The trip to Usti went mostly well. We had some problems in the metro of prague but we solved them easily. Now we have been working at KONE factory in Usti. It has been interesting. The employees of the factory have been very kind and helpfull to us. At our freetime we have spent a lot of time at the centre of Usti. I will add some pictures here
So… We had a very nice trip to the Czech Republic to a city called ustí nad labem and we met so many awesome people there. It really was really an amazing and educational trip. the city of ústi was absolutely beautiful, it had some “not so good areas” but there were so many mountains that there was always a great view anywhere you looked
This is us at the Prague Airport. There were 7 of us altogether. 6 students and our teacher.
There was 1 third year student and 1 ICT student with us, so not everyone were from my class
On our first night we got to our dorm, we were all really exhausted and went straight to sleep. The beds were hard and squeaky, but the pillows were as huge as the door which was nice and really helped to get you to sleep. On the next day we woke up early in the morning and went to study the area that we lived in, it was ghetto as hell but still kind of nice. Our so called “guides” from the schools that were going, warned us about the gypsy families living in the area. They told us to be careful at nights because they have always been a problem there.
The same day we met our first Czech friends Lukás and honza, they were awesome. They did everything with us and we also met other great people thanks to them. We did basicly everything with our friends. We went to the mall, bowling, mcdonalds, teahouses and everywhere. The teahouses were awesome. We were so mad about not having teahouses like those in finland. They looked like someones home from the outside but inside they were really nice and big, they had huge couches everywhere and there always smelled really nice. There was always like a group of 20 people with us in there, i mean we made so many new friends there and it was just great.
We also went sightseeing many times with our friends, there were a lot of sightseeing towers in ústí. Here is a picture from one of them
Of course we also went to school there. On the first week we did some basic electical installations, the same kind we did in our first year at our school. We also did some electronics and such.. the teachers didnt speak english very well but luckily we had translators from our class Jakub and Daniel.
On our second week at school we did dome pressure air systems called pneumatics and some metalwork.
We visited in the Czech Republic with 5 other students and our teacher. We started our school week in one of the local schools. We did some basic electricity exercises and made few new friends. The whole school week was really fun and little bit different from our school weeks. At the weekends we hang out at mall or around the city we our local friends. Next week we went to the other school and did some hydraulic piston exercises. It was really great experience! We made lot of new friends and had lot of fun with them. Every one was bit home sick and quite tired after two weeks. It was nice to come back to home and still bit sad because we had to leave our new friends. It was worth it to go there and great practice for English language skills. It would be nice to see some of the local friends again some time!
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.