Encouraging Use of IT Across the Whole School

Our school is very lucky, in that it has been very well resourced throughout the last few years. We have Interactive Whiteboards in every classroom, visualisers, a set of laptops and pride of place, our shiny new set of 12 iPads. We have received whole school training through NCTE, as well as in-house training delivered by different staff members. However, it is hard to ensure that all of our skills…

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Data Protection and laptop security

Storing data on the ‘Cloud’ is encouraged as a convenient and easy way to access data on any computer/laptop that has internet access. It is common for teachers to use dropbox, skydrive and Google Drive to save plans and other data relevant to school. Teachers and school management must realise that the “schools, as is the case with any person or organisation handling personal data, must comply with the Data…

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Do We Need a National Virtual Learning Environment?

I read with interest recently in the ‘Best Schools’ (PDF) supplement of the Sunday Business Post that plans are going ahead to rollout a national VLE. First mooted in ‘The Smart Schools = Smart Economy’ report in 2009, NCTE are expected to put to tender the building of such a VLE later this year. At this stage what’s envisaged is a Moodle based platform that will link all of Ireland’s…

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Kidblog – Easy Blogging for Primary School Students

Are you looking for a safe, free to use, advertisement free, easy to manage blog for your primary school students? Kidsblog http://kidblog.org/home.php has ticked many of the boxes for me. I had toiled with the idea of using edublogs, blogger, wordpress, scoilnet blogs and others but this was just so clear cut for the purpose and was separate from the school blog. And what’s more, it can also be accessed…

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Primary ICT Grant for Software & Hardware

As we blogged about recently, last month, Tanáiste and Minister for Eteducation and Skills announced a total of €24 million in grants for technology equipment in primary schools. A welcome development indeed, but many teachers were bemused by the stipulation that schools were only allowed purchase hardware items with the money. This was well and good for those schools still lacking in baseline hardware infrastructure, but of limited use to…

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eLearning

The new eLearning manual published by the NCTE is being distributed at seminars for primary school principals. It is, indeed a fine piece of work and is very readable and insightful. It was developed by H2 and other partners and will be an invaluable resource for schools as they address how ICT should be integrated into teaching and learning in the everyday work of the classroom. For those who would…

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Writing for the 21st century

The advent of Web 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, and social-networking, have changed the way children learn to write , according to  a new report from the National Council of Teachers of English in the US. Schools must adapt to these ubiquitous  modes of writing and develop new approaches to integrate them into the curriculum. Blake Yancey, a professor of English at Florida State University and author of the report…

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TeachNet Funding

Many people have been asking us recently if the recent cutbacks will have an impact on the TeachNet project. The reality is that the NCTE has withdrawn its funding since last year. This is despite a commitment to funding for the project from the Minister Hanafin in 2007. While we weren’t surprised by this move, it is disappointing that the Department of Education and Science places such little value on…

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