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Minutes of the fourth meeting (Ploieşti, România)

Thursday, 31/3/2011

The participants are arriving to Ploieşti. Most of the participants stays in the Prahova Plaza Hotel, the UK group lead by Krzysztof in the Class hotel. The team is complete and the workshop can start traditionally – with bread and salt and rakia in CT Spiru Haret. An informal partners discussions then followed during and evening in the KS restaurant.

Friday, 1/4/2011

Welcome and opening introduction After breakfast all the participants went to the Colegiul National Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave National College). After a short introduction by Gabriel the team was split into three groups taking parallel workshops:

  • Gabriel Taga, Cristina Ionescu-Marian: One letter – Ten sounds – One world
  • Daniela Ionescu, Roxana Iordache: Creating interactive presentations
  • Mahmut Develi, Başak Akı: Teaching Speaking

The discussion about the topic continued through the coffee break, after which a block of 3 partners presentations followed:

  • Jonathan Borg and Franco Curmi (MECB, Malta): Virtual and augmented reality in education (with practical examples how to use augmented reality in the classroom)
  • Jan Říha, Veronika Kainzová and Daniela Navrátilová (Czech Republic): Stephen Wolfram and Mathematica (presentation devoted to the case study connected with the demonstration of the Wolfram alpha computational knowledge engine)
  • Kevin Harrington (Ireland): I-CANDO. Teaching Digital Skills to Adult Learners: A Case Study. (A presentation of a prepared e-learing course for the adult learners with an example about digital photography).

After lunch in the KS restaurant a creative course Let’s learn a little bit of Romanian … walking started. At the beginning, a visit of the clock museum brought a lot of various ways how the time is and used to be measured collected from nearly all over the world. Then, during a walk, Romanian partners, namely Gabriel and Daniela explained some details from the history of the city and interesting pieces of information about the main buildings. All participants realized that the city and the surrounding region is closely connected with the oil industry. Unfortunately, it was not possible to see the main orthodox church which was under reconstruction.

A guided tour through Ploiesti centre The afternoon programme included an inspiring debate performed by two three-members teams of students. The discussion dealt with the questions, whether the English language should be (or not) a lingua franca within the European union. The lively debate demonstrated the capability of the Ploiesti team, who was the national winner of the national student discussion competition and will represent this country in the world championship.

The working part of the day was closed by the management meeting devoted to the completing of the project tasks and planning of the followin last project meeting in Dublin (More detailed minutes of the management meeting summarized by Kevin can be found in an internal part of this website).

An intensive partners discussions continued during the dinner in the Bulevard Restaurant. During the evening the participants could enjoy several traditional Romanian songs nicely presented by one of the students, some dancing with with the active participation of the project team came later in this pleasant evening. The Turkish friends served a real surprise ­– an original Turkish ice-cream brought from their home and carefully stored in a special box!

Saturday, 2/4/2011

The morning session was devoted to the exploration of the lovely mountain area around a mountain resort Sinaia in Prahova County, located about 60 km northwest of Ploieşti and 50 km south of Braşov. The bus left at about 8 o'clock in the morning from the hotel and followed a busy road to the mountains.

|Our group at the palace terrace The participants could not only enjoy picturesque natural sceneries, but also learn an important lessons from the modern Romanian history which is in many way connected with other countries. The town Sinaia was named after Sinaia Monastery, around which it was built; the monastery in turn is named after the Biblical Mount Sinai. King Carol I of Romania built his summer home, Peleş Castle, near the town.

The participants really enjoyed a visit to this neo-renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia, built between 1873 and 1914. A palace guide introduced the main facts about the castle, the king family and dynasty as well as the most interesting parts of the museum collection. All this was wonderfully decorated by the surrounding spring nature full of nice flowers.

View Castelul Peleş in a larger map

On the way back there was a stop and refreshment in the Mara hotel. In a small conference room we enjoyed two presentations: Krzysztof Bahrynowski (Great Britain) showed a a practical way how to improve maths through encoding and decoding ciphers and Gabriel remind us and importance of learning cultural heritage through a combined projection devoted to all the partners countries.

During the lunch in the President Restaurant we have to say good bye to one of the Maltese groups (MECB), who had to leave earlier. The second management meeting followed, devoted to establishing final details and responsibilities for guide of good practice, framework, book, etc., as stated coordinated by Francis Fabri (Malta, St. Theresa) and to developing of the project’s research paper, including practices from all different partners. (Nichta Stanescu Lab).

|Colegiul National Mihai Viteazul, our workplace After coffee/tea break the last working session concentrating on the learning of languages started with the following presentations:

  • Jose M. Calvarro Fernandez and Jose Antonio Sanchez Garcia (Spain): Reading Don Quixote was devoted to the reading of various translations of the famous Spanish novel. All the partners read a first sentence in their own language, which was also documented.
  • F. Javier Barragán (Portugal): Cultural Studies and Italian Language teaching showing a language lesson based on an Italian song and its context.
  • Marga Taylor, Angelika Grüne and Gisela Pasenow (Germany): Learning to learn illustrating a computer usage in learning activities.

Award ceremony than follows, the Turkish friends as co-organizers prepared one more surprise – a special gift for each of the partners which included an interesting pieces of traditional craft products. After the session also Krzysztof had to leave for another project meeting in Oslo.

Discussions continued during the dinner in the Bulevard Restaurant after which the project team sang the “Happy birthday” to Pepe, our Spanish coordinator. Then there was time to thank the local organizers and to say good bye, see you in Dublin!

Sunday, 3/4/2011

In the morning all participants left for their homes.