Category Archives: Primary

Microsoft Training Academy Paddington: Book your free digital transformation session today

Designed with school leaders and educators in mind, the Microsoft Training Academy is an experience that empowers digital transformation within everyday teaching, and at a school or multi-academy trust level. Delivered in person by Microsoft Learning Consultants, sessions in the Paddington MTA provide hands-on, tailored training on how to best utilise Microsoft technology in education. All attendees are given their own device for the duration of the day, allowing them to explore, collaborate and learn. This post explores what a typical day looks like, introduces our presenters, and provides information about how to book your own session.… Visit the author's original post

Spring Online CPD 2016

A New Year and maybe a resolution to get to grips with technology in your classroom?

To help you and your school effectively deliver Information Communications Technology (ICT)  in the classroom,   TeachNet is currently enrolling for it’s Spring Course Programme with four online courses. All our courses are designed to help both primary and second-level teachers get the most out of technology in their classrooms, including one designed to focus specifically on tablet computing and mobile learning entitled “Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy with the iPad or Tablet”.  TeachNet 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

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

Safer Internet Day 2016

Last Thursday as I pondered which path my school would take on it’s way to getting the Digital Schools of Distinction Award, I received a phone call from a parent informing me that a number of pupils in one of the senior classes were accessing pornography on their mobile phones outside of school.  Now despite this incident happening outside of school alarm bells went off in my head and what was I going to do now. I did speak to the class about accessing the internet safely and to report anything to a trusted adult.… 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

Cracking the Code…Again?

Circa this time last year I blogged about Cracking the Code, a post highlighting the ever growing popularity of coding activities in Ireland and it would appear that this growth has continued in spades, the number of Coder Dojo clubs for instance this time last year was 77 that number’s now in excess of 200. However as previously mooted much of the publicity around coding tends to be focused on after school activities  however there are many schools nationwide doing pioneering work in this space also.… Visit the author's original post

Bedtime Math

Bedtime Math is a Mathematics story based resource for parents and children that is aimed to foster parent/child interactions around Mathematics in the home. The resource has been developed by the Bedtime Math Foundation (a non profit making organisation funded by private donations) founded by Laura Bilodeau Overdeck. Laura aims to make Maths as playful for today’s children as it was for her when she was a child. In her own childhood, Laura’s mam had her baking while still in nappies and her dad had her using power tools measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process.… 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

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

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

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

Interactive Whiteboards or Interactive Flat Screen?

After the massive investment in the interactive whiteboards from 2008-2011 in Irish primary schools it seemed that the I.W.B. was here for the long haul and that our classrooms were going to be transformed! While I am a great fan of the I.W.B. and using it as a teaching resource to enhance the teaching and learning within the classroom, I was not a fan of blowing light bulbs, buying new bulbs, installing new light bulbs, cleaning projectors using a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, overheating, adjusting projectors that had being moved while suspended from the ceiling due to the slamming of the classroom door!… 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

TeachNet Summer Courses Closing Soon…

Summer Course logo 2015It’s the last week of summer courses for 2015, with all EPV day approved courses closing this Friday, August 21st. To mark the end of what is now our 9th year as an online course provider we’re offering 50% off one course when two people enrol in any of the four courses.

To avail of this offer, you and a colleague can enrol at www.teachnet.ie/courses/enrol/ for your preferred courses and then email cpd@teachnet.ie or call 01-4806208 to get the discount.  

2015 Online Courses

Simply click on the link to find out more and to book your place today…

Getting Started with ICT TeachNet CPD screenshot
Getting Started – Computer Basics for Teachers
This course is for beginners, learn how to use a computer and the Internet in your classroom

ICT in the Classroom
Getting the Most from your Interactive Whiteboard
Are you using your Interactive Whiteboard to its full potential?  Easy to use ideas and examples for learning in the classroom.Visit the author's original post

Summer Courses 2015–Special Offer!

50% off one course when two people sign up!

To help you and your school effectively deliver Information Communications Technology (ICT)  in the classroom,  TeachNet Ireland is offering four accredited online courses this summer.  For a limited time only,  we’re offering 50% off one course when two people enrol in any of our four courses.
To avail of this offer, you can both enrol for your preferred courses and then email cpd@teachnet.ie or call 01-4806208 to get the discount.  

elntab_demo_screenshot_sml
Demo: Tablet Course – Online Publishing

2015 Online Courses

Simply click on the link to find out more and to book your place today…

Young woman using laptop

Getting Started with ICT
Getting Started – Computer Basics for Teachers
This course is for beginners, learn how to use a computer and the Internet in your classroom

ICT in the Classroom
Getting the Most from your Interactive Whiteboard
Are you using your Interactive Whiteboard to its full potential?  Easy to use ideas and examples for learning in the classroom.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

Time for Reflection

It is hard to believe that the month of June is almost over – where has it gone?

After a busy school year, students are finishing the last of their state exams today and primary schools will finish in the next 10 days. Soon, everyone gets a chance to unwind and have a break.

In the field of digital learning, it has also been a busy year for the Department of Education and Skills, which is currently finalizing a new Digital Strategy for Schools.… Visit the author's original post

Tagging and Categorising on your school blog

blogs_browserI’ve noticed that a number of schools are setting up new school websites either with Scoilnet blogs or with WordPress.com, which is fantastic. These provide schools with a great opportunity to communicate their news and the pupils achievements with the school community.

wordpress

The one thing that I do notice on these sites is that the blog posts are not categorised or tagged. Categorising is just like the contents of a book, while tagging is like the index. If you catergorise and tag properly people that visit your site will be able to navigate more easily around your site.… Visit the author's original post

ClassFlow – Version 3 Launched

Promethean have been regularly updating their ClassFlow – Cloud Based Lesson Presentation and Assessment toolkit over the last twelve months or so. Every two to three months a new or updated version has been released. For users using tablet computers and the ClassFlow Student and/or the ClassFlow Teacher apps, each new version update also meant that the app version for tablet devices had to be updated. During the course of these various updates, support for the Windows RT version of the app was withdrawn and the version of the ClassFlow Student app on the Windows Store now only supports x86 and x64 processors.… Visit the author's original post

Opening Our Mathematical Eyes @ ALM

Adults Learning Mathematics logoAdults Learning Mathematics is an international research forum which brings together practitioners and researchers from around the world who are involved in the mathematics education of adult learners at all levels.  The organisation through research and scholarly activity informs  international and national policy and practices to support all aspects of adult mathematics education. www.alm-online.net. 

The 22nd International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM) “Opening Our Mathematical Eyes: Seeing Math in Everything We Do” will be hosted by the American Institutes for Research in Washington DC, July 12 – 15, 2015.… Visit the author's original post

Saving to the Cloud for free

cloudAnytime, anywhere access to your files is an important feature of computing today. The days of carrying a USB stick from home to school with Lesson Plans, Notes and Schemes should be a thing of the past! Files accessed and modified on a computer or tablet in school can be accessed from home if the files are stored using one of the many cloud storage services that are available for free. Additional features of cloud storage mean that files can be easily shared and if stored across several providers then multiple copies can be securely kept in different places.… Visit the author's original post

TeachNet Summer Courses 2015

VLE screenshotFor summer 2015, TeachNet are offering 4 EPV day approved online courses, to help you and your school achieve effective ICT integration into teaching and learning, including our latest course to focus specifically on tablet computing and mobile learning entitled “Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy with the iPad or Tablet”.

TeachNet’s online courses bring together the expertise of St. Patrick’s College and the practical approach of our course authors. All TeachNet courses are created “by teachers, for teachers” using the best interactive e-learning technology and provide practical ideas for using ICT creatively in the classroom.… Visit the author's original post

MOOCs for Teacher CPD

What is available?

MOOC word cloudMOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses have been all the rage for the past few years with some claiming that they will disrupt our existing model of higher education and open education to the masses. Well that has not happened as yet but they are certainly opening up new opportunities for learning, particularly for professionals and that includes teachers.

We must remember that MOOCs are relatively new and that 2012 is often viewed as the Year of the MOOC, so we are really only at the beginning of this journey.… Visit the author's original post

Migrating to Windows 8.1 in a Primary School

 

Over the last few years we have moved from Windows XP to using Windows 7 throughout the school on desktop and laptop computers. This move was very smooth on the whole and the vast majority of the wide range of applications that teachers and pupils use throughout the school migrated from XP to Windows 7 without any major problems. Windows 8.1Recently we received a donation of a new laptop computer. The operating system on this laptop was Windows 8.1 which is  quite common on most new pc’s and laptops on sale today.… Visit the author's original post

Scratch for Tablet devices

Scratch 1.4 screen

Scratch 1.4 interface

Back in May of 2007 the first beta copy of Scratch, a programming language for children, was released. Scratch was a free application developed by MIT Media Labs and it was easier to use when compared to more traditional programming languages as it consisted of graphical blocks that could be dragged from a palette and dropped into place to create interactive stories, animations and games. In 2009 Scratch 1.4 made an appearance and it became the most used stable version until January 2013 when Scratch 2.0 was released in beta format.… Visit the author's original post

Shaping the future – How Technology Can Lead to Educational Transformation

Last month David Puttnam, Digital Champion of Ireland, was in St Patrick’s College Drumcondra to officially launch ‘Shaping the future – How technology can lead to educational transformation’, a new publication edited by Deirdre Butler, Kevin Marshall and Margaret Leahy.

Shaping the Future book coverThe twenty-first century presents challenges and opportunities in equal magnitude to policy makers for information and communications technology (ICT) use in education. In today’s world of a changing workforce, rapid advancements in technology and in-creased global competition, learning is more critical than ever.… Visit the author's original post

Building Digital Capacity in Higher Education

Some takeaways for Primary and Post-Primary

Dispelling Myths

Report coverLast week, the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education published its extended roadmap – A Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World 2015-2017 – which aims at building digital capacity in Irish higher education.

This is a comprehensive document that places the challenge of developing digital capacity in higher education (HE) across the entire school system. I particularly like the section where myths about digital technology in any education setting, are investigated.… Visit the author's original post

Enrolling Online in Primary Schools

I think my school was the first to offer online enrollment forms in Ireland back in 2008 and we’re now into our 7th year of offering this service. Around half of all our enrollments into our school come through our online form and the feedback we have received from parents is excellent. We use Gravity Forms for our enrollment form but there are some other options out there that are just as good and potentially even better.

Gravity Forms is a plugin for WordPress, which my school’s web site is run on.… Visit the author's original post