Posted on 14-07-2007
Filed Under (Mobile technology) by gashed

The Irish Independent newspaper published an article about a Department of Education and Science, NCTE, Foras na Gaelige and the NCCA program to use mobile phones in the teaching of Irish.  It is hoped the use of technology will motivate students and improve their communication skills.  The use of ICT in assessement will also be trialed.  The exercises that the students will undertake are:

  •  Pupils use mobile phones to dial a number and hear a series of recorded questions to which they respond. They can re-record until they are happy with their response.
  •  Teachers listen to student responses online and provide feedback, either in printed form or on a podcast.
  •  Teachers use SMS to send a word a day to pupils for them to learn.
  • Pupils log on to a secure web chatroom where a stimulus, such as a photo or movie, is provided to prompt a written story.

There are some good ideas there; the use of the phone to somehow record oral homework is novel.  However, SMSing a word to learn is very lame – why not write it on the board .  Only one of the exercises do the students potentially have the oppurtunity to learn from each other and generate content.  I’m sure there are better more pedagogically sound ways to use phones in the classroom?  One other question is the headline states:

Pupils lap up hi-tech learning of Irish

Can phones really be considered ‘hi-tech’ anymore? 

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Posted on 13-07-2007
Filed Under (teaching) by gashed

In an interview with Michael Galvin, head of Cisco’s Galway R&D plant with siliconrepublic.com, featured on Independent.ie and reffered to on NetworkWorld.com, he adressed the problem of insufficent science and technology graduates in Ireland.  He highlighted 3 areas to be addressed:

  • Focus on science in primary school.
  • Increased use of technology to communicate as students do outside of the classroom.
  • Teachers to equip the student’s with problem solving skills and ‘reskill its workforce to become knowledge  orchestrators’.

Science at primary level has recently been overhauled and there is now a postgraduate certificate/dipolma in Teaching Science at Primary level in University College Cork.  The 2nd and 3rd points refer to second level; certainly it’s hard to argue against that we should be communicating with students in a way they understand in order to engender uderstanding, and we should be allowing the students to work together to create and develop their knowledge, as they will have to in the workplace.

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Posted on 13-07-2007
Filed Under (Blogging) by gashed

I’ve been looking around at various educational blogs trying to find some inspiration.  2 I find very interesting are those of David Warlick and Will Richardson; these guys seem to have their finger on the pulse.  These blogs do illustrate how far behind Irish second level education is in adopting and using the tools of Web 2.0.  I have found some signs of life out there – I’ll post links to these later, but I can only find 3 schools with Moodle sites for example.  I thought this was the tiger economy where high tech industry and software companies flock to setup their European headquarters.  More and more students’ learning outside the classroom is done using technology.  Web technologies of the read/write web are now consistent with the pedagogies of the classroom and utilising them in school is the best way to ensure that students gain competencies such as the ability to collaborate, cooperate and to be creative.

Will Richardson in a post today talked about what school 2.0 is about? Is it about generating content in a new way? Is it about more effective commuication? Is it about allowing students to develop the capacity to learn through engaging and interacting with others?

David Warlick discussed how we may need to refocus away from the product of learning, what is created nowadays is never finished, it is constantly evolving through personal and social reflection.  What is important is not what is learned nor the technology that is used to achieve this.  What is important is to focus on the learning, helping the learner to improve their capacity to develop their learning in an environment that allows for unprecedented access to information and communication among learners.

 I think these are currently my most favoured blogs.  I’m still searching for some relevant Irish blogs? Anyone know of any?

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Posted on 13-07-2007
Filed Under (Miscellaneous) by gashed

Okay, my current favourite.

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Posted on 13-07-2007
Filed Under (Blogging) by gashed

This is the first post of gashed.net!  On the blog I hope to write about such matters as Irish education, technology in education, science, cricket and whatever springs to mind.  My only concerns are that I don’t have much to say and I’m semi-illiterate.  I havc never written anything for public consumption; but I suppose in these times of collabration and cooperation one has to start somewhere.  By maintaining this blog I hope to gain firsthand experience of learning through blogging and try to look at it’s relevance to secondary education.   Blogging will hopefully allow me organise and clarify my own thoughts on topics and begin conversations with others out there.  Who knows I’ll probably just end up posting my favourite youtube clips!

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