Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group Newsletter no. 5 - July 2015 - Page 42

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2015 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------At another brown bag for the Teacher Leadership Faculty I co-presented with Bart Verswijvel, Education and Communications Officer from the European Schoolnet in Brussels. He joined us via Webex and was so kind to stay with us during the whole session, even though, unlike us, he did not get a brown bag. Bart and I talked about the eTwinning network and how teachers use it to launch projects, connect with their peers and develop professionally. Our presentation was so inspiring, that this September one of the Penn State professors is going to visit eTwinning in Brussels and meet with Bart Verswijvel and Anne Gilleran to learn more about eTwinning. But of course I did not forget Europe and European teachers because I brought eTwinning to the United States with me! As an eTwinning ambassador I promoted eTwinning in the United States whenever I could. One of the events where I talked about eTwinning was a brown bag lunch. Brown bag lunches, informal meetings that take place over lunch, are very popular in the US. A brown bag lunch is usually an informative session about a topic that is of interest to faculty and students who bring their own food, usually packed in a brown bag. Sometimes the food is provided for the participants. While in the US, I attended a number of brown bags, both as an attendee and an invited speaker. At two brown bags I talked about Croatia and the things I love about my country: romantic lighthouses and beautiful sunsets at the Adriatic, traditional wooden toys, Dalmatian dogs, coffee and those beautiful Chicagoan Indians on Horseback by the Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, to mention just a few. I think I was a good ambassador of my country, because after the presentation, some attendees told me they would like to visit Croatia. During my Fellowship year, Bart and I designed and led two learning events on the topic of implementing augmented reality in the classroom. 400 teachers took part in these two learning events. 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 less than two weeks of intense learning about the pedagogical use of augmented reality, they became more confident and started implementing innovative approaches in their classrooms. Some of them collaborated with other participants and their students and many of them tried out the activities at home with their families. The work they shared represents great examples of best practice of augmented education (ARieTW and ARETW). In October 2014, a conference for eTwinning ambassadors was organized online. I was very excited about the invitation extended to Bart and me to talk about our learning events and to share our "secrets" with the eTwinning ambassadors. We talked about the "ingredients" that we use to create a place where our participants feel welcome, comfortable and happy to share the joy of learning with us. 42