Sunday, 29 January 2012

Session 7 25th January 2012

"How can ICT be used effectively in the classroom?"

A very wide ranging discussion was had this week. Many of the teachers who participated were actively involved in embedding ICT tools into their everyday teaching whether it be the use ion Nintendo DS for numeracy to the use of class blogs to highlight achievement and to record learning.

It was generally agreed that using ICT in lessons helps to engage and enthuse students and creates a link with their ‘outside of school’ lives. It was also suggested that the uptake of new technologies is very depended on the teacher although it was suggested that CCEA’s ICT Accreditation scheme was helping to broaden the reach of ICT.  

Teacher’s were very willing to share links to their own work and to web tools which are having an impact in their classrooms. I have tried to consolidate all the links below but if there are any omissions please add them in the comments section at the bottom of this article.




Scratch Tutorials

Web2 Links

Online Learning/Networking

Interesting Ways to use ICT in the classroom

Word Clouds


Friday, 20 January 2012

Session 6 18th Jan 2012

"What are you hopes for the future of ICT in NI schools?"

A very popular topic this week which arose out of this announcement made at BETT last week.

Key messages from the discussion

The contract awarded to Northgate to deliver ENNI (education Network Northern Ireland) will see a shift in emphasis from hardware to cloud services.

The proposed service will involve My School portal which will require a single login to access a range of services including such things as school folders and a VLE . As this is cloud based it can be accessed from anywhere.

Schools will have flexibility in terms of devices. Students will be able to connect to the network via any browser therefore smartphones, laptops, tablet PCs, ipads etc will all be able to access the managed service. This was warmly welcomed although there was some discussion around equality of access and what provision if any would be made for schools in areas of high deprivation.

The issue of teacher training was also addressed. There was some agreement that the cascade training model was probably not very effective. ICT specialist and enthusiasts were sent on training courses but met resistance when they returned to school. Other approaches were mention and the example of online training shown by #edtechcc was given as a possible example of how things could be done. 

Some concerns were raised over how schools in areas of disadvantage would compete with schools where all children could bring a mobile device to school.

On the whole this was a very positive night on #NIedchat and there was a definite vibe that we could be on the cusp of something really big.

Selected Tweets

I'm excited to hear/read ENNI's vision for ICT in NI Schools in the next few years. @dmurray742

Well it's nice to hear that the use of smart phones will be allowed in a protected environment! @stiofanoc

Are there equality issues re access? Not all kids have smart phones. @dmchugh675

How ready are teachers to embrace change in their ICT? what would make the transition easier? @not_out_97

I think many teachrs feel o'whelmed by tech & think they need 2 B doing everything, I sugg starting small & evaluate benefit 2 T&L @medv2

Can I move conversation back to mobile devices? Why r we focusing on kit in classrooms when kids have powerful tech in pockets? @dmurray742

Schls will access a range of apps and educational resources through N'gates My-School learning portal." Anyone experienced this? @dmchugh675

Portal will be personalised "way in" to pretty much everything - from MIS
to Apps; datastore to VLE  @not_out_97

That's were we need to be investing money! Better wifi - more bandwith. Let the kids bring the tech to the room. @dmurray742

Much has been learned from the past & much of past 10yrs was necessary to get everyone up to a level... @not_out_97

New service will be browser agnostic @not_out_97

Tweet of the Week

Daithi Murray wins TOTW for this contribution but to be honest he could have won it for any one of ten posts in the chat.

The man’s a machine!

Why are we focusing on kit in classrooms when kids have powerful tech in their pockets?”

Jargon of the Week

"Browser Agnostic" via  @not_out_97 


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Session 5 11th January 2012

#Niedchat on Wednesday 11th Jan 2012

“Should teachers have a dress code?”

Opening Shots

I think that professional formality that suit/tie/dress code imposes builds barriers between pupils/teachers/parents (@dmurray742)

I feel more professional, especially with exam classes when I am smarter. (@MsRGraham)

I think a good dress code creates a collaborative learning atmosphere between pupils and teachers (@MrMalcontent)

I think 'well dressed' is the key, a scruffy suit can be just as bad if not worse than Tidy t-shirt and jeans (@Medv2)


I also like a relaxed day - we all do, but I think there is something about the professionalism of dealing with pupils and parents. Would you want to meet your barrister in court in jeans, et al? (@MrMalcontent)

To which @dmurray742 replied

As long as he did his job properly, he can dress in a tiara and high heels. (@dmurray742)

Is a dress code fair?

Our school introduced a staff dress code in an effort to deal with a few members that wore flip-flops and combats in summer time.

Unfortunately with some people it's about control. (@AnGaeilgeoir1)

Just another way of turning my job into an office job..(@Conmeist)

I always loved my English teachers, who tended to wear slightly more flamboyant/dramatic stuff. (@senseilp)

I recently had a friend told by a VP to fix tie & do up his top button! (@cillian_walsh)

Alternative to an imposed Dress Code

I think that it helps build a collective approach (@MrMalcontent)

If no dress code, employers/heads need to be willing to approach individuals who're wearing v inappropriate stuff. (@senseilp)

If you were Head would you impose a dress code?

I wish I'd could be brave enough to say 'to hell with the whole lot of it, for students and staff', but I don't think it wld work. (@MrMalcontent)

My staff would be so happy & proud of their school that there would be no need for a  code. (@Medv2)


I remember my old English teacher S___ H________ (Genius) who fought intro of ties for male teachers by wearing Dickie bows! (@MrMalcontent)

Surely someone has done a thesis on correlation between exam results and school dress codes for teachers??? (@dmurray742)

Perhaps a nightclub door policy approach would be good – smart casual. (@cillian_walsh)

Tweet of the Week

I'd go for a code, "smart" clothes all round and only the art teacher is allowed to look cool! (@not_out_97)