Get Into The Hour of Code 2017

With the lofty ambition of being the largest learning event in history, The Hour of Code 2017 is back and takes place next week, December 4th – 10th. Hosted by code.org, The Hour of Code week is an opportunity for teachers and students (Ages 4 and upwards) to try computer coding and in tow have opportunities that develop the skills required to approach coding problems. Now entering its 5th year,…

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Girls who Code

Some years back I wrote a dissertation on the topic of Gender Imbalance in Computing Disciplines at 3rd level with particular reference to Institutes of Technology and the implications for Primary and Post Primary integration of IT into the curriculum in Ireland. The conclusions I drew from my literature review and research findings were as follows: The phenomena of a gender imbalance in computer science is a recognised and well…

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Digital Empowerment Week

There is certainly a great deal of interest at the moment around the role of digital technologies in all sectors of education and training. One sector that is very active at present in exploring how digital technologies can enhance teaching and learning is Further Education and Training. Many ETBs are reviewing their use of digital technologies to support teaching, learning and assessment activities across their programmes and services. Many are…

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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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