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The Educator Community – Be Part of It!

With the return to the classroom a month or so on, I hope life at the chalk face is returning to some sort of normality for readers after the unavoidable chaos of the first few weeks. With timetables, planning, yard duty rosters and the like, done and dusted, maybe now is the time to take a fresh look at the technology at your disposal and flesh out some new ideas…

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New Year New Tech

The start of the year generally means the purchasing of new equipment. The three main pieces of hardware that most schools look at are laptops, iPads and, most recently, Chromebooks. This article goes through the advantages and disadvantages of all three. Windows Laptops Strengths: Microsoft Office – Open source and online alternatives still can’t compete Flash – Flash is not dead in primary education despite what tablet people will tell…

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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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Digital Competence Framework for Educators

Today’s digital world is creating new opportunities for teaching, learning and assessment and thus is placing new demands on teachers, at all levels, in our education system to embed digital technologies appropriately in their practices. We know from over 30 years of research that the presence of technology alone is not enough to transform teaching, learning and assessment practices. Teachers are the ones who will design and create the learning…

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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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The Raspberry Pi – The Digital Swiss Army Knife

As mentioned previously, we have been dabbling with Raspberry Pi computers since 2014. To those unfamiliar with these little gems, a Raspberry Pi is a very affordable, single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools. Initially we looked at how we could use them to help children in senior classes learn programming and based much of the…

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BETT 17 – What were some of the highlights?

The BETT Show in London has been on the go for over 30 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how many people make the journey to see what is new in the world of ICT and education. This year there seemed to be an increased Irish presence with the announcement of funding for ICT in schools. This year’s show was notable in that it had some very…

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Show Me the Money! – Funding on its way…

Yes, funding for ICT in education is imminent… After years of under-investment in technology in education, last week Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D, announced a fresh raft of grants for ICT infrastructure in primary and post-primary schools. Whilst long overdue but very welcome in itself, the €30 million to be rolled out shortly is only the start of the implementation of the government’s €210 Million Digital Strategy…

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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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New Digital Resources from T&L

Interesting resources emerging from The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is involved in a wide range of interesting projects that are exploring the role of digital technology in HE and beyond. The Forum, through their teaching and learning enhancement fund funded 11 projects in their first round of funding in…

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