Just returned from the eTwinning PDW in Oslo where the UK NSS took 5 of our eTwinning Ambassadors. The aim of the workshop was to bring together ambassadors from all over Europe (there were 20 countries represented) to share experiences, learn new skills, and form new partnerships, all within the context of eTwinning.
In keeping with Norwegian culture, a lot of the weekend was spent outdoors. To get to the workshop venue, we took a short ferry ride each morning, and it was wonderful to enjoy the fresh Oslo air and sunshine, as well as the stunning views, during our morning commute!
We had an extraordinary experience on Saturday evening, when we all wrapped up warmly and travelled by horse-drawn sleigh through the snow deep into the forest, where we sat round a roaring fire drinking hot wine. Dinner followed, in a traditional Sami tent - a kind of huge tepee with a fire in the middle. It was a magical time that we all enjoyed tremendously, and that certainly contributed to the quality of the networking during the weekend.
The weekend finished on a real high, thanks to the extremly inspiring talk given by Norwegian teacher, Inge Eidsvåg. Using no technology at all, apart from a microphone, Inge reminded us of the most crucial aspect in all of this: the important role of the teacher as the inspiration for learning, as facilitator, artist, counsellor....and as someone who can foster tolerance and understanding in a rapidly changing world.
And we still had time for a quick walk in the woods beside the worskhop venue before catching the ferry back to Oslo, then saying goodbye to our friends before returning home, happy, enriched - both professionally and culturally - but exhausted!