17 June 2018

TC-Holloko, Hungary

The EducatiON line training course, held between 29.05-04.06 2018 in Holloko, Hungary, was truly a project of diversity and multiculturalism. Even if there were five participating countries, the participants came from 12 different countries, from 3 parts of the world: Europe, Asia and South America. 

Because each of the participants had in his luggage memories of journeys made in a larger number of countries, the discussions evolved to be virtual tours of various corners of the world.  The location selected for the project was really special. Holloko, a small village included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, had picturesque views: hills abundant of greenery, paved streets, abundant of flowers and colors, old-style, beautifully ornamented cottages, a castle on a hilltop on the outskirts of the village, magnificent sunrises and sunsets, sounds of nature, aromas of green grass and flowers and  the taste of traditional Hungarian dishes. 

Learning about posture

The project location was beautiful. It was a villa with several rooms located on a hill overlooking the Holloko village, with a large courtyard, space to sit both outside and inside, and within walking distance from a castle. The participants were surrounded by nature, they were able to either sit in silence, rest, walk around or gather in groups for discussions during breaks. The trainers were very present during all the time spent together, very supportive when needed, but also allowing the participants time to figure out their own needs and build their own projects. The participants stuck together from the beginning, making for one united group that worked very well together, in a space of respect and collaboration and fun. 

Circle of creativity

Despite the fact that the days were full with activities and information and by the end of the week everybody felt tired, the projects were completed and they were all amazing, reflecting the various backgrounds and interests of the people involved, as well as dedication and focus in the last day and a half. The exercise proved that it is possible to conceive, plan, build, and present a coherent course in a limited amount of time, aided by professionals and working as a team. 

There was satisfaction, laughter, and confidence that this was something that could be done using existing free online tools in a relatively small amount of time. 

Pausan Andreea: "This project gave me the tools needed to create an online course and to present to my students a different view of the course using online tools. I believe blended learning and flipped classrooms are the future of education. I have learned about video-making and video editing, I have experienced first had how it feels to create a course from the beginning in a short time. Despite all the pressure and doubts, the ideas were valuable and there was a huge satisfaction when they were finally presented for all participants and trainers. On a personal note, I have met some amazing people that I shared a great week with, and it all happened in a wonderful location, in the middle of nature.

During the time we spent on the project, we have succeeded in combining educational activities with fun activities: yoga, sports, outdoor walks, photography, discussions on various topics, dances, group games. It was a busy, but really useful and involving time." 

Bogaci Tatiana :"The EducatiON LINE project was a true incursion into a world of unlimited opportunities, but still to little explored and harnessed: online media. Through the multilateral approach of the topic, the ways of transmitting information, the focus on the practical part and the active involvement of the participants, the project met, and in some cases even exceeded the expectations of the participants. 

During the five intense, but very useful days, we learned not only how to use the online media to disseminate information and organize educational courses, but also how to create quality visual content (photos, videos, text, infographics) to make them more accessible to the public. The platforms we've explored (boomerang, actionbound, kahoot, padlet, google forms, google classroom, big blue button, edmodo, moodle) offer great opportunities to put online education into practice while being accessible. 

Tools for creative activities

The practical part of the training, in which the participants worked in mixed groups and developed their own educational courses, was both an effective way for assimilating in practice online learning platforms and for understanding the stages of content creation, considering the interests of the target audience. Now, the participants are ready for implementing their own educational projects, both in online or offline media. 

During the time we spent on the project, we have succeeded in combining educational activities with fun activities: yoga, sports, outdoor walks, photography, discussions on various topics, dances, group games. It was a busy, but really useful and involving time.

Feedback on final results

The trainers and the participants, with their own professional background and life history, have been inspiring. Everybody's story was a lesson of life and a trip to an unknown reality. Thus, we have discovered what it is like to be a volunteer in Palestine, how immigrant communities live in Greece, what prompted a young man from Kyrgyzstan to study in Europe, the passion for the Russian cuisine of an Italian young man who chose to go to a volunteer mission after finishing school, what are the working conditions and professional aspirations of a young midwife from Greece, how to radically change your life by choosing to live far away from your country, which were the disappointments of a young woman from Chile when she met the "European dream" and many, many more. "