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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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Satya Nadella @ Windows 10 Event

Future of Learning Event @ DCU Institute of Education

There was great excitement yesterday in the newly established DCU Institute of Education, formerly St. Patrick’s College of Education, when they hosted the Microsoft Future of Learning event. The event involved two keynote addresses: one from inspirational speaker Mark Pollack and the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. Mark Pollack shared his inspiring story with the packed auditorium and how he embraces challenge in life and he certainly has had his…

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Digital Scotland

New Scottish Digital Strategy – Some Observations

The Scottish Government recently launched their Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy. This is not the first Scottish Digital Strategy but it builds on previous strategies in an attempt to enhance learning and teaching through the use of digital technology. The strategy implies that digital technology should improve learning and teaching and that things should not remain the same. The Strategy’s vision is as follows: The focus is on educational improvement…

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BYOR not BYOB! DIY Robots

Subscribers to the TeachNet blog may remember some of my previous posts on code; To Code or Not to Code?, Cracking the Code & it’s creatively titled sequel Cracking the Code…Again?, all reflecting an the ever burgeoning curiosity among teachers and students around computer programming and becoming code literate. Be it the introductory Hour of Code Week, putting the Scratch Cat through his paces or building a Raspberry Pi Weather…

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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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Technology in Irish Education

I read a very interesting article recently on Silicon Republic written by the journalist John Kennedy. It was a thought-provoking article and it caught my attention because I had been involved with some of the ICT initiatives mentioned in the piece. The opening sentence of the article provides a clear synopsis for anyone who hasn’t read it yet “The constant stop-start-stop cycle of failure that defines technology in Irish education…

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Digital Devices in the classroom – are they having an impact?

In the past week I met a group of primary principals and during our conversation the discussion turned to the use of tablet devices in the classroom. Many of the principals reported they were disappointed with the impact these devices have had in their schools and they were surprised that only a small number of teachers actively use these devices regularly. This anecdote comes against the backdrop of a study…

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