Friday, November 22, 2013

The Project's Initial Meeting at EOI Cornellà

Just a few hours seem to have passed since yesterday night’s goodbyes and we are all back at the school for the first of the project meetings.
No one at EOI Cornellà wanted to miss this occasion, so all the school staff was there. Our Grundtvig teacher assistants from France and Poland have also taken part in it, and the four trainee teachers doing their practicum with us have willingly accepted the invitation to participate as well.
The clock strikes 10 a.m. and Oriol Pallarés, the principal at EOI Cornellà, opens the COMMUNITEK – Melting Distances initial meeting and goes on to introduce all the attendees: France Lathouwers and Stéphanie Close from the Centre d’Orientation et de Formation in Amay, Belgium; Tiina Kangas-Bryan from the Lapuan Kansalaisopisto in Lapua, Finland; Niki Koutalianou and Panagiota Bourtsoukli from the IT Academy Panagiota Bourtsoukli in Tripoli, Greece; Marta Márquez from the University of Chester in the UK – who this time joins us via Skype – and Laura Borràs, Eulàlia Vilaginés, Marc Julià, Daniel Lopez, Karen Carty, José Manuel Fernández, Carolina García, Aleksandra Tymczewska, Jessica Alborghetti and Elena Duvent as the ‘home team.’

Important aspects regarding how the different project tasks will be carried out and which institution will be responsible for each of them over the following two years are agreed upon, as is the assessment procedure to be followed. The ICT tools that will be created and used throughout the project are also introduced ­­– such as the project blog, YouTube channel and website.

The next mobilities to each of the different participating institutions are discussed and planned too, yet the precise dates for the more distant ones are still to be confirmed.

To help everyone through this four-hour meeting, one of our French students has kindly home-baked a tray of tasty treats for us – for which we thank him very much!

And speaking of eating, at 2 p.m. the meeting is closed and all the attendees are invited to lunch at a nearby restaurant school, where secondary school dropouts in training have another opportunity to explore their talents and sense of worth outside regular education – they have even let us peek into the kitchen!

After a couple of hours of getting to know each other a bit better and talking about everyone’s expectations regarding the project, the time to say goodbye – or rather see you soon – finally comes. Next stop: Amay, April 24th.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Getting To Know Each Other In Cornellà, Barcelona

After months of intense, hard work, a great deal of brain racking, seemingly endless form filling, loads of telephone conversations and countless emails exchanged, our COMMUNITEK – Melting Distances project has finally begun to take shape today with the coming together of the coordinators for the five educational institutions involved.

The Official Language School of Cornellà in Barcelona has been the setting for the first of several meetings that are to take place in the different participating institutions over the next two years.

Our guests have come from the four corners of Europe to get to know each other in person and to set the project in motion.

Representatives of the Centre d’Orientation et de Formation in Amay, Belgium, the Lapuan Kansalaisopisto in Lapua, Finland, and the IT Academy Panagiota Bourtsoukli in Tripoli, Greece have been met at the school by our principal and by some of our teachers this afternoon. The representative of the University of Chester in the UK will join us tomorrow via Skype as it has been impossible to find a date that would accommodate all schedule constraints.

After being shown around the school premises, our guests have popped into a few classes to introduce themselves to our students – to the pleasant surprise of the latter, let it be said – and to tell them about the starting of the project.

And to make sure the project gets off to a good start, a training session on the use of ICT tools – which will be needed for communication between partners throughout the project as well as for sharing students’ productions and disseminating the project’s results and activities – has followed.

Finally, a ‘fellowship dinner’ in the small-town-flavored neighborhood of Gràcia in the Catalan capital has brought this first day to a relaxing close in preparation fro tomorrows hectic morning.