Category Archives: General

LearnStorm – The New Name for the Popular Mathletes Challenge

Have you signed your student up to LearnStorm yet? LearnStorm is the new name for the Mathslete Challenge open to students in Ireland, Chicago, Idaho and the Bay Area. The competition is open to students in 4th class right up to 5th year nationwide in primary and post-primary schools. Students are asked to commit a minimum of 1 hour per week for the duration of the competition.The challenge launches the 29th of January and will run up to the 1st of April.… Visit the author's original post

Adaptive Learning Platforms – Knewton Beta

A glance through Helen Bullock’s brilliant crowd sourced eBook “How I Learn” and you quickly see how many different learning styles there could potentially be within the “average” classroom. In fact there is little “average” about a classroom; it is a diverse mix of needs, abilities and interests. We all see and engage with the world in our own unique way yet we sometimes expect students to process, understand and evaluate information in exactly the same way. In recent years there has been a move beyond simply differentiated learning content towards more personalised learning.… Visit the author's original post

iBridge: A USB Thumb-Drive for Both iPad and Computer

flesh-nakopitel-leef-ibridge-16gb-27798If you work with 20 iPads  in a classroom, then you already know that sharing large  files between iPads or between iPads and computers comes with some friction and bother.

Sure, there are many ways to transfer content from a student’s iPad to your computer or vice-versa, or from a student’s iPad to another student’s iPad.  (AirDrop, Dropbox, Instashare, PhotoTransfer WiFi, Email, etc) but each has its limitations especially if your school’s Wi-Fi is suspect or the internet is slow.

An  iBridge  device is a new solution and one I received as a present this Christmas.… Visit the author's original post

Office on your iPad

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It was around this time last year when I kindly treated myself to an iPad Air 2 and spent the subsequent months engaging in the activities of a typical, casual tablet user: browsing, listening to music and podcasts, spending too much time on social media, performing some menial word processing tasks and so on. However, over the last few months I’ve noticed that my usage has taken a turn in an interesting direction, particularly in relation to the latter activity – the last two significant Apps that I have downloaded are Microsoft Word and Excel!… Visit the author's original post

ClassFlow – Updated for Mobile Browsers

Over the last twelve months or so in a number of postings we have followed Promethean’s developments with ClassFlow – their cloud based lesson preparation and assessment toolkit. Readers who have been followed my  postings in November 2014, December 2014, January 2015 and June 2015 will recall that Promethean have been updating their versions of ClassFlow every few months. Well Promethean have also been listening to feedback from ClassFlow users on the ClassFlow forums and have taken on board feedback from those teachers who are using ClassFlow.… Visit the author's original post

“Someone Like Me” – Essay Winner Announced

Someone Like Me launch eventIn September we highlighted a new  Department of Justice and Equality sponsored competition aimed at promoting positive attitudes towards disability in schools and celebrating differences. On Thursday last, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality and Drugs Strategy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin  presented 12 year old Kerry  native, Bríd Courtney with this prestigious award at a special Awards Ceremony in Farmleigh House’ Dublin.

The awards were the culmination of a new national essay competition, entitled ‘Someone Like Me”’ designed to promote and highlight positive attitudes towards disability in primary schools.… Visit the author's original post

Running a Teachmeet

My wife, Rozz, and I have been going to and participating in Teachmeets for a number of years and always enjoy them. The informal nature of these events where teachers get together to share ideas in a show and tell format is not only great fun but we always leave learning something new. While Teachmeets aren’t always about technology, most of the ones that take place in Ireland centre around technology. However, even if they aren’t, there’s a lot of technology at play in them.… Visit the author's original post

Light Speed

Image4 Finally it’s a reality; a reality that carries a side bar of lots and lots of “No’s”! Light speed broadband with no bottlenecks, no copper cables, no long download times, no live-streaming lags and no other nationwide roll out anywhere else in Europe!
Siro is now delivering a total fibre to building solution to a select few “beta-test” homes and businesses in Dundalk and several other towns, providing them with 1 Gigabit bandwidth, that’s 1,000 Mbps, yes, no typo, 1,000 Mbps, internet access.… Visit the author's original post

MOOCs on the rise in Europe

Massive Open Online Courses – What Would You Like to Learn?

Back to the Future MOOCs questionThe New York Times christened 2012 the year of the MOOC and there was massive hype around the launch of services such as edX and Coursera around this time. However, as we near the end of 2015 the word MOOC is heard less often, so has it gone away? The short answer is no but the entire concept of MOOCs is evolving and major differences are appearing between the US and Europe in relation to their potential role within education.… Visit the author's original post

Symbaloo – Organise and Share your Favourite Websites into Webmixes

Symbaloo- A web application to organise collections of websites

It is always very satisfying to find a new piece of software that executes a simple idea well. Last year I found Symabloo and it has been a great addition to my work with students and colleagues.
Symbaloo is a web application that allows you to organise all your favourite sites into one visually pleasing interface. They can be organised into various webmixes, i.e. categories, and accessed from anywhere with any device.… Visit the author's original post

Noteflight – App for Teaching & Learning Music

Noteflight is a fantastic website and mobile app which allows users to write, store, listen to, print, search, share and collaborate on notated musical compositions right in their browser or on their mobile device. With plans from free to premium the aim of the developers is to provide an easy, accessible tool for budding composers and performers, whilst providing an online community for sharing music resources from original compositions to musical arrangements. For teachers it’s a useful tool in fostering collaboration in music learning and introducing key elements of music theory.… Visit the author's original post

E-STEP: Supporting Teachers’ and Parents’ Partnerships through Social Networking Technologies

The International E-STEP conference took place in Athens on November 7th. It was hosted by the 8th International Conference in Open and Distance Learning 2015, “Innovation and Research in Open & Distance Learning and in Information Communications Technology.” 

Over the last couple of years, the E-STEP project set about helping teachers and school leaders acquire and reinforce attitudes, skills, and knowledge that will enable them to effectively enhance parental involvement in schooling and interact with parents through social networking technologies. This culminated in the development of a specialised Training Framework and supportive materials for teachers around Europe that enable them to:

  • support, engage and motivate parents to utilize social networking systems in order to collaborate with teachers.
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Mirroring Your Ipad In The Classroom

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We recently purchased 15 Ipads for our school. Being a PC/Android person all my life I was not overly familiar with how teachers might display or mirror what they are doing on the Ipad device to the classroom projector. After a little bit of research I discovered that there are multiple options available. This post documents what’s currently out there.

Mirroring+Gallery+Images.001If you don’t mind keeping your iPad in one spot, then a VGA adapter (Lightning to vga connector) is required. This simply outputs your Ipad screen to your data projector.… Visit the author's original post

Irish Educational Technology Groups

Educational technology use has exploded in Irish schools over the last five years and almost every primary classroom in the country uses technology in some way everyday. It’s hard to believe that only 10 years ago, less than 4% of schools reported to use technology on a daily basis! However, in Ireland, this journey has been quite haphazard and it is rare to find two schools with the same technology. Thankfully, over the years, a number of networks, events and groups have been established for teachers to talk to each other about the use of technology and to share tips and ideas for their use in the classroom.… Visit the author's original post

Universal Design in Education Conference

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design logoNext week, a two day conference entitled “Education Across the Continuum: Innovating through Universal Design” takes place in Dublin Castle (Thursday 12th & Friday 13th of November).

Design is present in every aspect of our lives, from the everyday to the spectacular, from our takeaway coffee cup to the cutting edge of innovation in science, business and technology.  2015 has been designated Year of Design, so it is an opportune time for us to consider how we approach Universal Design in education, that is how we prepare our students to think outside the box and to design new things with all users in mind.… Visit the author's original post

WiFi Problems!

Having started in a new school in September I was bursting to share my ideas with the pupils and staff on blogging, Mission V, scratch programming, Khan Academy and a host of other I.C.T. ideas for the pupils to enjoy. Unfortunately, when we turned on the thirty new laptops and they all logged onto the WiFi, we ground to a halt. Memories of Dublin and the M50 at rush hour traffic flooded back to me and the same sinking feeling came over me.… Visit the author's original post

Using Quizizz for Assessment in the Primary Classroom

I recently came across a new online quiz tool “Quizizz” and quickly realised its potential as an online assessment tool for the primary classroom. Quizizz+1-pagerSimilar in ways to “Kahoot“, Quizizz provides realtime feedback to a teacher and their pupils as they engage with a series of questions on tablet devices, mobile phones, laptops or desktop PCs. Quizzes can be created from scratch or can be selected from a bank of quizzes created by other users of the website.… Visit the author's original post

The Digital Strategy for Schools

digital strategy screengrabThe Department of Education and Skills (DES) recently launched their Digital Strategy for Schools, 2015-2020; Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Assessment. This is the latest in a series of strategies and policy statements since December 1997 when the Department launched Schools IT2000. I have to declare up-front that I was involved the creation of both documents. So what is new, if anything, in this strategy
This strategy is based on evidence that was gathered over a period of 3 years to inform the vision and plan of action the DES will implement over the next 5 years.… Visit the author's original post

Maths Week

As you know this week is Maths Week and a chance to promote maths across the school and for students to have some fun along the way. Why not start by putting your school on the map by registering on the Maths Week website?

To see what is happening near your school check out www.mathsweek.ie/2015/events. The list includes events for adults and the general public, third level, post-primary and primary school students.

A few top picks :

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Teachers Try Science

Looking to add a little excitement to your Science classes?  Searching for some lesson plan inspiration to celebrate the upcoming 20th anniversary of Science Week (November 8th to 15th)?  No problem. Apart from the brilliant Science Week website there is a veritable virtual smorgasbord of STEM resources available on the web covering all levels and offering detailed lesson plans, multi-media resources and printables; all with the aim of sparking students’ interest in STEM.

teacherstryscience

One of the better websites promoting STEM I’ve come across is Teachers Try Science. … Visit the author's original post

MathGames.com: Free Online Activities for Supporting Numeracy

MathGames.com  math helper logo provides 1200 different ways to practice maths for students aged  five to fourteen. It works on smartphones, tablets, desktops and in the last 12 months 4500 new schools have started using MathGames.com in their classrooms, reaching over 600,000 students worldwide.

All of the content on the website is 100% free, no login needed!

The creators of this fantastic resource have essentially designed a suite of games and apps that combine a sense of play with learning that is very attractive to the student.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Office 2016

Microsoft released their latest version of their productivity suite Office 2016 just over a week ago. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this new version of Office has close integration with Office 365 which Microsoft has being encouraging users to sign up to for some time now. Subscribers of Office 365 can dowoffice2016-1nload Office 2016 by signing into the Office 365 portal and follow the instructions for installing Office that pop up after signing in. Where a school has signed up for Office 365 for Education, teachers and students are entitled to install Office 2016 for free as outlined in a previous posting here on the Teachnet Blog.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Educator Network Ireland – TeachNet Blog 2015-09-24 02:00:52

Educational technology use has exploded in Irish schools over the last five years and almost every primary classroom in the country uses technology in some way everyday. It’s hard to believe that only 10 years ago, less than 4% of schools reported to use technology on a daily basis! However, in Ireland, this journey has been quite haphazard and it is rare to find two schools with the same technology. Thankfully, over the years, a number of networks, events and groups have been established for teachers to talk to each other about the use of technology and to share tips and ideas for their use in the classroom.… Visit the author's original post

Celebrate their Differences

NO REPO FEE 16-9-2015 CHILDREN URGED TO “CELEBRATE THEIR DIFFERENCES”   Pic shows: Children’s author and rugby analyst Brent Pope  with primary school pupils (L-R) Misha Carroll (7) , Ruben  Pituc (7), Emma Moran (6) and Giancarlo Calegari (7) of Gardiner Street Convent School at the launch of Primary School competition promoting positive attitudes towards disabilities in Ireland in Dublin. Pic: Maxwell’s   CHILDREN URGED TO “CELEBRATE THEIR DIFFERENCES”   BRENT POPE JOINS MINISTER OF STATE AODHÁN Ó RÍORDAIN T.D. TO LAUNCH PRIMARY SCHOOLS COMPETITION PROMOTING POSITIVE ATTITUDES TOWARDS DISABILITIES IN IRELAND  Children’s author and rugby analyst Brent Pope took time out of his busy schedule ahead of the Rugby World Cup to join Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin T.D. and pupils from schools across Dublin including Gardiner Street Convent School, CRC School in Clontarf and St. Audoens, National School, Cook St today in Merrion Square to promote positive attitudes towards disability in schools around the country with the launch of a national primary schools essay competition entitled ‘Someone Like Me’.   With over 53,000 children under 15 years of age with disabilities in Ireland, primary schools around the country are being asked to encourage as many children as possible to get involved in the Department of Justice and Equality’s competition and celebrate the differences which make both themselves and their schoolmates unique. ‘Someone Like Me’ – New national primary schools essay competition

With over 53,000 children under 15 years of age with disabilities in Ireland, primary schools around the country are being asked to encourage as many children as possible to get involved in the Department of Justice and Equality’s competition and celebrate the differences which make both themselves and their schoolmates unique.

Brent Pope, rugby pundit author of many children’s books including Woody the Whale, The Wheezing Wolf, Bones, Arnold The Anteater and The Adventures of Herbie will be one of the judges of the competition.… Visit the author's original post

Online Autumn CPD

Special Offer: 50% off one course when two people sign up!…Read more 

TeachNet’s Autumn online course programme is now live with 4 online courses designed to help both primary and second-level teachers get the most out of technology in their classrooms, including our latest course to focus specifically on tablet computing and mobile learning entitled “Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy with the iPad or Tablet”.  All our courses are designed “by teachers, for teachers” using the best interactive e-learning technology and provide practical ideas for using ICT creatively.… Visit the author's original post

What future for education? Some food for thought

Hard to believe that the summer is over and that that we are almost half way through September and everyone is settling back into their routines for the year ahead.  This should be a very interesting year for Irish schools in relation to ICT, as the DES will shortly launch their much awaited Digital Strategy for Schools.  This document should have a major impact on the future of education at first second and level by embedding the use of ICT alongside recent reforms within the system in areas such as Literacy and Numeracy and School Self-Evaluation.… Visit the author's original post

Math Worksheet Generator

MEN logoThe Microsoft Educator Network has an ever-growing list of free resources and, at the start of a new academic school year, there’s nothing like having a collection of powerful educational tools gathered into one convenient online space.
icon Math Worksheet Generator is one of the many free downloads in the Educator Network and it is a great resource to have installed on a class desktop PC or laptop. Installation after downloading is straightforward and fast.
mathgeninstall Although the program itself takes up a very small footprint on the screen, it produces a wide variety of worksheets that can cater to the needs of pupils in both Primary and Post Primary classes.… Visit the author's original post

Create Interactive Lessons using Office Mix

What is Office Mix?

Mix is a very exciting addition to PowerPoint allowing teachers to make lessons interactive and to gather feedback and data from students. It is really easy to use and makes the idea of blended learning or flipping the classroom far more realistic for teachers, including those who may not be too comfortable getting to grips with new software applications.

Office Mix is a  free add-in for PowerPoint 2013 allowing users to create videos with voiceover, digital inking, quizzes and polls, and simulations using PowerPoint.… Visit the author's original post

Canva – Great Lesson Plans for both Primary and Post-Primary Teachers

What is Canva and why should teachers use it?

Canva is an online tool for designing infographics, collages, flyers, and slides. It’s free and there is no need to download any software to your iPad, tablet, PC or laptop to use it.

canva 2

Canva is a web application, which means you use it in your web browser. Students can use Canva to display key information in a visually compelling way. The benefits of visual content and depicting ideas and concepts through images has long been valued.… Visit the author's original post

Pencil – Open Source WireFraming Tool

“Open Source”, two little words that when combined offer a world of creativity, communication and problem solving. We all have our go to apps and programmes that we would be lost without but what happens when the cost of the proprietary software you need makes it prohibitive?  It’s at that point that most of us head into open water territory, the great sea of Open Source where we can find a free alternative. It may not have all the bells and whistles or the complete functionality of the original but open source software is incredibly useful.… Visit the author's original post