Things I’ve Learned with Chromebooks

I was one of the speakers at Google’s Back to School event in September, the first time a primary school teacher addressed the conference. Most of the audience were primary school teachers, which was just as well! I spoke about my school’s journey with Google – the good, the bad and Google Wave. I spoke about the reasons we chose Google as our back end for all our administrative work.…

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So you want a school blog?

Setting up a school blog, thankfully, isn’t such a difficult thing to do anymore. However, the real question is whether you really want to do so! Like everything else technology-related, things move quickly. The trouble with school blogs is that they can clutter up a school website with old irrelevant information very quickly. The trick about blogging these days is that the posts need to be relevant in the long…

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Trying out Podcasting

I’m an administrative principal, which gives me very little opportunity to regularly work with classes so I’m always looking for opportunities to work with groups of pupils where, if I’m not available for some reason, it’s not affecting the teacher too much. I decided I’d take 6 students to set up a podcast and try and record an episode once a month. Here’s what I learned from our first episode.…

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Headsets for classrooms

What sort of headset would I recommend for classroom use? This question is an interesting one as I would have had a completely different answer 10 years ago. It just goes to show how quickly technology moves on! Most computers, laptops and mobile devices have inbuilt microphones in them, which are generally quite good, particularly for classroom use. Therefore, I would suggest that if your recording is simply for recording…

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iPads or Android Tablets – what’s your flavour?

There’s an old adage to never discuss religion or politics. They should probably add “operating systems” to the list. When a school is set on the idea of buying tablets, often the next question that’s asked is which type of tablet should they get. Usually, the choice I’m given when recommending is: Android or iPad. Despite the fact that I’m not that keen on the idea of tablets as really…

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Have Tablets but no WiFi…

If I had a euro for every time I’ve received a query from a school who bought iPads without having WiFi, I’d probably have enough to buy an iPad myself! The companies selling iPads, one might argue, should not assume that primary schools in Ireland are blessed with WiFi. The government does not even offer it by default in new build schools. Even if you have WiFi, the chances are…

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Questions I’ve been asked about Chromebooks

Here are some questions I’ve been asked about Chromebooks. I am no expert but learning loads about them at the moment. Are Chromebooks easy to administer? ( I worked in IT for about 10 years, and have pretty ok knowledge of Windows Active Directory) Yes and no. If you are familiar with Active Directory, you’ll understand that 🙂 The Admin of G Suite is really well supported by Google so most things…

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Visualisers – an (almost) complete guide

Although they’ve been tinkering around the education world for the last few years, visualisers have not had as big an impact as some of its technological rivals such as the interactive whiteboard.  In this article I’m going to try and explain what a visualiser is, how they are used in the classroom and finally, why your school would need one. I first landed my eye on a visualiser when I…

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Is moving to G Suite for Education free?

A teacher in a school was asking me whether she should consider moving from Microsoft Office to G Suite for Education in order to save money. The purpose of this article is not to judge the merits of either suite of applications, as this is very much subjective. However, it interested me because, at first, it felt like a no-brainer – Microsoft Office (the software as opposed to Office 365)…

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Some Android Apps to try

There are a number of Irish websites out there that recommend Apps for tablets but they generally all tend to be for iPads, which isn’t much good if you have just bought a class set of Android tablets. That isn’t to say that you’ve made a mistake buying Android over iPads. In fact, for most things, Android tablets are just as good as iPads and, overall, you’ll find that most…

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