I left Lithuania together with my Lithuanian hosts to travel to an exclusive event – the 20th Annual iEARN International Conference and 17th Annual Youth Summit 2013 to be held in Doha, Qatar from July 1st to July 6th, 2013.
iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is a non-profit organization made up of over 30,000 schools and youth organizations (over 2,000,000 students each day) in more than 140 countries.
Established in 1988, this year the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The conference and Youth Summit held in the spacious Qatar National Convention Center, was attended by around 700 participants – educators, students, administrators and partner organizations from 53 countries. Attendees joining in Doha from around the world, included Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Egypt, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mali, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States, and Yemen.
The conference hosted by Reach Out To Asia, the representative of iEARN in Qatar, aimed at making this 5 day conference a learning and cultural experience for all participants. The various activities of the conference were designed around the theme of ICT for Education: Reaching out, building bridges… allowing participants to present and share models for using technology to build global understanding and enhance teaching and learning.
The conference covered topics such as environment, cultural diversity and the use of Information and Communication Technologies in the classroom. Educators and students attended plenary sessions, delivered or attended a variety of workshops to further develop their knowledge and skills, share experiences, discover innovative ways to use ICTs, and connect with their peers across the world, and had sightseeing tours in Doha.
The Lithuanian presentation “Integrating iEARN projects into school curriculum” introduced my project “Magical Moments Around the World” and me, the travelling book and encouraged the participants to join in.
The cultural night with participants dressed in their national costumes and parading on the stage (an initiative from Cornelia Platon, the facilitator of “Folk costumes around the Globe”) was breathtaking with a mixture of colours and textures. It brought much happiness to me as I was introduced to and photographed with lots of nationalities.
On Friday, the last day of the conference the Lithuanian host student Egle handed me over to Taiwanese students and their teacher Margaret.
Goodbye to Doha, an amazing city with hospitable people, the site of the conference which was an incredible lifetime event. I am flying to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. New adventures ahead!