On our last day, we were to finish our webquests. Minna and I decided to join forces and made one awesome webquest on Sustainable Tourism. This work is for anyone to develop and try with students. Should you be interested, we can provide you with some background in return to hearing about your experience.
After the webquests had been presented, it was time for the last entry in the course programme, the certificates. We all got certificates and lots and lots of pictures were taken. We gave the organisers some local felt articles and Suomi chocolates. Morgan, who was to leave for Iceland the next day, also got a first aid kit to help in case of (small) crisis and an ao tube scarf to keep him warm… Then we all went our separate ways, we took a flight back home (half an hour late, with no explanations).
All in all, the course was really interesting, we learned a lot about various online applications, learned to make our own websites in weebly and got a glimpse of the future, the augmented reality. Our teachers Morgan and Veronica were really both experts in their fields, the practical arrangements went well, and we even got links to all the material used. We also got new ideas and, of course, new friends.
Thursday was a really interesting day. In the morning, we studied Weebly. Weebly is
another online tool with which you can create webpages. Those pages can be e.g. “normal” webpages, a portfolio or even an online shop. Then we went on to study we
bquests and each of us had to make our own. Minna and I worked together but made our own sites. On those sites we then prepared webquests. Our webquest is about ecotourism in Himos and Jämsä region. The results of our work (still under construction) can be seen in our respective weebly-sites.
In the evening we had a dinnerdate with an old friend. Does anybody recognise her? We saw Ivona and her husband. They took us to a lovely little place near the National Theatre. Some very traditional Czech dishes were served. We had a very nice dinner and a nice talk.
After dinner we walked to the oldest beer brewery and pub, the U Fleků, in town.
Actually, they do not make beer there anymore. The brewery was established in 1455, so it is more than 650 years old. Nowadays it is a pub serving their own beer, with live accordeon music in the background.
On Wednesday we met Veronica who led us to the wonderful world of making presentations. First, she introduced Coggle to us, a Google-tool that one can make some graphical (mindmap-like) presentations. This was just a brief introduction, since not everyone had (or wanted to use) a Google account.
But, what then makes a good presentation, e.g. in Powerpoint? I memorised some rules:
No more than 3 different font sizes,
No more than 3 different colours,
Make sure your graphs and charts tell the right thing and make sure you use them properly,
Use a sans sherif -font, like Arial (and not Times New Roman),
Avoid using time consuming transitions (animations),
Better not to use automatic timing,
Avoid wasting space on the obvious, like telling to click here or there when you can just add a hyperlink right into the text,
Always save the best for last (i.e. the most important thing).
Once we had learned all that, we practised making a Prezi-presentation and talked a little about Powtoon, a cartoonlike animated video. We also looked at word clouds in Word It Out. Genial.ly was something that I had not heard of before. In it you can add symbols to pictures. Then you can assign a function to that symbol, like opening a website or playing a video. Sounds and looks good, worth trying.
Above you see our topics for the second day. But first we played the Kahoot!-quizzes we made yesterday. Our quiz was about Finland and, not a big surprise, our teacher Morgan won. We gave him a bag of salmiakki as a prize. He then passed the bag around, and the faces of our classmates were really worth seeing…
Next we discussed the pros and cons of online applications. To record our discussion, we used popplet. The results can be seen in the picture below.
We continued with popplet to discuss cyber bullying. We shared ideas on how to instruct children and youth to be careful in the internet and to use netiquette. We also shared some links to really interesting websites on the subject:
In the afternoon, we joined a group of Turkish students attending the same kind of ICT in Education course to learn about Smartboards at a local elementary school. Unfortunately, because of the difference in the level of the two groups’ language skills, it was not very fruitful to us. Nevertheless, we got some new ideas and again some links to useful resources.
After school, we took a tram up to Prague Castle to see some of the wonderful gardens and enjoy the sights. Then we walked down to the city centre, did some shopping and had dinner. After 13 hours on our feet, we were quite ready to turn in again.
After breakfast, we started on foot to the course venue. First, we crossed the river Vltava which is quite near our hotel. The distance between the hotel and the course venue is, according to Mr Google, about 1,3 km, so that would have been a nice morning walk had there not been a steep hill…
Well, we found out way to “school” where we were most warmly welcomed by the staff and our teacher, Morgan, who by the way is a Fenno-enthusiast. He has been to Finland and he says that loves the peace and quiet there. There are five students in our group, they all come from different countries. There are representatives from Latvia, Italy, Slovenia and then there are us, Minna and I. The first day was a little shorter, we covered some online applications and then each of us prepared a Kahoot! -quiz that we are going to play tomorrow.
In the afternoon, we had a guided tour, on foot, in the city. Our guide was very knowledgeable and she also has been to Finland, to Helsinki. In the photos, you see some famous sights of Prague.
My colleague Minna Taipale and I have received an Erasmus+ -grant to attend a course “ICT in Education” in Prague. In Finland, the Erasmus+ -programme is administered through CIMO. CIMO is the national agency for the European Union’s education and youth programmes.
The weather on the ground was nice and sunny, but once we got off the ground, it became a bit dark and gloomy. But then, when we got high enough, the sun was naturally shining again above the clouds. When we started our descent to the Prague airport, the sun was shining also on the ground.
Once we got to the hotel, we were so tired after havíng travelled Minna for eight and Sari for 11 hours, that all we did, was to find the nearest restaurant which was a nice Italian place. We had our dinner outside under the trees, it was such a warm night and turned in.
There is a group of eight Czech IT-students from Stredni prumyslova skola Usti nad Labem – Stribrniky visiting the electrical engineering department of Jämsä College. The visit lasts for two weeks between 9 and 20 November.
Read more about the visit in the Electrical Engineering students’ blog here (mostly in Finnish).
All things must come to an end, and so must our journey. We are taking the first ever direct Finnair flight from Dublin to Helsinki. In celebration of that, there are balloons decorating the gate and refreshments with special cupcakes are served to the passengers.
Hopefully we will be reunited with our luggage once we get back home. See you soon!