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Czech Summer – Prague Beckons March 3, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
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The 15th century Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square, Prague.

Taken from: Prague Picures

Last year an e-mail arrived in my in box from the ICTRN Becta list serv out of the UK. I dip into and out of links and mail that arrives and follow the threads and discussions as my whim takes me. I often contribute but the traffic seems decidedly one way. Still it is a good way of keeping track of trends in ICT in Europe. The specific mail in question was a request for papers for a conference to be held in Prague in June 2008. I followed the link and the conference focus intrigued me.  I was particularly fascinated by the focus because the tohatoha blog was really gathering momentum and Helen and I were planning to do something for International Education week later on in the year.

As I cycled home that evening I began thinking.

I cherish my time on the bike, I am able to get clear headed thinking time as I cycle and some of my most adventurous, innovative and some would say hairbrained ideas for ICT have been hatched whilst grinding the gears on my Avanti Hurricane over the years. I reasoned that Helen and I had a story to tell about the success of our collaboration, which was and still is, going from strength to strength. What especially fascinated me was the strength of our virtual relationship. The fact that we have never met, yet have created something very successful and work very well together is so full of oxymorons, that on paper the partnership between schools and colleagues was almost bound to fail from the start, yet it has not. I pondered:

Why has the partnership succeeded?

What are the ingredients of this collaboration, with no common grounds and a completely randomly created partnership, that have ensured success?

How have the students regarded being taught by virtual teachers?

Just what do the students gain from virtual collaboration?

What are the benefits/pitfalls for students accessing specific skills and talents from a global network of teachers?

What might be the potential impact for educational delivery if students could access JIT skills/training/information that this model implies is possible?

It seemed to me perfect that we share our findings. Later that evening I suggested to Helen that we had a story to tell and that we should put a proposal together to speak in Prague based on the success of our blog collaboration. We wrote a proposal over some days, again via Skype and Word’s track changes facility to come up with a proposal entitled:

Collaborative Triumphs and Planning Tensions: Using a blog to enable classes separated by time zones and hemispheres to work together, the Tohatoha story.

This morning I received a mail from the organisers and our proposal has been successful. I am over the moon! Now the reality hits. This trip needs funding the paper needs to be written Helen is approaching the British Council in the UK and is fairly confident that she can get funding. I too now have to find the cash. There is a delicious irony in the fact that the first time that we shall meet will be in a city that neither of us have ever been to, talking about a project that has been conceived, hatched and executed entirely through the virtual medium of the Internet. June can not arrive fast enough.



1. AllanahK - March 3, 2008

That is just sooo cool. Good luck to you. Something magnicent to look forward to.

2. Helen Hardie - March 4, 2008

David – All that hard work has paid off. It has been a pleasure to be onboard and I am really looking forward to June! What have we done?!!!

3. Miss Thomas - March 4, 2008

Well done David. If only we had a council to apply to for funding too!

4. Fiona - March 5, 2008

Good on you both…looking forward to hearing more about ‘the road to Prague’ over the next few months 😉

5. Suzie Vesper - March 11, 2008

Prague is a gorgeous city. You will love it. Are any aspects of the conference going to be online?

6. davidit - March 11, 2008

Suzie, not sure if any of the conference is going to be online. The literature certainly does not indicate that any will. I will certainly be blogging from the conference anyway!

7. Kimmee Sweetgrass - March 5, 2009

I am excited for you. I just found this blog by accident as I am looking to work/apprentice in prague myself.

I was there in the fall and it is a remarkable place. Simply exquisite and full of possibilities. Good luck to you both.

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