…3 successful years!
This week, 3 years ago, we made the decision to take a risk and follow our dream…and what a learning journey it has been!
We have made sacrifices and also been shown great kindness. We have met many new people and also had the opportunity to strengthen the bond of established friendships. We have visited new schools, cities, and countries. We have developed new skills and refined old ones. We have experienced highs and experienced the 'not so highs'. However, it is our sincerest hope that we have made a positive difference to those we have had the privilege to spend time with - in whatever capacity - trainers, coaches, co-workers, family and friends.
We are looking forward to our 4th year, with the knowledge that many exciting projects are beginning or continuing…
…so, can we take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to our families, friends, colleagues, participants and learners that have supported us or welcomed us into their home and working environments. It is much appreciated. Ubuntu - 'I am me because of us.'
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Arriving in Aberdeen quickly became an adventure. The discovery that the hotel really was city centre... a river... parks... shops...ships... the sea...followed by the realisation we are here to work...
It's our first 'Designing for Learning' event in Aberdeen. We know we will see old friends and meet new faces. A perfect combination. The venue preparation went smoothly...with the expert help of another Andrew from Aberdeen. This left us with a few hours to explore the sights and sounds of the city on a sunny Tuesday evening.
Sounds: seagulls, sirens, chatting, singing (from one little girl as she walked along Union Street), more seagulls, bagpipes, shouting, cars, camera shutters (tourists, including us!), someone asking for money, clinking of glasses, more seagulls, beeping from the road crossings, footsteps, someone thinking I was from New South Wales and expressed disappointment at finding it was just South Wales, talking on phones...and more seagulls.
Sights: spires, towers, turrets, shops, at least 3 Starbucks and 2 Waterstones, interesting side streets, cobbles, monuments, seagulls, seagulls, seagulls on monuments, hotels, restaurants, 'To Let' signs, families, tourists, people in business suits, tattoos, workers, ships, pubs, cafes, churches, museums, seagulls, more spires, river, park, gravestones, flags.
We absolutely love walking around the locality and getting a feel for the community we are joining for the next few days. People watching is a skill we are honing with great enjoyment.
A shout out for Gavin, the manager in Jamie's Italian restaurant, Aberdeen. Superb knowledge...eager to accommodate different dietary requirements. Honesty, passion about food and a friendly attitude. We came away knowing new facts about Italy, Italian cooking and buffalo mozzarella...as well as having a tasty dinner!
Aberdeen City - thank you!
A tweet arrives from @nelkcarps - Gary is in town!
We arrange to meet Gary in our usual spot for a coffee catch-up. It's becoming a regular occurrence…and one we look forward to immensely.Superb graphic from @nelkcarps.
It could more accurately be described as a play-date. A term we had not heard until recently. Basically, us big kids, arrange to meet up using the grown up 'coffee catch-up' as an excuse….but head to a play-date that is full of laughter, exploring various apps, playing on iPads, scribbling great works of art on serviettes and trying to remain blissfully unaware of the glances thrown our way from 'real grown-ups' as we become increasingly more animated and excited. We do drink coffee though. And, to be fair, the sight of an iPad being thrown on the floor to demonstrate the 'toughness' of the kid-proof case, is probably not something that is seen every day in this particular coffee shop.
The conversation jumps between edtech, learning, eat all you can buffets, IPACA, twitter, trains, apps, risk-taking, education, ribs, packing a car, more apps, lego, photography, more apps, awards, teaching, kids, 3D printing, school trips, more apps, the possibility of 4D printing, spray paint that makes anything waterproof….and the House of Lords.
The 'chit-chat' never stops…and in the middle of that we are trying out new apps and attempting to make a video and import it into the 'aurasma' app (or Lynne is, badly!).
Andrew sighs at the sight of me (Lynne) jumping between apps…with Gary quickly demonstrating his skill of operating an iPad upside down (the iPad was upside down, not him). It must be a transferable 'teacher' skill - reading a book aloud to a class, at the same time as holding it up so illustrations can be seen, requires the skill of 'upside down, reverse reading'. Only this is the 21st century version!
Andrew's sigh is related to the fact that I am likely to continue excitement at these apps way past our coffee catch up…and, with heading to Scotland for most of August, we are not needing distractions whilst in the midst of preparations. So I've promised not to play with the apps yet…but if anyone else has an iPad/iPhone and wants to try them out, search for 'Aurasma', 'Morfo' and 'colAR Mix' in the app store. You won't be disappointed.
Thanks, Gary, for a great couple of hours - we look forward to the next 'coffee catch-up'…and a trip to see you in IPACA.