THE FIRST LEARNING, TEACHING AND TRAINING ACTIVITITY MOBILITY: PODCASTS AND GREEK HOSPITALITY

On the first day of the meeting, the Headmistress of the 3rd General Lyceum in Corfu, Mrs Ifigenia Rakopoulou, and the coordinator of the project in Greece, Mr Spiros Kontostanos welcomed all the guests, who also introduced themselves and, as it is usual, the boys from the invited countries made the presentation of their cities and school with explanations and images.

During four days, the students of the six countries participating in this project on emigration, racism and integration in a sustainable environment spent some hours a day to produce a set of podcasts about the topics of the project.

Briefly so that it is understood, podcasting is a way to share multimedia files, mainly original audio or video recordings about very varied topics and accessible on the Internet. It is noticeably a valuable tool in education and it can be used to teach and train students about different subjects, which obviously improves their self-confidence and speaking skills.

So our students of this 1st mobility began their tasks in Corfu with a brainstorming session and thus they could assess the podcast thematic line and decide what they were going to talk about. After this, they could have a good basis to start the recording. Groups formed by 4 or 5 pupils mixed from different countries, produced a set of six podcasts which will be accessible in the project dissemination platforms.

The activity would have been much more complex without the inestimable help of our Swedish colleague, Mr. Johan Burman, a music and media teacher in our Swedish partner school, and without the technical recording equipment that was brought by the Swedish team. The students were delighted to work with this specialized podcast equipment. For most of them, it was their first podcast creation.

At the end of the recording sessions, the pupils assessed the mobility carried out by means of a few simple questions and the students put the final finishing touch with a plastic work and in groups they made paintings on the themes that star in our project. At the end of the week, the project tasks culminated in the delivery of the Attendance Certificates to every participant.

Throughout the week, the tasks within the school and the visits to historical points and institutions of Corfu were perfectly combined. There was a reception by the Educational Authorities for the guest delegations at the Town Hall, as well as a visit to two of the most remarkable churches in the town: Saint Spyridon, the Orthodox Church devoted to the Patron of the island, and the Catholic Cathedral of Saint John. Despite sporadic downpours, the streets of Corfu looked bright under this changing sky. The Historical Centre of Corfu, with a very Venetian mark and embraced by the sea, is included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.

Visiting the Old Fortress, one could see the impregnable city. It is logical that there are two fortresses if so frequently the island was attacked in the past, but at the same time it seems a fragile city: so collected in itself and with its crowded rooftops and the bell tower of St Spyridon Church as a vigilant and protective father.

This meeting allowed us to visit key museums on the island of Corfu, as varied as the Archaeological Museum, which, in elegant modern facilities, transported us for a while to ancient Greece, the Museum of Asian Art, where the students were amazed by the more than 11000 pieces from China, India, Japan ... in an impressive collection in the historical Palace of St. Michael and St. George and the Museum of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Head of State of independent Greece.

We could also feel a bit of the charm of other parts of this island, as the Greek host team organized a tour of several hours that began not far from the capital, at the Achilleion Palace, commissioned by Isabel of Bavaria, Empress of Austria and known as Sissi. During this unique day, we were pervaded by this green island full of gentle hills that reach small villages, with beaches of intense turquoise waters, such as Paleokastritsa.

Many of our students will not forget this place, its surrounding scenery, the immensity of the Ionian Sea from the promontory of the Paleokastritsa Monastery, or its bay protected by steep cliffs. Whether it is true or not, as we told the students, if Ulysses stopped off on his way back home to Ithaca, it is amazing that he did not stay here in Corfu forever.

The meeting has filled the young lives of our students with unforgettable memories and we all have treasured a precious learning and human experience.

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