On Sunday morning the 30th of July I was ready for a new great adventure: an Erasmus+ course in Stockholm. The week before I’ve finally got within all the documents that were sent, I had read a lot about this country and its capital trying to get as much information as I could. I caught my flight on time not to say how excited I was. Just flying over the Alps on a beautiful day with a clear, blue sky make me feel so pleased of having had the opportunity to experience a training course abroad. I was eager to start.
At the hotel our course leaders David, Steven and Sabrina were waiting for us welcoming all the participants, later sharing the first dinner made everyone feel more relaxed getting the chance to talk and know each other.
Ready to work. The first day were presented the course main aims and the leading methodologies, tasks were given for the week, and in the meanwhile we were divided into four different groups. Since our group was composed by a considerable percentage of South Mediterranean teachers we were “friendly warned” to watch the time, always to be on time for the meetings and even doing our homework day by day. No one could never imagine what kind of diligent pupils we would have become, just at the end of the week!
Everyone presented himself/herself and his/her relative position in school, following some lectures were held by David Powell getting everyone involved trough discussions and debating on how outdoor teaching in cultural and heritage sites can be supported by digital applications and on the outdoor classroom management. The next issue was on using free apps and programs for creating and editing videos. Afterwards a most pleasant task: tasting some food and wine we have brought with us; this helped bonding together as a European team and building relations throughout schools in a multicultural dialogue.
In the afternoon we had an icebreaking activity which was perhaps quite engaging: a “Museum of me” with a few objects everyone had to present herself, telling something of her life, her job or hobbies. Sharing different stories was absolutely team building, helpful to communicate. Later we discussed on the concept of why do we have museums, what museums do and their relation with education, Elearning environments and Mlearning. We also talked on how using different methodologies enhance learning, making it deeper, following the Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory. A greater understanding was gained on how digital applications can support teaching outside the classroom and can help teachers both trough getting control on what students are learning and offering learning materials and activities at any time and any place. We also talked about copyright and privacy management.
Later Steven Ek took us into the city centre for a guided tour discovering through its history but even under different perspectives Gamla Stan. As soon as we finished we could experience the first assignment, a spatial exercise: reading the city as a museum with a special sight on monuments, buildings and landscape.
On Tuesday we experimented outdoor education at Skansen a living open air museum. We also started working on a specific task as a group: taking pictures, interviewing museums’ guides about life in Sweden of women, men and children in three different époques and producing video. Undertaking this specific issue, we realized that the time given was really short further we really needed to work cooperatively. Each of us was therefore in charge of different assignments, the aim was to investigate the Swedish identity and culture in the past. Not to say that was just a pity not having additional time to spend there…
In the afternoon we were ready for the next visit: the Medieval Museum. We were asked to create a lesson investigating artefacts, later the digital task: “Tracks, trail and tags” creating QR codes as information support or research issues for students. We also had the time to visit an exhibition “Levande Historia” which gave us the opportunity to discuss on how the new media, sometimes using tricks, can influence people and to advise others about what they can do to cope with the daily flow of information and to withstand its impact.
On a nice sunny morning, on Thursday, we went for a day trip out of town: our destination was Mariefred and Gripsholms Slott. As always, we had an active involving task: each group was supposed to explore and read this small, lovely renaissance city and describe it through one colour, using tablets. Carrying on this exercise a single rule to respect: only eight pictures! Telling actually the truth I felt like being in the setting of a marvellous picture. In the afternoon a guided tour: the Gripsholms Castle, which houses the Swedish State’s portrait collection, exploring, using and learning from the cultural heritage. How to finish a beautiful day? Back to Stockholm on a steam boat.
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