CrumbleBot: A Fun Way To Introduce Coding and Robotics at Primary Level

We have previously used the Microbit to introduce coding and Robotics to our senior classes. However, this year we decided to try something similar but different and this is how I stumbled upon the Crumblebot.The CrumbleBot is an enjoyable and effective way to introduce coding and robotics to children of all ages, and especially primary school children. It provides a ready-built platform to experiment safely and easily with analog and…

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Promethean – The State of Technology in Education 2020/21 (UK&I EDITION)

Promethean published their 5th Annual Report “The State of Technology in Education 2020/21 (UK&I EDITION) early last month. The opinions of over 2,000 Principals, Senior Management Teams, School IT Staff and Teachers were gathered last spring during the School Covid 19 closures while teachers and students were engaged in working remotely from home relying on technology for teaching, communicating and engaging with their pupils. Respondents to this year’s report were…

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Microsoft Education: Resources and Research

Resources to support the effective use of technology in teaching and learning Check out this resource page circulated by Microsoft for Education and added to by PDST Digital Technologies advisors. The class of 2030 and life-ready learning: The technology imperative The future of learning is here. As schools and educators consider how to approach the rapidly changing realities of education, new research suggests children starting school today will graduate better…

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Technology Tools

A recent TeachNet Blog post “Blended Learning – So what is all the fuss?” gave a very clear and informative understanding of Blended Learning. It really is well worth a second or even third read for any teacher so that they can come to terms with the new classroom reality.I think it is true to say that our current understanding of the traditional classroom has been consigned, for the moment…

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The BBC Micro:bit. A powerful tool for classroom coding

There has been a growing move towards the introduction of coding platforms and applications like Scratch and Hour of Code into our classrooms. Most teachers have by now, heard of and used these applications within their classes. In many schools there are students creating amazing projects during their school hours as well as in after school clubs. These tools are proven to help students develop an array of skills such…

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Introducing JCQuest.ie

Digital Science and French for Junior Cycle JCQuest.ie is a new online resource for Junior Cert Science and French, designed to work flawlessly cross-platform and device. Launched in January 2020, updates have continued through lock-down and the portal now hosts a library of question sets that cover the entire Junior Cert syllabi in both subjects. Currently, due to the ongoing pandemic, full access for schools and students is available for…

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Continuing to Embrace Evolving Technology

As we return to school after a prolonged absence, I have taken the opportunity to upgrade some of the ICT facilities around our school. Over the years we have installed Interactive White Boards in all our classrooms. However, many of these are now showing their age and thoughts have now turned to upgrading to IFP’s (Interactive Flat Panels.) As a principal the main barrier to the upgrade to the Interactive…

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Using Shared Electronic Devices Safely in a School during Covid 19

DES (Department of Education and Skills) guidance on using shared electronic devices for schools is: electronics – shared electronic devices such as tablets, touch screens and keyboards should be cleaned between use. Consideration could be given to the use of wipeable covers for electronics to facilitate cleaning https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/your-questions-answered/#sharing-textbooks-pencils-and-so-on-with-other-children Microsoft have some useful guidance on caring for and cleaning your Surface device: Using disinfectant products on your Surface   You can…

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Microsoft Educator Centre

A number of years ago, on the Teachnet.ie Blog, there was a post made about the launch of an all new “Microsoft Educator training Centre”. In the time that has passed this site has grown into a hugely popular and well established Hub for teachers wishing to deepen their knowledge around all things Microsoft. The Microsoft Educator Centre now includes topics such as Office 365, 21st century Learning Pedagogies, Coding…

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Lockdown Upgrades

Very early on in the “Working from Home” new normal, I realised that it was time to upgrade my Desktop PC. It’s an aging iCore 5 machine that has continued to cope with multiple software updates, successfully graduating from Windows 7 to Windows 10! However it really had slowed down considerably and I knew that it would be a struggle for it to cope with ICT tutorial and webinar, support…

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