Microsoft Word - Document6

New resources I have been trying out which I recommended any teacher to try out!

-studyclix (free upgrades for teachers)

-powtoon(there was an offer on for a free account, not sure if it’ still going)

-edmodo(connect with classes and save time photocopying. Also, I’ve found putting up the clips or powerpoints I have used in class is helping students revise and create discussion outside of the classroom.)

-21classes (blogging sphere for students. Mixed feelings on this. Look for a post on it later in the week!)

Thinking outside the box

I know from teaching and listening to people we are used to the more traditional style of classroom as seen below.


However, the world is rapidly changing therefore we are forced to look at how non-traditional schools are challenging educational norms. Are these schools thinking outside the box in order to better educate and equip future generations and students.

With the new Junior Certificate reforms a hot topic in Ireland currently – I thought it would be interesting to see what do the schools and education systems thinking outside the box look like?

  1. Sweden


This may not look like a school but it’s actually one giant classroom. It’s modern architecture allows for students to spend half of their time learning in an expansive glass cube called “gymnasium”. The idea behind this creative glass cube is to encourage students to collaborate with each other.

Headmaster Allan Kjær Andersen stated that “We want to have teaching where the students make research and work together in solving real problems,” and “we want to be an open school that is in connection with the outside world.”

One interesting point which really caught my attention was there is movable walls and bookshelves to create a more intimate learning settings.”It’s not enough to give them knowledge, you also have to give them a way of transforming knowledge into action,” Andersen says. “And that’s very important for us, and I think it is important for modern schools.”

2. Egalia School


The Egalia school system is founded on total equality between students. The system is made up of two schools, Egalia and Nicolaigården, which reject gender-based pronouns. Instead the students refer to each other by their first names or as “they”. It’s approach could eradicate a lot of stereotyping surrounding genders. It will be interesting to see how this affects these students at a later stage in life. It’s defiantly a system I would say is to watch in regards to their results and statistics in a few years time.

3. P-Tech

obama-education ptech

It was launched in 2011 by IBM (International Business Machines Corporation)  to provide a way for New York Teenagers into college and avoiding the usual four-year high-school track.Instead, P-TECH students complete a six-year degree. Boosted by mentorship and internships in STEM fields, the fifth and sixth years earn students an associate’s degree from the nearby New York City College of Technology, and many go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree afterwards.

4.  Netherlands – Caribbean (School at Sea)

school at sea2school at sea

Though this is a specialised school for sailing and boating enthusiasts – it’s still a six-month program for students (14-17). The school is at sea and they depart from the Netherlands to the Caribbeans and back. The aim is that they slowly take over from their mentors while on board.

5. Carpe Diem

carpe diem school

Carpe Diem is as personalized as education goes.It may look peculiar to those of used to the traditional classroom but each of these cubicles is designed for each student. However, despite it’s appearance Carpe Diem is producing results which are worth taking note of. Notably Carpe Diem-Yuma has outperformed every public school in the country in AIMS test four years in a row. Arguably it allows each students learning ability to be fully explored and reach it’s potential.

Why are they performing so well? –  Each student has their own programme and if they have any trouble with their online learning, they can turn to instructions for help. This is very personalized and raises the question of how well are students learning in classrooms where there is thirty other students present in the classroom? How much can the teacher give themselves over to each student? (Also this ties into the current tend of who looks after the teacher? Can they burn out from the amount of work they undertake?)

6. AltSchool

altech school

AltSchool has been described as a “complete deperature from traditional education”. One interesting aspect of this different approach to schooling is there is no more than 25 students in a class and two teachers – to ensure that each child gets the attention they need. AltSchool was created by a former Goolge employee Max Bentilla. His time in Google is evident with each classroom being fully equipped with not only modern but latest technology.

Literature and Killing time combined

Waiting at public places is one thing that we, humans, do not find as an exciting task to do. (

exam stressTravelling and waiting around is part of the everyday hum of society – especially in schools! We ask students to wait outside the classroom while we get ready for the next class or while talking to another students or teacher. Even when we are commuting home from school and work – There is always time to kill. 

While we always have our screens (be it phones, cameras, ipads, tablets, computers) to keep us entertained going back to basics reading a small piece of literature is an excellent idea! This project of using a free short story dispenser as a way to combat killing time in public spaces is one that can be transmitted into the classroom. 

This has inspired a little project which hopefully I can have in place in the classroom soon – print off small historical stories that students can take with them to read while killing time. It’s a simple project which will take some time to get up and running. However, hopefully it will inspire students to take a moment away from their phones and learn something new!

Open to any good history stories which could prove a nail biting short read!

#Grenoble #reading #history #short stories #short story dispensers

Mental Health Blog

Short blog!

Recently I’ve been blogging about mental health and ways to cope with stress which can be related to general workloads.


However, from experience most people connect with personal stories better, thus I wish to draw your attention to this new blog TMeileen (It’s okay not to be okay x). I promise this blog will become a must read – thus watch this space!

She highlights the awareness and stigma surrounding mental health in Ireland and how it is ok to seek help. Sometimes we can be afraid to seek help and support or even just talk. However, it is perfectly ok! Hoping this blog will help others and inspire people to ask for help or support when they need it!

Additionally, there is a twitter hashtag #itsoknottobeok.

Pause and take a moment – Before you tweet

Future Careers dashed because of a Tweet? 

On this blog there is a lot of reference to using online social media platforms such as twitter, blogs, educational websites and resources. Each of these websites allows for people to add and express opinions on these social media platforms – which is great!

However, sometimes it’s easy to forget  that these are public online social media platforms that can be accessed by anyone. 

Students have to abide to strict internet usage policies, and most schools have certain websites blocked in schools to ensure safety. However, outside of school what protects students from making a social faux pas mistake online for the whole world to see?

Students outside of schools may not realise the impact that their social media platforms will have on future opportunities. For example:

66 percent of recruiters reconsidered candidates because of spelling and grammar errors in their social profiles (U.S. Money Worldwide, June 15, 2015)

Though this may seem irrelevant to education it may make a good lessons on creating awareness of pause and think before using any social media platform which can be accessed.


12 things students should never do on social Media 

Social Media Mistakes 

Examples of Students being expelled