STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026

Today the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D. today launched his Department’s STEM Education Policy Statement 2017-2026 and Implementation Plan 2017-2019. The Minister is taking a long-term view on developing STEM learning across the entire school system from Early Childhood to Leaving Cert. He stated at the launch event I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe by 2026. We…

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STEM – New Plan on its way

Towards a STEM Education Policy Statement and Implementation Plan for Schools The Department of Education and Skills are currently developing a STEM Education Policy Statement and Implementation Plan for Schools. The Department’s work in this area is being informed by the STEM Education in the Irish School System report. The report contains 47 suggested actions that the Department should undertake to enhance the STEM learning in schools. One chapter of…

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A Digital Journey in Europe – Erasmus+ Project

Our school is the coordinating partner for this three year Erasmus+ project involving ten schools and three universities. The three Irish schools involved, Sacred Heart SNS, Killinarden, St Mark’s SNS, Springfield and Lissigiveen NS, Killarney all have gained Digital Schools of Distinction status. The three partners from Denmark Søhusskolen, Provstegårdskolen and Højby Skole are all based in the city of Odense, with one of the schools involved in a national project…

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Shaping the future – How Technology Can Lead to Educational Transformation

Last month David Puttnam, Digital Champion of Ireland, was in St Patrick’s College Drumcondra to officially launch ‘Shaping the future – How technology can lead to educational transformation’, a new publication edited by Deirdre Butler, Kevin Marshall and Margaret Leahy. The twenty-first century presents challenges and opportunities in equal magnitude to policy makers for information and communications technology (ICT) use in education. In today’s world of a changing workforce, rapid…

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Minding Our Language

Our tendency to over promise the impact of ICT … March 13th is Digital Learning Day in the United States where “all teachers, librarians, media specialists, principals, parents, community members, and administrators from public, private, charter, and home-school settings” are asked to “try something new on Digital Learning Day and share what they learned”. It sounds like a good idea, particularly giving all those involved in education “permission” to try…

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Mission V

My class have been given a great opportunity to participate in the re-launched Mission V project. Mission V was previously run during the 2011-2012 school year.  Mission V provides the opportunity for primary pupils to learn through a game based environment. The pupils will be empowered to learn programming skills in a highly creative environment. Instead of pupils being users of ICT (using social media, playing games, etc.) they will…

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IWBs – Time to dismantle the Trojan Horse?

Roughly 80-90% of Irish primary classrooms have an Interactive Whiteboard, (IWB). However, now that they are part of the furniture in most Irish classrooms, what have we learned? When IWBs came out, I spent a lot of time reviewing them and finding out which board offered the best value and service. I was convinced that a board that could be interacted with using touch was superior to pen-based ones. I…

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Tablets: Is the future Microsoft?

Everyone in education is talking about tablet computing. The days of comparing the various quirks of Interactive Whiteboards has ended and teachers are looking at the next big thing. At second level, tablets are an ideal technology resource, even if they simply just replace the textbook. However, at primary level, where we’re not so stuck to a textbook, tablets offer interesting discussion points. Hot off the blocks to hit the…

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Forget QR Codes… What’s your aura?

Augmented Reality (AR) has increased in popularity in recent years and indeed months. The infographic shown here gives an explanation of what AR is, it shows a timeline for the evolution of AR technologies and finally it illustrates the future of AR. In brief this technology makes QR codes look like a black and white television screen. We want content creation. We want autonomy. We want excitement. Like many others,…

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Teaching Online

Those involved in distance education struggled for many years to interact in live settings with their learners. Distance education is with us since the 1890s while the Open University (OU) created its first online course in 1988. The Internet has done a great deal to transform how learners can now learn at a distance. One piece of technology that is playing an increasing important role in online teaching and learning…

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