Odysseus goes Portugal

Mar 17, 2013

The ten-day long Learning Odyssey that Bart and I were running in the eTwinning Learning Lab moved from the virtual to the real world in Portugal last week. At the annual eTwinning conference, held in Lisbon, we delivered two workshops about The Pedagogical Value of eTwinning projects.

The workshops were well received by the teachers who wanted to learn more not only about the web 2.0 tools that they can use in their eTwinning projects, but also about the pedagogy behind the tools (or ahead of the tools). We received fantastic feedback and I'm still over the moon about it, because so many teachers approached us after the workshops to tell us that our sessions were the best or among the best sessions of the entire conference.  Also, after the first workshop the good word about what we did and how we presented this topic spread around and we were asked to let in some other teachers who hadn't previously signed up for our workshops.
What the teachers liked most about the workshops (and so did we) was that they were full of surprises,  just like  Odysseus' voyage was full of unexpected twists and turns – however, in our Learning Odyssey, all the surprises were more than pleasant, from beautiful sandy beaches, Nutella jars and TTYPs to  exit slips, treasure troves and  sailor's wisdom for eTwinners.

The PORTalisbon is now in a safe harbor but ready to set sail to new, still undiscovered learning beaches and treasure islands.

A Learning Odyssey - the fun starts here!

Mar 2, 2013

The learning event The Pedagogical Value of eTwinning projects that Bart and I are running in the eTwinning Learning Lab is now in full swing. The warming up part was well received by more than 150 participants.

Bart and I have collected not only a lot of resources and tools to engage our particpants, but we've also prepared some fun tasks for them that they have been doing with pleasure and passion. We're delighted to see how enthusiastic and inspiring the eTwinners are and how committed they are to lifelong learning and collaborating with peers from across Europe.

Our first fun activity was a Thinglink map of Europe where they were invited to introduce themselves with a video, photo or link to the website of their school, hometown or country. We have two maps now - one bigger,  the other smaller and both are filled with beautiful videos and images.

The second task was to write their favorite saying on the 21st century education and learning on a Linoit Board. The result was amazing - there are about 100 quotes on the board.

Our third task relates to the nickname of our learning event. We called it our Learning Odyssey, because our goal is to take the participants on a journey where they will acquire the skills to carefully navigate through the sea of availabale tools, to learn how to resist the seemingly irresistible allure of web 2.0 tools and how to strategically plan to use the tools as a means to achieve the required learning outcomes in their educational context.So we asked the participants to share their favorite song about the sea, which we will feature on the welcome page of the Learning Odyssey. Their response was fantastic - we now have 48 seasongs (and counting). And the event lasts for only 10 days!

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