Minutes of the Comenius Conference in Ourense

19th – 23rd November 2008

Ourense (ES)
Elisa Alvarez, Raquel Pato, Hortensia Alonso, Almudena Alonso, Carmen Babarro (and various others)
Chateau du Loir (F) Stéphane Duarte, Patricia Guitton
Aywaille (BE) Collete Franck, Jacqueline Vanstalle, Sabine Rennotte
Bremen (D) Andrea Holzinger, Christian Braun, Saskia Laackmann, Werner Fabisch
Agueda (Portugal) Eleuterio Santos

Presentation of video made by Spanish students in cooperation with Casa de Xuventude
Opening of meeting
Fixing next meetings
Organisation of student exchange
Discussion of project outcome and communication exchange

A group of Spanish students who run an association for promoting and making short films presented their short film (Sueños reales – Real Dreams). They informed about their associaton, their future projects and cooperation with the youth center "Casa de Xuventude“. There followed a discussion with them about the finances and the total amount of time they spent for realizing this film and for work in their association. They then explained also some other films of them which are accessible on You tube (http://es.youtube.com/user/Symonathus) and also on http://www.producciones-atcc.blogspot.com/ .

Meeting opened by project coordinator Elisa Alvarez.

France: week from 17th to 25th January 2009
Germany: week from 9th to 16th May 2009
Belgium: 11th to 15th November 2009
Spain: final meeting in 2010 (including a trip to Portugal which was sadly not admitted and the initiating force of the project)

3 to 4 students chosen by the partners accompany the teachers. Students accommodate each other. As some German students might be slightly older the Belgians also offered to accommodate them in their homes for the Belgium meeting in case there are difficulties. The students should be chosen not just by their language ability but by social skills, their dedication, freetime interest or social background. Students will be prepared for their visit by an exchange of personal profiles written by them. This should inform about their leisure interest and practice too.

Spain distributed a questionnaire on leisure activities. The schools will continue working on that, maybe readjusting it for their purposes and exchange the results. Belgium further suggested to widen this with incorporating others than students (e.g. relatives, parents...).

Concerning the future final product we suggested to exchange our work via a blog. Elisa will set up the blog and send us the password. This allows all the participating countries to put on their material. We also decided to have a "What’s On“ category for an exchange of information of current activities of the region. This allows the users to decide freely on the material they want to study further and students can access it in their freetime as well. During the exchange students should write diaries. The idea of a diary on leisure activities will be taken up further and can be realised in different ways according to teacher’s or students’ interest and needs. (audio, audiovisual or written form)

All the material produced in those 2 years can then be put on a CD-Rom or DVD with a user-friendly navigation.The idea of using Skype for students’ communication was discussed. It is dependent on the student’s timetable and their technical equipment. That’s why we decided to keep this in mind for future but prefer for now to let them communicate via a chat. This also can be an option once the students got to know each other as our experience tells us that they initially prefer to write in the foreign language.

Germany asked the partners to regularly communicate via email to shortly inform others about their present work (not in detail) because otherwise we will maybe quickly lose the communal spirit in the daily routine.

Apart from this meeting Spain did a great job in this initial meeting. They managed to let the partners get to know each other in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. They gave us an insight into their school and the freetime activities of the region plus we got to know the associated partners. We were not just informed but experienced Ourense. This was done in a very hearty way and we were never stressed out but inspired. So the foundation for a good project is laid and it is up to us what will be the outcome.

by Andrea Holzinger

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