Category Archives: Events

Musings about big events we’ve attended.

Interview with Sinead Herlihy and Tony Riley

Today at #cesion Monique and Caitlin interviewed Sinead Herlihy and Tony Riley.

The conference opened with Sinead and Tony speaking of the various tips and tricks that can be used while playing the invigorating game of Minecraft. They discussed how we can incorporate minecraft into our education system. Not only allowing kids to have fun but enabling them to learn in the process.

Monique and Caitlin

Youth Media Team

Interview with Brendan Tangney

Today at #cesicon Caitlin and Monique interviewed Brendan Tangney following his keynote address.

Brendan opened the conference by speaking about his work with Bridge 21. We asked him about getting girls more involved and engaged with subjects such as maths and science and about the challenges going with that. He also told us about how Bridge 21 has impacted on both the students and teachers involved and this is important for them.

Youth Media Team
Caitlin & Monique

Interview with Maggie Green

Cara and Roisin interviewed Maggie Green from Genius Journals today at Cesicon 2017.  Maggie Green is a primary school teacher who works on Genius Journals with her class. Genius Journals allow children to explore their thoughts and ideas and to develop concepts and designs. Maggie has found that since implementing Genius Journals into her class the children are more eager to learn and attendance has increased. You can listen to the clip below.

Youth Media Team
Cara & Roisin

Interview with YMT – Who, What, Where and How?

We are a group of attendees at the CESI conference 2017 in St. Patrick’s College DCU. Elaine McAuliffe from Scoil Dara, Kilcock; Cara McDermott from Cavan Institute; Catherine Fox from CMETB and Martin Bailey from Animate2Educate. The Youth Media Team have provided us with an amazing opportunity to learn more about what they do, how they do it, etc, etc.

The tables were turned as we were tasked with interviewing them. Within 5 minutes we had learned about all the incredible work they do, and were enriched with ideas as we return to our workplaces.

It’s actually much more straightforward than we anticipated and every school should be implementing this!

The proof – we put this post together in 20 minutes!!

Click the link below to listen to the interview.

Elaine McAuliffe, Cara McDermott, Catherine Fox & Martin Bailey

Interview with Pan Kampylis

Dr. Pam Kampylis, Lord David Puttnam, Ciaran Cannon TD, Richard Bruton Minister for Education and Skills, Caitlin Donnelly and Professor Tom Crick
Dr. Pan Kampylis, Lord David Puttnam, Ciaran Cannon TD, Richard Bruton Minister for Education and Skills, Caitlin Donnelly and Professor Tom Crick

Photo Credit : Robbie Reynolds Photography used with kind permission from Excited – the Digital Learning Movement

At the Cracking The Code Symposium in Farmleigh House in December Caitlin met Dr Pan Kampylis, Research Fellow at the European Commission.  Unfortunately time didn’t allow for an interview at the time but in true YMT style she still got her interview!

Below find Pan’s answers to Caitlin’s email interview questions.

You spoke about computational thinking. Can you explain what you mean by this term?

Computational Thinking (CT) is a thought process, thus independent from technology.  CT is a specific type of problem-solving that entails distinct abilities, e.g. being able to design solutions that can be executed by a computer, a human, or a combination of both. In spite of the wide variety of definitions of CT, a subset of core concepts and skills is recursively emerging from the literature: abstraction, algorithmic thinking, automation, decomposition, debugging, generalisation…  For several scholars, CT is not only characterised by those skills, but also by attitudes or dispositions, such as the ability to handle ambiguity, the confidence in dealing with complexity, or the persistence in working through challenging problems…

Why is it important that we look at the broader view of computational thinking rather than just coding?

Coding and programming are often used interchangeably to indicate the process of ‘writing’ instructions for a computer to execute. However, programming refers to the broader activity of analysing a problem, designing a solution and implementing it.  Coding is the stage of implementing solutions in a particular programming language. Implementation skills go beyond coding since they include debugging and testing. In general, it is agreed that CT and coding/programming are not overlapping sets. According to Jeanette Wing, one of the eminent scholars in the field, CT means more than being able to program a computer and “represents a universally applicable attitude and skill set everyone, not just computer scientists, would be eager to learn and use”. This is very important premise, especially in the context of compulsory education.

What can Ireland learn from experiences of other countries in Europe regarding computational thinking in schools?

Currently, the integration of CT in formal and informal learning is a growing and very interesting trend in Europe and beyond. CT has become a buzzword that seems to promise the education of a new generation of children with a much deeper understanding of our digital world. However, in order to ensure equal opportunities and provide all children with the computer science skills they need to thrive in a digital society and economy, CT ought to be integrated in formal education. This will only deliver results if policy makers set out their vision and carefully define, plan and monitor their concrete implementation steps. In the recently published report1 on “Developing Computational Thinking in Compulsory Education” we outline 11 recommendations that policy makers can take into account to further ease the introduction of CT in schools across Europe.

Computational Thinking

1                   European Commission’s, Joint Research Centre Science for policy report, with CNR-ITD Genova and European Schoolnet.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this interview are purely those of the interviewee and should not be regarded as the official position of the European Commission.

Youth Media Team


TED-type talks at the Leargas Forum 2016

Part of the Leargas forum this year was that five speakers gave talk about their lives and how they have contributed to the youth community. In this blog, we interviewed these five speakers and talked to them about how they have impacted youths across the world and what future goals they want to achieve.

The TED-talks followed a morning music session shown below.


Kay McGabe is a youth coordinator for youth project and county needs. She has been in the business for about 10 years and primarily works with young people to support them.

Alex O’Mahoney is a teacher at the Holy Spirit Boys National School.

Haaris Sheikh is Chief Executive of Interesource Group (Ireland) Limited. He is on the Board of Directors of the Deaf Community Centre Limerick, and the Citizens Information Centre, Limerick. He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies, Trinity College Dublin.

Jim Sheehan works on a project called The Social and Health Education Project. One of the things he works on in the project is a community education program involving adults. His job is to support families with the help they need so they can be well and sustained throughout Ireland.

Blaithin Macken Smith has won the European Language Label and was awarded the Language Learner of The Year in 2016. She got into languages in the fifth year and was an exchange student to Japan. She learned Japenese, Spanish, Irish, English, and Russian for her Leaving Cert.

Lorcan, Elena, Will, Ezra, Ben and Millie
Youth Media Team

Interview with Jim Mullin

Jim Mullin has been the executive director of Leargas for 25 years. Jim is from Belfast and has worked as a Youth Worker in the National Youth Federation, as well as supporting staff at a regional level and volunteers in many organizations throughout Europe. At Leargas, he works to fund projects and organizations across the world with the resources and connections they need to help the education of youths throughout communities. In this interview, we talk with Jim about his life, as well as going into detail to find out the main goal of the Leargas forum.

Youth Media Team
Will and Ezra

Interview with Maurice Devlin at Léargas

Lorcan and Elena interviewed Maurice Devlin at Léargas 2016 in Dublin Castle. Maurice is a Jean Monnet Professor and Director of the Centre for Youth Research and Development in the Department of Applied Social Studies at NUI Maynooth. He spoke about the insight in young people through exchange and how the Erasmus programme has an influence in their future endeavors.

Lorcan and Elena

Lorcan and Elena

Youth Media Team