School ICT Planning

Earlier this year I participated in a European Schoolnet online course on administering a school ICT infrastructure. The course presented information about current practices and new developments to schools ICT administrators. The course content was divided into the following topics: 1: Optimising the school network 2: Wireless Networking and Bring your own device 3: Cloud models and services 4: Securing networks and Digital safety 5: Effective ICT administrator 6: New tools and services Badges…

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Recovering from a Hard Disk failure

I use several Cloud Storage options to backup data; however I rely heavily on local backup options. The 175 Gb external hard disk that I use for all my important backups suddenly became RAW! A RAW drive is a hard drive partition which has not been formatted with the file system neither FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 nor NTFS/NTFS5. Windows does not recognise RAW disks. My drive was originally NTFS; I had thought I had heard…

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Hey Cortana

I finally got the time during the Christmas holidays to play around with some of the new features of Windows 10 after having upgraded from Windows 7 earlier in the year. One of the features of Windows 10 that I was keen to use was Cortana. Cortana is a digital assistant similar in some respects to Siri on Apple’s iOS for iPhones, iPads and recently updated Macs. Once enabled, Microsoft’s Cortana…

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New Brick on the Block!

In February of this year (2016) I wrote about the Lego WeDo robot based learning system for Primary schools. The system includes the ever familiar Lego brick, some absolutely amazing software and a wide range of projects designed to teach scientific skills. Recently I came across a piece of technology that is completely compatible with the Lego system. The “SBrick” is an RC Receiver; it connects to a mobile phone…

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Bulbs

In an educational context, a Digital Portfolio is a collection of all of the work from a pupil or group of pupils in a class; the work is in electronic format and can contain text, images, video, audio and links to content on other websites. Digital Portfolios can be used to bring together information about student learning into a central location. They can also form part of an assessment strategy…

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Technology in Irish Education

I read a very interesting article recently on Silicon Republic written by the journalist John Kennedy. It was a thought-provoking article and it caught my attention because I had been involved with some of the ICT initiatives mentioned in the piece. The opening sentence of the article provides a clear synopsis for anyone who hasn’t read it yet “The constant stop-start-stop cycle of failure that defines technology in Irish education…

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A school with a difference

In the autumn of 2015 the State of Vermont in the US introduced a law requiring all schools to implement Personalised Learning Plans for every student in the state. Each PLP would have to identify goals, learning styles, abilities and align these with the schools academic ethos to ensure each student continues to successfully progress through the education system.While researching further into the concept of Personalised Learning Plans I came…

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Lego WeDo 2.0

Lego recently launched WeDo 2.0, a robot based learning system designed for Primary schools.  The system includes the ever familiar Lego brick, some absolutely amazing software and a wide range of projects designed to teach scientific skills. WeDo 2.0 is intrinsically linked to the U.S STEM core curriculum standards but that shouldn’t deter Irish Primary teachers from delving into WeDo 2.0. Lego provide teachers and their students with icon based…

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Light Speed

Finally it’s a reality; a reality that carries a side bar of lots and lots of “No’s”! Light speed broadband with no bottlenecks, no copper cables, no long download times, no live-streaming lags and no other nationwide roll out anywhere else in Europe!Siro is now delivering a total fibre to building solution to a select few “beta-test” homes and businesses in Dundalk and several other towns, providing them with 1…

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Using Quizizz for Assessment in the Primary Classroom

I recently came across a new online quiz tool “Quizizz” and quickly realised its potential as an online assessment tool for the primary classroom. Similar in ways to “Kahoot“, Quizizz provides realtime feedback to a teacher and their pupils as they engage with a series of questions on tablet devices, mobile phones, laptops or desktop PCs. Quizzes can be created from scratch or can be selected from a bank of…

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