Using Scratch in the Primary Classroom

Scratch 3.0 is due for release on the 2nd of January 2019. There are many teachers who are looking forward to this significant update to a great Coding resource that is very popular in Irish Primary schools. Scratch 3.0 will certainly become even more popular as this release addresses a serious problem with Scratch 2.0 and the even earlier Scratch 1.4, the fact that these two versions could not be…

Read more Leave a comment

Not an Ordinary Brick

The LEGO brand is well known around the world and many schools in Ireland already use a number of LEGO Education products such as LEGO Mindstorms and LEGO WeDo. I previously wrote a piece about LEGO WeDo back in 2016 and with the growing emphasis on STEM activities at Primary School level it’s great to see a new product coming into the education market that will support these activities. Coding…

Read more Leave a comment

Coding resources are Evolving

On Friday the 8th of June the 2018 Digital Strategy Action Plan was published. The plan sets out a road map for the next twelve months. There are over 80 actions outlined in this action plan and one of these relates to Coding in the wider Primary Curriculum. Action Number 1.2 states that four sub-actions will take place during 2018. ● Publish examples of schools’ working with coding – phase…

Read more Leave a comment

STEM graphic

Let’s learn from this research!

Normally my blog contribution for the TeachNet community is based on a new or interesting ICT resource that I think should be highlighted as a possible teaching resource to help further integrate ICT into the daily teaching and learning in our classrooms. This time however I’m going off-script to look at some recent research, carried out by Microsoft, on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) gender issues. Microsoft commissioned this…

Read more Leave a comment

The Zimmer Twins

There are lots of ways that ICT can act as a valuable Literacy resource in the classroom, from the numerous software programs on the market to the multitude of apps suitable for Tablets. Some of the Tablet apps, such as Toontastic and SockPuppets, have become firm favourites in the classroom and are used as part of a literacy lesson, often incorporated into a Station Teaching methodology. Tablet devices have made…

Read more Leave a comment

BYOD – more headaches than benefits?

During a “Croke Park” session on “Tablet Devices in Primary Schools” late last year, the topic of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) generated lots of discussion and debate. The arguments for and against this initiative were well reasoned and well thought out and all of the arguments will be familiar to anyone who has followed this topic both online and in the wider media. Initially there was a small bit…

Read more Leave a comment

Girls who Code

Some years back I wrote a dissertation on the topic of Gender Imbalance in Computing Disciplines at 3rd level with particular reference to Institutes of Technology and the implications for Primary and Post Primary integration of IT into the curriculum in Ireland. The conclusions I drew from my literature review and research findings were as follows: The phenomena of a gender imbalance in computer science is a recognised and well…

Read more Leave a comment

Wizer

 Wizer is an online resource website where teachers can create interactive worksheets for their pupils. These worksheets can contain images and video and questions can be presented in several different ways. There are many visual edits available to help make the worksheets more engaging to pupils and the library of templates is extensive. Once a worksheet has been created it can be shared with pupils in several different ways; a…

Read more Leave a comment

My iPad & Swift Playgrounds = Obsolete!

My iPad is an iPad 3; the battery life is still pretty good and the touch sensitive display has no dead zones. All the hardware buttons such as volume control and home button still function correctly and there are no dead pixels on the screen. It works really well and I can’t remember ever having an app crash on it! I kinda knew it was on the slippery slope to…

Read more Leave a comment

The New Google Earth

One of my all time favourite ICT, SESE teaching resources, Google Earth, has recently been updated and it contains lots of new features to enhance the user experience. Google Earth is of course a software program where the earth is shown in either 2D or 3D mode and the new update brings Google Earth directly into a browser window. There’s a walk-through tutorial when Google Earth is launched first time…

Read more Leave a comment