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Archive for the ‘work trip’ Category

This year was my second time to attend and present at the European Council of International School (ECIS). Last year was in Nice, France and we experienced that glorious Mediterranean climate.

This year was in Hamburg, a lovely city in Northern Germany. Not a lot of photos from this work-related trip. My few photos were taken with a shaking (cold) hand holding an iPhone. So best kept hidden in my iPhoto events and not shared on the interweb. I didn’t really see much of Hamburg during the day except during the 5-min walk from the hotel to the conference site.

I attended a whole-day pre-conference workshop to be trained to serve as a member of the accreditation team for the Council of International Schools (CIS). This is my second accreditation training for/from two different international organizations and it was interesting to note the similarities (and differences) between the two in the approach to an accreditation visit. For me, another advantage of being in this accreditation workshop for CIS is meeting administrators and teachers from international schools that follow different curriculum models/programme. In a way, during breaks, conversations about education and the future of education is enriched by these different perspectives.

My colleague and I gave two 1-hour presentations on (1) new curriculum developments, and (2) current and future initiatives in the organization. Although we use PC at work, we now have access to a ‘floating’ macbook which can be loaned, so this time, the presentation was done on Keynote. The presentation looks so much slicker!

Apple was one of the sponsors in ECIS and they ran a few workshops. I went to one on podcasting as I have been meaning to start a project on getting Dan North to podcast his spectacular blog.

To me, one of the best things about ECIS this year is the keynote address. Wade Davis spoke about the extinction of cultures and what it means for the legacy that humanity leaves behind. In his book, The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World, he argues that “the myriad of cultures makes up an intellectual and spiritual web of life that envelops the planet and is every bit as important to the well being of the planet as is the biological web of life.”  He lamented on the lost of language and predicted that of the 7,100 languages spoken today, half will not be passed on.

This makes me think about the death of the beautiful Filipino alphabet baybayin. Our alphabet was one of the casualties of the Spanish occupation. It’s a beautiful script and to me, it looks like waves of water – how fitting for a country of more than 7,100 islands!

The quote below was attributed to the Philippine national hero, Dr Jose Rizal (1869):

This language of ours is like any other,
it once had an alphabet and its own letters
that vanished as though a tempest had set upon a boat on a lake in a time now long gone.

“To My Fellow Children”,
English translation by P. Morrow

Here is a good link, maintained by Paul Morrow, to the ancient script in the Philippines: http://www.mts.net/~pmorrow/bayeng1.htm

Wade Davi’s book is a good read and comes with an annotated bibliography. Or you can also watch him here on TED talking about endangered cultures.

Oh, and I had a tweet-up with the lovely @gravesle who went to see our presentation. We had a lovely chat about collaboration and master’s classes and, of course, time for photo ops! Look on Leigh’s flickr. And here is her awesome site that should be on your RSS reader!

tweet-up @gravesle and @kloza

tweet-up @gravesle and @kloza

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Work with a view © kloza

Work with a view © kloza

I don’t know about you but when I see a rainbow and I superstitiously suspect that I’m going to have an awesome day! And today, at work, I saw 3 rainbows at different times of the day. At one point, two were even overlapping!

Indeed, there were three great things about today:

  • My colleague and I are giving two presentations at ECIS in Hamburg this weekend. I’ve just downloaded a Keynote remote app which will allow me to control our presentation from my iPhone! I’m looking forward to meeting teachers during our presentations on new developments about the programme and on the different initiatives in the organization. There are some really good line up of presentations this year, too, so I’m hoping to attend a few of them. Of course, I’ll also be in our exhibition stand.
  • The symposium in April 2010 is going according to plan as we might have the second speaker by next week! Being part of a team planning for this symposium on learning and technology is one of the many things that really makes me love my job. It means I work with people I don’t normally work with, plus, I get to put a little group together to start writing blog entries relating to the theme of the symposium and contribute in choosing materials for the reading groups.
  • RT feature on Twitter

    RT feature on Twitter

    Twitter is really awesome for someone like me who is interested in what people like to share. It’s great for crowd-sourcing, finding out cool stuff about technology and education, and making connections with other educators. Last week a colleague asked me about how I use twitter and I thought about making a little screencast to share with people at work and other teachers. Maybe work on something using Google Wave? Any Wavers out there? Psst… leave me a comment! Anyway, today, twitter has launched another new feature on ReTweeting which twitterers know as “RT”. In the world of micro-blogging where every (140) character counts, RT is one of the best compliment you can have as it means someone is acknowledging that you have something worth repeating.

If you want to get started using Google Wave or if you are going to be on ECIS in Hamburg, leave a message or tweet me!

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I arrived yesterday in Chiang Mai after a little sleep on the 11-hour plane ride from London to Bangkok. It was a 2-hour wait at Bangkok and then another hour on the plane from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

Feeling quite jetlagged, I decided to take it easy and have dinner at the hotel and go to the night market for an hour.

I thought I’ll manage to sleep right away when I get back at the hotel but I was wide-awake until 4am. 

We’re now at the Prem Centre where the workshop leaders training is going to be held this week. I am sharing ‘my place’ with Terry, a lovely woman from Melbourne. There’s going to be a welcome drinks and dinner starting at half 5pm and then our work begins tomorrow. I am so excited to be attending this training (at last!) and I just know that I will meet wonderful people.

All the Zanzibar photos are nearly all up on flickr so I can retro-blog about the experience. Daily photo collections are here.   

Last night, while reading a friend’s blog, I discovered issuu which I will now add to my web 2.0 tools. I gave it a go by uploading a word doc but the hotel connection was too slow. I’ll check it again this evening. Maybe I can use it in my session on Tuesday.

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Day 2: 18 April 2009, Saturday

This day was spent exploring the nature trail at Jozani Forest, a protective reserve which is nearly 3% of the whole island.

forest ranger

forest ranger © kloza

We were taken around by a ranger from the local community with a real passion for the protection of indigenous creatures (big and small) in the reserve.

red colobus monkey © kloza

red colobus monkey © kloza

If you are lucky, you will find a friendly gang of red colobus monkey as well as a chance to feed sea turtles. Both animals are endangered and the community has many projects to make sure that these creatures are protected. Supporting their nature trail tours help in informing visitors about their projects.

baby sea turtle

baby sea turtle © kloza

More photos from Day 2 in Zanzibar here

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17 April 2009, Friday

We arrived in Zanzibar mid-day after traveling for more than 18 hours beginning Thursday, 16 April:

  • Bus from Cardiff to London Heathrow (LHR) = 3 hours
  • Wait for flight to leave from LHR =  3 hours
  • Flight from LHR to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Int’l Airport (NBO) = 8.5 hours
  • Wait at NBO airport = 2 hours
  • Flight from NBO to Zanzibar Kisauni Airport (ZNZ)= 1.5 hours
  • ZNZ to hotel = 20 mins

Airport is small and security is quite relaxed. We explored stone town in the afternoon and then back to the hotel to listen to traditional Traab music and watch the sunset. Dinner at the rooftop was fantastic; service was excellent!

Looking forward to meeting the participants to this project between IB and Aga Khan.

Here’s a slideshow of the day’s pictures:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More Zanzibar photos here.

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