We are in our office in Brussels full of anticipation and excitement for what is about to happen, the first Live Skills Cross Country Assignment. We press the button and within seconds we are connected with learners and trainers in Belfast and in Plovdiv. One classroom in Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) with three learners and three tutors that brought together the learning material of Digital and New Technologies, and one classroom in Plovdiv School of Stage and Screen Arts with two learners and two tutors. All of them have already completed the theoretical part of the first pilot of Digital and New Technologies and are currently practicing their Work Based Learning. Everyone is ready and we begin with the first part of the session which gives each group a few minutes to do a small web research about the other city and find the five most popular facts about it. Are these facts true or false? We discover that this is a creative way for cultural exchange while simultaneously getting to know each other.
This leads to the second part of the session, led by BMC’s tutors. The task is set within the framework of a hypothetical music festival with participating artists from both countries, and the students are asked to brainstorm for the festival’s logo. This gives them the opportunity to use the knowledge they acquired in graphic design principles during the Digital and New Technologies course. The last part of the session is led by the tutors in Plovdiv, who have gathered different examples of international and local logos of commercial and non-commercial organisations, and invite the students in both cities to exchange their thoughts and ideas regarding these logos. It is remarkable how fast the online interaction of the students has become vivid and fruitful, overcoming the boundaries of distance, language, and culture. The first Live Skills Cross Country Assignment is successfully completed, leaving open windows for further discussions between the learners in the two cities.
“The exchanges were very fruitful with our Belfast peers, we had lots of fun and the content was excellent. We look forward to next round of cross country assignments”
Ivan Linkoff, Plovdiv School of Stage and Screen Arts
“This online exercise worked really well and our students in Belfast were very excited to participate and exchange with their fellow Live Skills learners from Plovdiv, Bulgaria! I also had a chance to find out more about living and teaching in Plovdiv and it’s definitely a new place to add to my “must visit list!””
William Artt, Belfast Metropolitan College