Our Youth Media Team traveled to Dublin on Friday 4th October for Féilte. On the Friday night we went to the CESI Meet and interviewed some of the attendees to elicit their thoughts on many topics including teaching, technology in education, #edchatie and many more. The main aim of the exercise was to re-familiarise the team with the technology that they would be using to interview, blog and tweet.
Saturday morning saw the familiar red shirts take their place at Féilte in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham for the start of a busy day. We planned some of the interviews for the day ahead, and tasked the team with researching the people and organisations that they would interview. It became quite an organic process as, for the most part, they chose the interviews that they would do. Their instructions were straightforward:
Of course no day would be complete without a bit of drama. For us this came in the form of the loss of one of our first interviews of the day, Brídín and Jack’s interview with Fintan O’Toole, Deputy Editor of the Irish Times. To the team’s credit, despite the bitter disappointment at the loss of this interview, they kept going and put it down to experience. Unbeknown to us all, our resident techie Bernie, worked tirelessly during the day to try to retrieve the lost interview and, miracle of miracles, he managed to retrieve it at around 4pm. To say that we were delighted to get it back, doesn’t even begin to come close to how we all felt!!
The feedback, both on the day and since, has been very positive towards the team. The idea has really caught people’s imaginations and I’m delighted to hear that it has prompted a number of teachers to look into setting up Youth Media Team’s in their own schools.
You can check out the blog posts from the team here and you can access their interviews directly here.
A final word of thanks to the back room team of Conor Galvin, Evelyn O’Connor and Bernie Goldbach. Their guidance and expertise made it a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for all involved.
Finn and David talked to Micheal Mulgrew, one of the Speakers at Feilte, about the festival itself and also about the differences between Irish teachers and American teachers. He had lots to say about what teachers in New York have in common as well as how they differ in his view. He also gave a great talk at the conference.
Michael is the fifth president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), whose 200,000 members include teachers and other professional staff in New York City public schools as well as family child-care providers, nurses, adult education instructors and retired members.
Here Finn and David interview two of the organisers from Fighting Words about the work that their organisation does. Fighting Words is a creative writing centre established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love to help students to develop their writing skills. The idea behind Fighting Words is a simple one – it’s about creative writing, writing for fun. So, you get things like Space Unicorns and Aliens in their stories. (http://www.fightingwords.ie/adventures-ralph-and-joe) They have also published books of the stories people write when they go to the Fighting Words centre in Russell Street in Dublin 1.
This afternoon we shared a relaxed, enjoyable, humorous chat with PhD candidate in TCD and broadcaster, former teacher and Rose of Tralee winner, Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain. [@aoibhinn_ni_s ]
Aoibhinn told us about her views on technology in the classroom. She thinks that technology is really important and beneficial and can be a more exciting fun way of learning. However she said that books and writing are also crucial and necessary for learning, similar to what Deputy Editor of The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole had said this morning in our interview with him.
Aoibhinn used to be a Physics and Maths teacher so she understands the problems and worries teachers have about the Education System in Ireland. She said she loved teaching and guiding students. Her favourite part of teaching was helping students and she said had great fun with her students in the classroom.
Today, the Youth Media Team were really excited to have the opportunity to interview Fintan O’Toole. Bridin and Jack managed to find a quiet space, pressed ‘record’ and had a wonderful, relaxed chat with one of Ireland’s most passionate journalists.
Twenty minutes later, they had it in the bag, took a photo and Fintan left for pastures new. Sadly, when we looked down at the device which held all of his words of wisdom, it was crashing. Crashing hard. Almost in tears, we struggled to find the file, to recover it but sadly it wasn’t to be. The interview was gone.
Earlier, Fintan had spoken about the importance of learning from failure. So here’s what we learnt today:
1. Always have a back-up plan. If we had been recording with a second mic or device we’d have secured the interview.
2. It’s ok to fail. We conducted many, many interviews today. One was bound to go wrong – we were just sorry it was our guest speaker. We were gutted but we were also more careful what device we used for the rest of the day.
3. Even though the technology failed, we still had the experience of interviewing Fintan. We can’t have that conversation again, but at least we had it once!
In this interview, well known psychologist David Coleman talks to us about how the education system meets the psychological needs of children and teenagers and the various impacts entering the post primary school system has on teenagers.
David was at #FEILTE as part of the closing panel discussion which turned into an amazing discussion about schools and teaching and mental health and wellness
BEO was founded by transition year students from Coláiste Ailigh , St. Eunan’s College, Loreto Convent and Errigal College. All of these schools are located in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
BEO aims to get young people interested in music by encouraging them to organise a series of concerts in their local area. Students are in charge of every aspect of the organisational process – booking the acts, promotion of events, filming of concerts etc. This encourages an interest in live music, while helping students develop a wide range of organisational and communication skills.
This project also puts a firm emphasis on the Irish language and seeks to encompass it in the organisational process – “Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste, ná Bearla cliste”.
This interview with Caroline Sherlock from Walk In My Shoes was focused on the sensitive subject of mental health. ‘Walk in My Shoes’ is St. Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation’s leading awareness and fund-raising campaign. It aims to provide vulnerable young adults in Ireland with mental health services, and also to challenge the stigma associated with mental health. It provides downloadable mental health packs, a cyberbullying guide, as well as promoting the message to teachers and students ‘to seek help early’ with regards to mental health problems.
Here David and Finn interview Young Social Innovators about their work. YSI seek to engage and prepare young people aged 15-18 to take part in civic action, whether through volunteerism, community service, service-learning, citizenship education, social entrepreneurship and innovation.