Weeks 9 & 10: Ode to the joy of learning

Europe and European teachers were in the focus of my activities over the past days. The fourth learning event, Augmented eTwinning Reality, developed and run by the compagnons de route, as Bart likes to call us, took place in the eTwinning learning lab.

Our first event was great, our second event was even greater and the third one was the greatest (so the participants!). So, yes, after the third event, as Bart wrote in his post :

"This is the third Learning Event Arjana and I organized, but this one is really special. We have never seen so much enthusiasm, so much creativity, so much innovative attitude. It’s a learning roller coaster."

and while preparing this fourth event I felt rather panicky because 200 hundred seats for the event were taken in just a few hours. I didn't know if we would live up to the expectations of the participants, who, I was pretty sure, expected us to push the limits even further, beyond the superlative ... to the augmentative or to the super great.

And now that it's over, I think we made it!  I think we enthused and inspired the participants, boosted their creativity and originality and encouraged them to let their imagination run wild with augmented reality. Most of the teachers had little or no experience with these new technologies before the event. But in just a bit less than two weeks of intense learning about the pedagogical use of augmented reality, they became more confident and have already implemented these innovative approaches in their classrooms, not only with their students, but also in collaboration with other participants and their students. Their work represents great examples of best practice of augmented education.

Today Bart and I were invited to talk about our learning events at an online conference for the eTwinning ambassadors. We talked about the "ingredients" that we use to create a place where 200 teachers feel welcome, comfortable and happy to share the joy of learning with us.

European word translator
In the meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, things keep going at their usual, super fast pace. We were greatly honored to have Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of  Meteorology and a 2007 Nobel prize winner along with other IPCC authors, as a special guest at our office to answer all our questions and concerns about the climate change.

With Dr. Michael Mann. Photo by Leila
Yosra, the fellow from Sudan prepared a super delicious Sudanese luncheon for 80 people and I was one of happy helpers.
Yosra giving a presentation about Sudan. Photo by Marc.
We were interviewed by a Collegian reporter and the interview is published here. Our official photos finally arrived and are published on the HHH website at Penn State. I put my official photo on Facebook and it got a record number of likes and comments .... because it's so, so.... so much like a yearbook photo.

The October surprise activity and dinner for Humphrey Fellows took place at Jane's, where we went on a hayride up and down the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania.

Humphrey Hayride. Photo by Jane.
Beautiful Pennsylvania. Photo by Jane.
Fellows and Pei Wei on Jane's porch.
We went to a jazz concert at the Palmers Museum of Art and were impressed with the phenomenal performance by the Penn State Student Ensemble. And last but not least, I went to a meeting organized by the Altrusa Club to listen to a presentation about Croatia, which made me very homesick!


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