Coming soon!

Reflection on cesi and the great resources and strategies learnt from it!

Update: Finally have the blog up!


For those of you reading this blog and do not know who CESI is they are the leaders in readings to technology being used in the classroom.

Last weekend they held a conference which many attended. Myself and @msdignam attend the Friday Teachmeet where we got to interact with the events and have a taste of what was to come on the Saturday.

We saw lots of interesting presentations and different ideas which will be progressing into classrooms near you.

If you want a taste of the weekend look up the live tweet that was used throughout CESI #CESI16 and have a read through the second by second updates as they occurred.

CESI was a conference which was unlike no other – you were invited to talk to the presenters, everyone was curious and taking up great initiative in schools or different sectors of education. Furthermore, what really struck me was the use of technology throughout the whole event. Each person was live tweeting the conference and presenters as well encouraged people to use their movies, tablets, ipads, laptops, and macs, anything that could connect to the Wi-Fi and stay in touch with the live tweeting that was occurring.

It was an amazing event and well worth checking out!

One of the key note speakers who stood out at CESI was Neil Butler @mrNeilButler. If you haven’t joined up with him on twitter – I highly recommend you do. Mr. Neil Butler is an up and coming one to watch.

One of the reasons why Neil was someone who caught everyone’s attention and won the B award was his use of Grand Theft Auto to teach angles.

Here is the video –

B Award Prize

Creativity in maths in endless but to being alive maths (which I admit is a tough one) is amazing and a credit to Neil.

derek breen

(Credit to the CESI website for that autobiography

Furthermore, Derek Breen was another key note speaker who caught the attention of the whole room. For those of you who do not know Derek Breen I would highly recommend you look him up on twitter.

How he captured the whole room attention was he stood up on a chair and did his presentation from this chair. It was unusual and defiantly one way to do a presentation. Each key idea or conference Derek Breen was talking about was printed on a tshirt he was wearing. Once he completed point, he would take off that tshirt revealing another tshirt – and idea!

I would highly recommend the CESI conference for any who is thinking of starting into conferences or wants to know more about how technology can be used in education – or even bring the classroom alive!


Holocaust Memorial Day

With less than two weeks to go for Holocaust Memorial Day I think it’s fitting to raise awareness about this increasingly important day.


This image sends chills down the spine of anyone who knows the horrific background to this picture. For those of you who may not recognise or know this is the entrance into Auschwitz,. Auschwitz is known as one of the most horrific camps to have ever emerge  in human history.

The holocaust is one of the most disturbing ideas to be recorded. This event literally shakes the core of each person who learns of the horrific incidents, plans, thoughts, people who were involved and ultimately lives who were cruelly cut short or left with more horrific devastating pain than we can comprehend.

The Holocaust is a horrific event that should never be repeated. Everything should be done to avoid this occurring again. How we can do this is by remembering the Holocaust as ‘it’s as urgent as ever’ according to the Lincoln group this week.

There are many resources on the Holocaust which can incorporated into many different subjects and lessons. There are a huge amount of resources and websites dedicated to raising awareness about the Holocaust.

Holocaust Education Trust Ireland does a huge amount of work to raise awareness about the Holocaust and the devastating aftermath it has had on those affected and the world. They seek to inform and enlighten in order to prevent another atrocity ever occuring again.

They have a huge amount of resources and information for teachers and students. One of the most important resources they have is survivors testimonies. With personal testimonies becoming fewer and fewer with each passing year, it’s important to listen to these testimonies. A few personal testimonies which are well worth looking are from survivors such as Tomi Reichental, Eile Wiesel, Jan Kaminski, Suzi Diamond, Ingse Radford. Each of these survivors have a haunting testimony of how children witnessed things no human ever should.

Resources for introducing the Holocaust to a class.


For many media resources such as this please check out hetireland youtube channel. There are numerous video clips which can be used in class.

Another resource which can engage students is this interactive map which can engage and introduce the topic.

For further information and resources please check out these twitter accounts! There has been amazing work and research done in order to make people aware of the Holocaust and how we can prevent it from ever occurring again.













Coggle is a clear way to share complex information!

I’m going to try it this week when breaking down the Junior Certificate History Exam for Junior Certificate students sitting mocks soon.

Coggle is great for this time of year as you are able to break down complex topics such as the Plantations into key terms, key figures, dates and results.

Sample on the American Revolution


Sample on A named Ancient Civilization outside of Ireland – Roman Empire

An_Ancient_Civilization_OUTSIDE_of_Ireland (1)

I highly recommended Coggle for revising topics or going over particularly difficult topics.


Web 2.0 tools – Project 252


I have blogged previously about

Just an update to tell you that there has been 574 contributions and counting! Can you think of any or learn from any contributions made previously?

Exciting news – project252 is doing a throwback thus you can add any Web 2.0 tools which you have come across before and think is worth sharing!

Also, as a further update  up to 613 contributions – all welcome at


Last week for 2015 – all letters/numbers welcome at !


Free online Irish history class




Earlier this year Trinity launched a free online history class which drew the attention of thousands of people – over seventeen thousand to be exact!

The MOOC is available for anybody with an internet connection and five free hours a week. The course can be taken at the student’s own pace with video, assignment and online discussion with other students and will also offer the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation on completion of the course. Students can also use the hashtag #FLirishlives to interact with other learners. (Ciarán Brady)

Bringing history alive

prezi sample 4

The key to success is to keep students engaged during the lesson! We use AFL, Lower Order questions and Higher order questions to ensure that students are engaged during the class and that we pitching our classrooms for all levels!

However, keeping 30 students engaged at once is a tad tricker – especially in history when sometimes the topics (such as the plantations) are very broad and tedious.

One good way I have found to break up the lesson and keep students engaged with fun and relevant facts is through youtube channels such as horrible histories and historychannelforteachers.

Both have a whole host of youtube videos which can be used in the classroom and for short assessments as well.

Some examples I personally have loved using are the following.

Horrible Histories Rotten Romans Patrician Dining

The topic Ancient Civilisation outside of Ireland is one of the more interesting topics to teach out of the 1st year history curriculum.Thought there is the option between Greek and Roman – most schools tend to opt for the Roman option.

The patrician is a fun topic to teach as it’s filled with horrible and disgusting facts such as they had a vomitorium or they used the bathroom facilities while at the table. Also, eating with their fingers is also a crowd pleaser!

Taking a modern twist on music – Too late to Apologize Deceleration is also a 2nd year history topic I enjoy teaching because of this youtube clip.

It’s very well done and I highly recommended using it when teaching the Declaration as they do remember the different elements associated with the signing of the deceleration which they may not remember otherwise.

Global Connections

multifaith roomSitting here in Heathrow Airport and realising how interconnected the world is – while searching for a starbucks.

This blog is a little different from my usual educational blogs but I think in regards to Religious Education and globalisation it is important to remember how interconnected the world has now become.

Though this may not be a Web 2.0 techy blog and focus more on Religious Education. Please remember this is a blog being written on a laptop on a web 2.0 medium surrounded by cutting edge technology!

While wasting hours away in Heathrow Airport I stumbled across the Multi-Faith Room. The experience I had in this room was different to any other inter-religious dialogue before.  Upon entering I respected other religions by removing my shoes (though they may have been to save on the cleaning bill of a carpet floor!).

While there was many people praying, and some chanting – the profound respect and silence each person had was overpowering. While speaking in lectures we talk about Religious dialogue around the world and how profound it is constantly. However, experiencing it first hand while waiting for a flight is something unique which I do not think I will experience again.

An airport is a place where people pass through – yet each person respects each other and their religion.