas of the globe in Latin America, Southern Africa, India and South East Asia.

Satellite image

I must admit that my view is that we must make use of the technologies which are or have become part of the community – mobile (cell) phones and Television being two powerful media for digital literacy.  I firmly believe that Stephen Heppell is an important voice which organisations should pay heed to.

Below you can see a video from Noah Dumahasi, project manager for Together Ghana, weighs in on the digital divide across Ghana and the development of communication technology in rural Africa. – Providing a Voice

Africa takes on the digital divide
And below an article about The digital divide or access to the latest technology, is far from being equal. An attempt to remedy this is the Digital Equalizer programme of the America India Foundation, started at the initiative of President Clinton in 2001. “We have learnt how to use the camera to record, edit and make a movie from what we have edited and to burn a CD,” said J M Manu Kumar, a student.

Update – interesting reading to add to this mix – the 2008 Millennium Goals from UN
I feel sure that this will provoke a wide ranging discussion as we all consider what steps are required for the future.