Technology Tools

A recent TeachNet Blog post “Blended Learning – So what is all the fuss?” gave a very clear and informative understanding of Blended Learning. It really is well worth a second or even third read for any teacher so that they can come to terms with the new classroom reality.I think it is true to say that our current understanding of the traditional classroom has been consigned, for the moment…

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The BBC Micro:bit. A powerful tool for classroom coding

There has been a growing move towards the introduction of coding platforms and applications like Scratch and Hour of Code into our classrooms. Most teachers have by now, heard of and used these applications within their classes. In many schools there are students creating amazing projects during their school hours as well as in after school clubs. These tools are proven to help students develop an array of skills such…

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Introducing JCQuest.ie

Digital Science and French for Junior Cycle JCQuest.ie is a new online resource for Junior Cert Science and French, designed to work flawlessly cross-platform and device. Launched in January 2020, updates have continued through lock-down and the portal now hosts a library of question sets that cover the entire Junior Cert syllabi in both subjects. Currently, due to the ongoing pandemic, full access for schools and students is available for…

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Continuing to Embrace Evolving Technology

As we return to school after a prolonged absence, I have taken the opportunity to upgrade some of the ICT facilities around our school. Over the years we have installed Interactive White Boards in all our classrooms. However, many of these are now showing their age and thoughts have now turned to upgrading to IFP’s (Interactive Flat Panels.) As a principal the main barrier to the upgrade to the Interactive…

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Using Shared Electronic Devices Safely in a School during Covid 19

DES (Department of Education and Skills) guidance on using shared electronic devices for schools is: electronics – shared electronic devices such as tablets, touch screens and keyboards should be cleaned between use. Consideration could be given to the use of wipeable covers for electronics to facilitate cleaning https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/your-questions-answered/#sharing-textbooks-pencils-and-so-on-with-other-children Microsoft have some useful guidance on caring for and cleaning your Surface device: Using disinfectant products on your Surface   You can…

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Microsoft Educator Centre

A number of years ago, on the Teachnet.ie Blog, there was a post made about the launch of an all new “Microsoft Educator training Centre”. In the time that has passed this site has grown into a hugely popular and well established Hub for teachers wishing to deepen their knowledge around all things Microsoft. The Microsoft Educator Centre now includes topics such as Office 365, 21st century Learning Pedagogies, Coding…

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Lockdown Upgrades

Very early on in the “Working from Home” new normal, I realised that it was time to upgrade my Desktop PC. It’s an aging iCore 5 machine that has continued to cope with multiple software updates, successfully graduating from Windows 7 to Windows 10! However it really had slowed down considerably and I knew that it would be a struggle for it to cope with ICT tutorial and webinar, support…

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Going Live with your Learners – some suggestions

Many teachers, parents and learners of all ages have discovered the world of video conferencing in recent weeks as schools have moved online. People are now openly chatting about Zoom, Teams, Google Hangouts etc. in the context of teaching ‘live’ online. For some this is working well, but for others it has not been as easy as first imagined. Teaching live online, is hard and can be a very tiring…

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Google Expeditions: Explore the world without leaving the classroom!

As educators, we want to ensure that all students in our classes feel stimulated and enjoy their learning. Accordingly, there is a wealth of engaging material available for educators today featuring novel ways to engage students. One such website is Google Expeditions. Google Expeditions is quite similar to Google Maps, as the platform allows users to explore the world virtually. Teachers can use the images available to create their own…

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Report notes drop in primary pupils using computers in school

In a recent study carried out by Dr. Eemer Eivers, on behalf of the Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN), it has been revealed that primary school students’ use of computers in school has dropped considerably within five years, from 46% saying they used computers in school regularly in 2011 to only 23% in 2016. This brings Ireland well below the international average, according to Eemer Eivers, who published her report in…

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