The 2nd Learning/ Teaching /Training Activities Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria

“A Digital Storytelling workshop in Sofia”. The second transnational training / teaching / learning activity meeting of the Erasmus+ project «A European School Around The World »(ESAW), took place in Sofia from the 15th to the 21st May. The training was organized by “Bulgaria Gateway”, the partner organisation of the project and the topic was digital storytelling. The seminar included two very interesting lectures; each presentation was followed by a workshop where the trainees had to create their own authentic material. More specifically, on the first day of the seminar a lecturer from the University of Sofia introduced the notion of storytelling, the influential power of telling stories and some of the most popular digital media that can be used in class in order to teach, inspire or motivate. In the second part of the session we mixed up in groups and created our own – digital – version of the ESAW journey so far. The activity worked really well and by the end of the presentation of the stories there was a strong feeling of bonding. The second training session was devoted to gamification; the speaker, a specialist involved in the field as a games inventor, analysed the principles behind the gamification techniques, stressed the importance of designing material that is human- focused rather than function- focused and showed us the possible applications of storytelling and gamification in class. In the practical part of the training, again mixed up in groups, we had to come up with our own scenario for a game aiming at teaching our pupils a desired behavior in a “playful” way thus enhancing learning and promoting a warm classroom atmosphere. As for the cultural part of the programme, we all enjoyed the walking tour of the city; we saw the Parliament House, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the University of Sofia, Saint Sofia Church, the Church of St. George ( the “Rotonda”, the oldest building in Sofia) and Ivan Vazov National Theatre. We particularly liked the big, green parks and the coolness of the locals basking in the sun. Standing at the crossroads in downtown Sofia where four buildings of religious importance (an orthodox church, a catholic church, a mosque and the synagogue) are all visible against the Bulgarian skyline, we caught a glimpse of the city’s long history and religious and cultural diversity. Our week in Bulgaria came to an end with a day trip to the historic town of Koprivshtitsa. Koprivshtitsa is a picturesque town lying on the Topolnitsa River among the Sredna Gora mountains. It is the place where the April Uprising against the Ottomans started in 1876 and it is still preserving the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival period of the 19th century. In Koprivshtitsa we visited the houses (now turned into museums) of the leaders of the Uprising and the folklore museum of the town as well. We strolled around the cobbled streets and enjoyed a traditional meal in a restaurant housed in a building dating back to the 19th century. Our journey to Sofia ended by saying not “goodbye” but “see you soon” to old and new friends. Click here for video

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