Sinaia Story

As planned, it came the moment to organize the CoCreat meeting in April. Beside several options for organizing around Targoviste, Sinaia was chosen for its brilliant mountain scenery and sunny atmosphere. The city is located just at 60 km distance from Targoviste and took its name from the 17th-century monastery built by a Romanian nobleman after undertaking a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai, Egypt. Known as “the Carpathian Pearl”, Sinaia is in fact, one of the most famous and oldest mountain tourist resorts in Romania and hosted the Romanian Royal family during the last part of the XIX and the first part of the XX centuries past summers. However this residence – the Peles Castle – is one of the best-preserved royal palaces in Europe. It was the King Carol I attempt to imitate the styles of his former homeland, creating a Bavarian setting in the mountains of Romania. The Palace is ornately decorated, both the interior and the exterior, with intricate wood carvings and paintings of scenes from Wagner operas…

The CoCreat Team – consisted of 9 participants – had the chance to see both the monastery and the castle, even the last one was the target of an outdoor trip. Anyway, that short excursion was planned during the limited free time we had in Sinaia due to the fact that the discussions and interventions – having as central objective to start and plan the designing and implementing of the Collaborative Space for University Students (CS2), as a result of the third Project WorkPackage – were too dense in report with the time allocated by the project work plan. Practically, the Agenda was condensed in one day and a half, all the sessions being held at Rowa Dany Hotel.

After the warm welcome, the hosts started the presentation sessions with aspects, trends and developments of Valahia University Targoviste. Then it came the general presentation and overview of WorkPackage 3, clear interventions being made by Finnish experts (pedagogical model and solutions), Norwegian colleague (technological solutions – proposed applications: SecondLife, Moodle and Sloodle), Romanian team (learning materials and proposals for scheduling the work with students) and Estonian experts (methods for feedback collection).  Finally, the partners agreed to design the course during spring 2012 (135 hours, weeks 6-18), having a strong pedagogical background (the project-based learning, collaborative learning and playful learning), an important level of technology to be considered (Flash-Meeting, Adobe ConnectPro / Skype, Moodle, SecondLife, Sloodle, WordPress) and a clear calendar, with tasks and responsibilities included. Finally some aspects of the Dissemination process were discussed, having in view that this is an important matter for maximizing the impact of activities undertaken under CoCreat project.

What about the mountain beauty or the great panoramas that can be got from the peaks of the Bucegi plateau, at an altitude of about 2000m? Well, this will be put in practice with the following occasion, by sure! Anyway, the CoCreat team agreed that Sinaia is one of the best places to mix the work and the entertainment, mostly when you have the sun, the mountains and good colleagues and friends together!

// Gabriel Gorghiu, Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania


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