Maggie Green, a primary school teacher and Lego Robotics enthusiast, shared ideas on how to integrate clever games and projects into school curriculums. Maggie is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in game creation. Her major project involves developing a computer game for children with speech and language impairment.
In The School Door, a Halloween workshop, “the mad scientist is getting ready to take part in some terrifying tales”. Maggie’s “spooky literacy workshop” runs inside Facebook (The School Door) and her website offers equally intriguing ideas that mash up hands-on learning that helps to link maths and science to the real world with problem solving based on deep and creative thought.
Caitlin Donnelly, Chris Fennelly, and Amy Lombard roamed the floor of Feilte 2015, learning more about innovative education from various showcase presenters.
Presenters from SBP Radio broadcast via WiFi in Scoil Bhride, Portlaoise, every Friday from 9am to 9:30 throughout the school. Programmes often feature interviews with teachers, accompanied by popular music.
Physics Busking team members used simple materials to create really cool science projects. One of the projects involved lifting Amy off the conference floor purely with the power of friction. (See photo below.)
Amy and Caitlin interviewed Ciara Mc Cardle. We chatted about her article in which she spoke about the negatives associated with technology. She shared her thoughts on being part of the panel discussion ‘Technology In Education’ which allowed her to learn more about the positive aspects of using technology.
Amy and Caitlin interviewed Cathy Hynes,Eve Casey and Kathleen O’Brien from Kinsale Community School. The girls are BT Young Scientist winners 2014 and spoke about the hard work and dedication that goes into presenting and creating an award winning project. They also spoke about their opinions on ‘Technology In Education’-the panel discussion they participated in.
RTE Presenter Keelin Shanley shared her science background and her passion for the media during a short four minute interview with the Youth Media Team in Dublin. Explaining that her journey started with her study of Science in third level, Keelin offered her perspective on the importance of “being STEM-aware” as well as her measured assessment of the level of success enjoyed by women in mainstream media.
Here Eoin and Finn interviewed Mark Pollock after his keynote address here at this years #FEILTE. In his keynote Mark spoke about the various challenges he had to overcome to be the person that he is today. Speaking about his life, Mark shared his experiences with his various challenges throughout his life such as his loss of sight and paralysis.
We asked Mark about his ability to cope with such severe hindrances, and what drives him each day in his quest to walk again.
Siobhán’s presentation outlined the need for today’s learners to become proficient in the critical consumption of information. This included the acquisition, selection, management and presentation of content. She highlighted some of the capabilities that search engines offer to explore and filter specific information on the Web. Siobhán also outlined several alternative search engines to Google such as instagrok , which presents search results in a mind map format. The full presentation can be accessed on http://www.pdst.ie/innovationacademy2015.
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.
As part of the Innovation Academy Entrepreneurial Educators programme, we were tasked this afternoon with interviewing Stefania Bocconi from CNR, Institute for Educational Technology. Stefania’s project is entitled Creativity and Technology Approach to Innovative Learning and Teaching Practices.
Stefania gave a short presentation on her research into the creative classroom via Skype. Ironically, the technology failed during the interview with Stefania and Dr. Conor Galvin stepped into the fray. Conor explained the outcomes of the research, which sets out key dimensions and building blocks for developing the Creative Classroom in primary and secondary education. Conor stated that although the developed framework offers a useful guide, the feedback from teachers across Ireland suggests that it is more aspirational than practical. Conor concluded that the key to the Creative Classroom is a creative teacher, and that we need “more teachers that take the chance more often, even if it’s chaotic and messy”.
“It’s a special moment” – that moment when a child who has worked on a project for several hours is ready to share it with people they care about. Ken Whelan, a volunteer with the CoderDojo movement describes the transformative educational experiences that children have every week. For Ken this is learning by accident, it’s not a typical classroom situation; this is different. Children are challenged not spoon fed. They define the task; they find the solution – they learn by doing.
Clearly this is what children want. CoderDojo is now a movement involving 30,000 children in 700 centres around the world.
The technology, Arduino, is inexpensive and a perfect way to start the process whether it’s creating code to control Google Earth or a real-world drone – the Coder Dojo ethos is that cost should never be a barrier to learning.
I feel embarrassed as I have never heard of CoderDojo before. I also feel that I have not been in touch with the teaching of technology for my daughters sake.
I really like the idea that CoderDojo is not about the tech stuff but more about the understanding of learning and thinking. This is a great example example of ‘Learning by doing’ in a learning space that reflects the students needs.