Learning Retreat

Every school year we organize a DigiWeekend Retreat for innovative teachers, in a quiet inspiring location. This time our ICT team had the opportunity to learn from each other.
It’s starts on the Friday evening after a long hard week of work. We all arrive at a peaceful quiet location called “De KasteelHoeve”. Met by the hostess who tells the story of this historic location: a 300 year old square house built on the foundations of the 13th century Château de Wanghe and how they won the green key award for being eco-friendly. Every meal here is with prepared with local organic products from their own gardens and our team has full access facilities. I can’t stress enough how important environment is to stimulate learning.
During dinner I tried to discover the learning goals of our group. Learning for the next few days comes from within and comes from their own desires and needs, sparked by curiosity and passion for learning. We believe in being learners for life. XQ Learner Goals
The very first time we wanted to organize this weekend, we had a set amount of workshops in mind and a fixed schedule. After five minutes I threw away all the plans asked them: What do you want to learn? Since that moment I have never looked back on this approach. Seeing a learner in the driver seat of their own learning path it’s a powerful experience.
After dinner I challenged them with a breakout EDU game. They were completely engaged and challenged each other to unlock the learning. When this finished we retreated into the living room and started sharing our stories until late in the night.

" Seeing a learner in the driver seat of their own learning path it’s a powerful experience."

-Kurt Klynen

The next morning we went onto an exploration of the grounds specifically looking at how we could turn this walk into a mobile learning journey. With the animals, plants and artifacts so close by this place screams learning. Back into our room we discussed the possibilities of transferring these skills into our own learning environment.
Next up Learning and Teaching. Diving into shared resources and combining them with personal stories we came up with ways to make learning experiences active, personal, collaborative, relevant, and designed to engage and excite all learners.
A weekend full of energy that celebrates teaching and inspires the growth mindset to support teachers as learning experience designers rejuvenates our passion.
More info: Kasteel Hoeve

At the end of each day we break bread together, embrace new friendships and strengthen old ones.