It is not a secret that teachers often spend a good chunk of their personal time to do things that are school related, and I am hardly the exception to that rule. Two weeks ago I took advantage of the weeklong break during Thanksgiving Week to travel abroad and see my family. While in Greece, I had the opportunity to visit two schools, one in Ptolemaida, Kozani and one in Thermi, Thessaloniki. Both schools, although very different from each other, offer great opportunities to create global connections with our own schools, Plato Academy Schools.
The school in Ptolemaida is very special to me, as it is the school I attended when I was growing up. As I was walking up the stairs of the new building, old, pleasant memories came back like a stream of ferocious intensity. The voices and laughter of my friends and fellow students echoed in my ears and I have to admit, that these memories brought tears to my eyes.
Soon, the warm welcoming of the principal and assistant principal of the school brought me back to reality. The teachers there gave me the opportunity to teach a class, and even deliver a short session to the whole faculty on Augmented Reality. Although the technology equipment of that particular school is not the greatest, the teachers enjoyed learning about Augmented Reality in the classroom and saw the huge potential of emerging technologies.
|Mr. George Chatzopoulos and Mr. Nikolaos Chatzopoulos |
at the Mandoulides School in Thermi, Thessaloniki
The school in Thermi, Ekpedeftiria Mandoulides, is a private school with a more advanced structure and superior technology. I met with the principal of the school, Mr. Georgios Chatzopoulos (notice the name: quincidence or fate?), and one of their awesome teachers, Ms. Jeanette Nikas, who were very kind, and very interested in building a collaboration between the two schools, mandulides and Plato Academy.
I believe that the development of opportunities that foster global connections between schools, teachers, and students is crucial. Our interconnected world shapes global citizens. International connections between students of different backgrounds, nationalities, and languages are highly beneficial for everyone involved: students, teachers, schools, and communities.
I look forward to collaborating with the schools in Greece so that we can all learn from each other on how to best prepare our students for the future.