By Xiaoling Zhang PhD candidate at LDE-CEL.
This summer, everything seems to be more vivid than ever before after more than two years of not traveling for any conferences or summer schools.
I started doing my PhD at the Centre for Education and Learning right at the outbreak of COVID-19, and have been working from home and attending online conferences and training for more than two years. Having the option to work remotely helped a lot during the pandemic while lots of issues emerged due to the lack of physical interaction. Meeting with different researchers and sharing experiences with each is vital in building up a better research community, however, online conferencing and meeting for a long time appears to be disengaging and demotivating for those who are used to physical interactions.
Though we are still not sure yet when COVID-19 will be completely gone from our lives, this summer, sponsored by Erasmus+ programme for staff mobility for training, I’ve got the chance to attend two summer schools being SEFI summer school at Leuven, Belgium organised by KU LEUVEN and JTEL summer school at Thessaloniki, Greece organised by University of Macedonia. I had wonderful memories of the experience of going to a summer school on my own and with members of our research group to SEFI summer school and JTEL summer school, respectively.
Qualitative methods, quantitative methods and a mixed method in Engineering Education research? Technology Enhanced Learning research? These are key information that stuck in my mind after summer school.
However, summer school is for sure more than that if we sit down and start enumerating what it is about SEFI and JTEL summer school.
Sharing research work with peers and senior researchers and getting feedback; experiencing the latest technology and growing expertise in research methodologies; having chats and enjoying a karaoke session with people from different cultures; sharing struggles and rules of thumbs in the research community.
Now, it is time to integrate all the gains into either work or life to bring more good work in the community and looking forward to next summer schools.