All posts by Caitlin

Léargas Forum TED-type Talks

Another initiative at this years Léargas Forum has been the introduction of a series of short ‘TED-like’ talks featuring Kieran Brosnan, Nora Furlong, Peter Hussey and Sheila Quigley. All have been involved in one aspect or another of Léargas work over the past few years. However, the challenge of putting all that they have done together in a five minute presentation was still a major one!

We caught up with all four, just after their well-received, lightning talks. Below are links to short interviews with each.

Youth Media Team

Interview with Jim Mullin

Léargas Executive Director Jim Mullin was a very busy man today. The #LéargasForum is one of their busiest days of the year but he took time out of his hectic schedule to speak with us. We talked about a number of things including; what Léargas does both here and in Europe, the forum itself and his previous work before his role with Léargas. We also talked with him about the choice of Fr. Peter McVerry as today’s forum keynote. Jim had some very interesting things to say about the reasons for this choice. ( In another blogpost we talk about our interview with Fr. Peter McVerry has been working with vulnerable young people in Dublin for the last 40 years. During this time he has campaigned tirelessly for their rights and his keynote speech went down very well at the forum today. He spoke about dignity, the importance of young people having a sense of belonging and a sense of being valued and cared about.)


Caitlin and Dave
Youth Media Team

Young People shaping our society – are we there yet?

As part of the Léargas forum a series of workshops were organised that deal with some of the core areas of Léargas work. For example one of the workshops today Young People shaping our society-are we there yet?

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The workshop was facilitated by Dermot O’Brien and Bernadette Larkin and walked through the Erasmus + project undertaken. We explored what is meant by political and distinguished between political referring to public representation versus political as finding something you don’t like and not changing it. During our discussions we spoke about conflict between empowerment and ”walking the line” in school. Some other points of discussion were around the importance of empowering those who are least engaged and how to go about doing this.

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The project was undertaken in partnership with the National Youth Council of Ireland and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and involved the following steps.

  • Research on empowerment (Red C poll)
  • EU Youth Conference in Rome.
  • Focus Groups
  • EU Youth Conference Riga resulting in a list of Europe wide recommendations.
  • Items to Action report produced for EU Council of Ministers meeting.
  • EU Youth Conference Luxembourg.
  • Priority areas identified for Ireland.
  • Final Recommendations produced.

The project has fed into the road map for the National Implementation Plan for 2016 which begins in January.

Caitlin, Finn & Dave

Youth Media Team

The Google apps educator

We spoke to John Hegarty who is the IT coordinator in a second level school in Kildare. He promotes the use of Google apps in the learning space. Among the benefits are that it is free, is web based and will work on any device. Any drawbacks are quickly outweighed by the benefits of facilitating communication and collaboration. The apps themselves are just a tool. The creativity comes from the user. In his school school one way it is widely used is in transition year to create and manage a portfolio of work and activities. At present John feels that the use of IT is unlikely to develop until the new Junior Cycle is in place.

Youth Media Team

THE interview with THE Fred Boss of THE edchatIE!!!

Our group interviewed Fred Boss of #edchatIE. We went in with a wide range of Twitter usage, varying from none at all to daily. Sandra was under the illusion that Twitter was another Facebook, however, under the guidance of Fred she is now convinced that Twitter will help her with ALL her problems! John set up his Twitter account last night, and stumbled through the process, but feels that, with Fred’s input, he is more confident and sees it as a useful tool in the classroom. Róisín and Rachel were already familiar with Twitter, edchatIE and indeed, Fred. We learned about the origins of edchat, which began in the US, spread to the UK and now has been active in Ireland for four and a half years. We learned how Google forms play a central role in the democratic selection of topics to be discussed. Hootsuite is used to remind followers that the discussion is about to begin, and Chirpstory is used to collate the tweets, which Fred then turns into a PDF for future reference for all participants. Fred told us Twitter can be a really useful tool within the classroom as a class account can be set up and used to stimulate discussion on the topic being studied. He cautioned that the schools AUP would need to be consulted before such use in the classroom. Tweetdeck which is found within Google Chrome Apps, allows the teacher to keep tabs on multiple classes and topics at the same time. Completing the interview, he directed us to the website www.cybraryman.com where we can see the many education-related hashtags that are in use internationally. Why not check out our interview with Fred for all of this and more! Thanks Fred!

Youth Media Team