I have spent last week on Malta where I had co-organised the first Nepomuk Social Semantic Desktop Summer School. The summer school was a great experience and, from what we learned from the participants, a great success. (Read more about the summer school in general here.)
The working atmosphere was enthusiastic from beginning to end. The students were eager to learn—something one would like to see at university in one’s own courses a bit more from time to time. The summer school students indeed wanted to be there. They had had to apply for a seat on the summer school. They worked for their success and they did so wholeheartedly.
Having so much time together at hand for talking and discussing alongside with a lot of fun (and sun!) helped tremendously to concentrate on the topics and to deepen one’s knowledge. There surely was knowledge and experience transferred both ways, from lecturers and tutors to students and vice versa.
A highlight for me were the mini-projects where students worked in groups on topics they had chosen to their liking. Until deep into the night one found groups sitting in different places discussing and programming towards their self-imposed goals. On the last day the student groups presented their impressive results. I was amazed by how much they achieved in so few days.
I surely would like to organise another summer school in the future.