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Whilst I was in Nottingham, I met many lovely people frm across Europe.
One such ‘lovely person’ was Lidija from Croatia who, as well as a teacher, is a writer and had asked if she might interview some people for an article.
Guess who got volunteered?

You can watch my interview below, and also others on Lidija’s Youtube channel Pogled kroz prozor including one with @niiloa. Lidija’s article will be published soon – I’ll let you know when!

* Pogled kroz prozor means Look through the window

Yesterday, as the European eTwinning Ambassadors PDW at National college of School Leadership in Nottingham drew to a close, I took part in what Drew Buddie aka @digitalmaverick entitled ‘a Teachmeet style-y thingy’.

Drew introduced the idea of an ‘unconference’ explaining both TedX and Teachmeet before opening the floor to others to share their 7 minute micro or 2 minute nano presentations.

I was first up – see the next post for my presentation – and later for a video of it (if it’s not too hideous!)

Other presenters were-

Lieven from Flanders who shared his magnificent projects, all documented on his blog. These included repurposing old computer mice, decorating them and then using TuxPaint to animate them (MouseArt), using Pivot to make animations of bubbles (B@llobees) and also to make animated characters @ni & M@te who travelled to other schools and found out about them.

Two things that particularly struck me were firstly when Lieven said he liked ‘making the unexpected valuable’ which struck a chord, and also the use of technology to back up and enhance more traditional methods eg the Kindergarten pupils made bubble pictures with paint and straws, and those pieces of art were used as the background for the Bubble animations.

Next up was Paddy who talked about his eTwinning project Wii will rock you which used the Nintendo Wii as a stimulus.  I enjoyed this presentation as Paddy underlined that it was not all about playing games, but that the games were the starting point for other activities – writing letters, designing CD covers, planning tours with travel plans and money considerations, cooperation with other children, publicity and negotiation.  They also worked on a joint sports day with a school in ireland with some ‘traditional’ sports day activities as well as Wii based ones.

Then Susi Arnott shared about using comic strips and Comic Life, and how the process of looking at comics enhanced the understanding of texts and enhanced literacy skills.  She mentioned Bitstrips which I will be investigating!

Drew used Twitter to ask why people went to Teachmeets- responses included:

‘the range of ideas’

‘a cross subject sharing of ideas’

‘non threatening’ collaborative spirit’

‘celebrating work done in my classroom’

‘meeting like minded colleagues leads to great PLNs’

‘at least 20 ideas for use tomorrow’

‘widens my ideas’

Nick Falk finished up the meet with a nano-presentation on the use of QR codes and QR readers in mobile phones.  Very interesting, and something I need to investigate!

No camel, no fruit machine and no alcohol; but otherwise pretty like a normal TeachMeet! Oh, and no cupcakes.  Sorry @niiloa

Michael Purves shared his ‘tale’ this morning.  A pretty inspiring tale it was too, taking him from a ‘despondent, stuck in a rut’ teacher into an eTwinner extraordinaire running eTwinning projects between 40+ countries.

His journey started in 2007 when he was browsing the LTS  website with a colleague and came across eTwinning.  Having registered his interest, his first project was with a Finnish school and was a comparison of food and sport called A healthy passport.

At an eTwinning PDW in Ischia, his next project was hatched, based on the premise that animals speak different languages – dogs say guau in Spanish but woof in English etc.

Perhaps his biggest project was Schoolovision, a Eurovision song contest for primary kids.  With over 40 countries involved it was a big project, involving video recording and editing, voting by Flashmeeting and blogging.  He goes for big projects as his latest is a Snapshot of Europe with pupils across Europe taking photographs of their local environment in four categories.

Schoolovision2009

Schoolovision2010 and now

Michael shared the benefits of eTwinning-

for him, it led to a new dimension in his teaching, a renewed sense of belief in his teaching, an ‘I can’ attitude, and lots of fun, laughter and friendship.

For his pupils, a growing ‘digital literacy’, fun and friendship, a greater understanding of one another, plenty of cooperation and the opportunity to plan and make desscions about their own learning.

And for the school, international recognition.  For example, his class have been on Newsround on the web!

A super douper ambassador – and not a Ferrero Rocher in sight.

I’m in Varna!

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Made it to the hotel at 2.30am this morning and this is what I did!

Already engrossed in the conference and tweeting madly, but I’m looking forward to the sun sea sand and swimming pool!

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Cathedral, Varna, Bulgaria, originally uploaded by Tim Waters.

By now I should be schmoozing wth eTwinning Ambassadors from across Europe at a 5 star hotel in Varna, Bulgaria. Instead, I am sitting in a pub at Budapest Airport. It’s a long story….

I will finally arrive in Varna at 1.35 am – was due at 15.30. However, I am grateful that
a)I met George Glass at Heathrow this morning to save me from a serious panic attack
b) the ladies at the Austrian Airways ticket desk were much more pleasant than their representative at the gate when our original ‘plane was horribly delayed
c) BA had flights today to Varna
d) George had some euros

So, hoping to report from Varna tomorrow.

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