Monday, 25 January 2016

Belated Happy Birthday Wishes, Dear Blog!

Create your own Animation

Seven whole years have passed since my world opened up in November 2008 and a new dimension was discovered.  Blogging has brought me much joy and expanded my knowledge of the world.  I have met many wonderful bloggers along the way, each and every one of them helping me to continue on this incredible journey.

I have been inspired to rescue this post from my drafts folder after reading Natasa's inspiring post:

 My Blog is Eight Years Old.

I have discovered ways of using technology effectively within my classes, made so many new friends and been invited to present at many econferences throughout this period.

I do hope I will carry on blogging for many more years to come!



http://www.rasaint.net/ - Glitter Graphics

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Registration now open for EVO 2016 sessions!

A very happy new year to everyone!  I hope 2016 is going to be a great year for us all full of happy occasions and inspirational events:-)

CPD Opportunity for 2016!
This week from 3rd - 11th January the TESOL Electronic Village Online yearly sessions can be viewed and you can now register to attend one or more exciting CPD opportunities.  The sessions are FREE, and they last for 5 weeks and kick off from January 11th and finish on February 14th.  They are open to anyone around the globe who wishes to learn about something educational. There is a wide range of fascinating topics on offer, 14 in fact, so there should be something to suit everyone!


You can view the different session outlines and important information on how to register on the EVO Sessions 2016 Call for Participation wiki page.

I am delighted to be moderating once again for the third year in a row on EVO Ebook for Teachers' session, together with Shelly Terrell's fabulous team of co-moderators.



Why don't you join the eBook moderators on Friday for a pre-session EbookEVO chat on Twitter?  Details in the image below, courtesy of our lead moderator and organizer, Shelly Terrell.

Looking forward to seeing you in the EVO sessions.  I can assure you they will be fun, educational and memorable!! 

The Electronic Village Online Hashtag is:  #evosessions

I did a presentation called The EVOlution of Jan! for IATEFL YLT in January 2015. The slides via PresentMe demonstrate the EVO sessions I have attended since I first joined as an eager participant in 2009.  I hope you will be inspired to register for a session in 2016!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Friday, 13 November 2015

Electronic Village Online 2016


I am currently doing the EVO Moderator training for 4 weeks and am enjoying the experience very much!  Even though 2016 will be my third year of moderating on the eTextbooks for Teachers session, all moderators are required to follow the training again, which is a very good thing.  We find out about the sessions that are being proposed for 2016.  The outcome will be published in early December.  We all help each other with feedback comments and get to know our fellow moderators, mentors and Organization Team a bit more.

Part of the training involves reading lots of interesting elearning and emoderating articles and then discussing them in a special and private EVO Moderators' Google+ community.  I get notifcations on a daily basis of everyone that posts, so I can keep updated really easily.  Inbetween picking our olives last week, attending the training has been very nice and relaxing.  Each Sunday there is a Google Hangout on Air /  Blackboard Collaborate live meeting with the Lead Moderators and the weekly tasks are discussed.

You can view my wiki page on The EVOlution of Jan, which also gives information about previous years'  EVO sessions.

The 2016 sessions will run from 10th January - 14th February 2016.  Teachers from around the globe are invited to participate for free.  All the dedicated moderators run the sessions on a voluntary basis, and this is what makes EVO so special and different from most online courses!!

The proposals are all very exciting, and once they are up in the main wiki, I will post the link up in this blog post. 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Pennadomo, a Unique Village in Abruzzo


Recently we travelled to Pennadomo, a small village about an hour away by car from where we live.  It was a memorable visit.

We had read about Pennadomo in the local paper, Il Centro, and found out about the amazing Project Pennadomo. 

This old formerly abandoned village has set about regenerating itself and is piloting the first eco village of its kind in Italy. The founder and main organizer is Barbara Ciarrapico who has set about transforming this small hill-top village into an ecological and self-sustaining tourist destination in the near future. This project will revitalise the area and bring in a lot more tourism, and hopefully put Abruzzo on the world wide map.

You can read more about this in La Fondazione IKO page.






The IKO coin
We were very happy to buy the beautifully crafted silver and gold Iko Number One coin which cost 50 Euros.

We are the very proud owners of the coin  below..


This money will go towards funding this very ambitious project which will cost hundreds of thousands of Euros to complete.  With this coin we will be able to use it as currency in the village and we will also be able to keep it as a wonderful souvenir!   The Pennadomo Project experience will involve local food, artisinal handicrafts, cultural events and a wealth of exciting activities. A stay there promises to be a truly wonderful Abruzzese gastronomic delight!!

Pennadomo is a beautiful village and we were very priviledged to be given a personal guided tour by Elisa, one of the group responsible for making the charming gift sacks for the IK0 coin Number One.  
 
 The building where they produce these sacks by hand is called 'Taglio e Cucito'.

We also met the organizing commitee and I had a photo taken with them all.  They gave me and K such a very warm welcome to Pennadomo!!  We explained we had come to the village as a direct result of seeing the newspaper article in Il Centro, and of viewing the Youtube video!  It was amazing to actually meet the people we had seen in the video.

With Elisa we climbed 180 old steep steps right to the top of the village and the views from there were absolutely spectacular!!!

Abruzzo can be justifiably proud of its title 'The Greenest Region in Europe!'.

We saw this charming statue of the Madonna, which was at the foot of the steps.




Lake Bomba is below in the distance.  You can see a Canadair fire-fighting aircraft coming in to land on Lake Bomba to load up with tons of water to fight some local forest fires which have devastated nealy 400 hectares of land, including oak forests, olive groves and vineyards in the local Abruzzo area.  These aircraft scoop up almost 1,300 gallons of water in 12 seconds.  The pilots fly through narrow valleys and thick smoke, and they do this hour in and hour out. They are amazing!

 
Rugged mountain scenery surrounds the village. 

 

The youtube video below gives lots of info (in Italian) about Pennadomo. Towards the end you can see Elisa talking passionately about her role in this incredible life-changing project:



Visiting Pennadomo was one of the best experiences I have ever had here in Abruzzo.  I cannot wait to go again next year to see how the project has evolved!!

I wish Barbara, Elisa and all the villagers great success in achieving the goal of regenerating the village and bringing it back to life!!

Thanks so much for giving us such a lovely welcome to Pennadomo!!