Setting homework using technology

Technology has given teachers some new superpowers! It is possible for classrooms to open their walls around the world and to communicate with each other. Many schools are now communicating with parents via technology, whether it’s by text messaging or online newsletters or social media. In this article, I’m going to discuss 3 ways that teachers can save some time by sharing homework with parents using a few different services. Before that, what…

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A Simple Guide to Visualisers

I first landed my eye on a visualiser when I was in college around 1999-2000 in UCD. It wasn’t called a visualiser then and I remember it cost the university a hell of a lot of money.  It was used once in a lecture like a fancy overhead projector, in that, the lecturer simply placed his handwritten notes on the visualiser’s surface and they showed up on a big screen. …

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What to do if someone sets up an unofficial school Facebook Page

One of the problems with most social media services is that anyone can set up a profile without proving that they represent the entity. Schools are no exception and it is becoming common that parents, former pupils and even staff members are taking it upon themselves to create Facebook Pages, Instagram Profiles and Snapchat accounts in the name of their school, without asking permission of the school. Ultimately, doing this does not…

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Scratch as Gaeilge

Many teachers use Scratch in their classrooms these days. For those of you who don’t know what Scratch is, it is a visual programming language where users can create computer programmes by dragging and dropping “blocks” of code. It is extremely popular in Ireland with annual competitions. Scratch 2.0 is the latest version of Scratch, which runs completely online. However, one thing you might not know is that Scratch 2.0…

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Christmas Wishlist

If Santa delivered just one present to your school, what would it be? I’m sure lots of schools would maybe choose one of those big fancy LCD touch screen TVs that seem to be replacing Interactive Whiteboards in some schools. Others might choose a class set of iPads; some would choose something non-techie but this web site isn’t for them! Me? All I want for Christmas is a year of tech support!…

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Technology to Book Parent Teacher Meetings

It’s around the time of the year when Parent Teacher Meetings take place in primary schools. I used to dread them despite the fact that I don’t actually meet any parents as I am an administrative principal. The reason I dreaded the meetings was having to organise the timetable for the days. What might seem like a simple enough job of simply slotting in children into regular segments of time over…

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Parents Setting Up School Facebook Pages

Many schools already have set up Facebook pages but there are thousands that haven’t. How should a school deal with pressure from parents who wish to set up a Facebook page? In my opinion, if there is demand from parents to have a school Facebook Page, I would embrace it. Not only would I embrace it, I would insist that the school would set one up as soon as possible before…

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Virtual Reality and Education

It’s probably every teacher’s worst nightmare: the children are plugged into virtual reality headgear and someone else is giving them their lessons while the teacher is redundantly hanging about or simply a bystander while the lesson is going on. Although the scenario is as unlikely as any virtual primary school teacher has so far proven to be, we have seen the benefits of utilising virtual learning environments such as YouTube,…

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ClassDojo and Ireland

Many readers of this blog use ClassDojo as a behaviour management tool in their classroom but for those who don’t, I would highly recommend it. Not only is it completely free, it is a really clever tool for rewarding children’s behaviour in the classroom and much more motivational than most other reward systems out there. The concept involves the teacher giving points for positive behaviours. A teacher can also remove…

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Big Questions about Big Screens

At the recent IPPN conference expo, it was interesting to see the number of companies selling interactive touchscreens. They are being hailed as the successor to Interactive Whiteboards and they were certainly giving the principals some food for thought. The big selling point seemed to be that with an Interactive Touchscreen, there was no need for a projector and, in some cases, a laptop or computer. With projectors breaking down over…

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