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!


Where have all the teachers gone?

Reading a recent article from Upon reading a recent article from I became slightly alarmed by the opening paragrapgh,

Last week, PGCE history courses run by some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including mine, faced closure because a national limit for the number of trainee teachers had been reached.

Closing universities because they had reached their national limit? Shouldn’t a greater demand highlight the need to keep universities open?

Further reading of this article has astounded and open my eyes to the world of how education can be repeatedly underestimated in it’s importance and value in society.

However, according to the article there was a

“Twitterstorm” created by those deeply concerned about the threat to these PGCEs, and the potential of not being able to recruit excellent candidates, helped the Department for Education to think again.

This again shows the importance of teachers communicating with each other online can have an impact.


Again, another point  which caused more concern was the mention of History and English as subjects once again coming under scrutiny. Again and again history is a subject that is being threatened despite the need for history in our schools today. We need to educate students about the past in order for them to understand how and why the world is the way it is today. Once again, I’ve been left feeling that the importance of history in schools today is being underestimated.


Though this article is focusing on education in England it is a concern as it highlights how teachers and subjects are being threatened by the shift in society. Should we in Ireland be conscious of what’s happening considering the recent outburst surrounding Religious Education last week?


The concerning article if you wish to read about it:





A web 2.0 tool that is frequently used by many educators is Twitter!

twitter education

Inspired by the recent assignment to look at communication in regards to the key skills being rolled out the new junior cycle I have realised I have not communicated via blog how great a resource #edchatie is for teachers. Though I have blogged about twitter quite a bit – I feel I may have overlooked giving you a detailed insight to #edchatie which is held each monday night between 8.30-9.30pm on twitter.



It was set up by Fred Boss  (@fboss ) of the NCTE (National Centre for Technology in Education). Each week @fboss uploads a poll open to suggestions of questions and topics that could be discussed vai the micro-blogging platform twitter each Monday night between 8.30-9.30pm. People are free to vote which one should be discussed. Once the poll has closed the topic and questions are tweeted out to the masses.

Each person is encouraged to use the #edchatie when discussing the chosen topic or question.

For example a recent topic which was discussed:”Teaching with teachers not open to technology”. This was a great discussion and promoted many views from all sides of the discussion.

what if I told you.jpg

Unfortunately, due to the huge volume of responses I was not able to read ever tweet and response on twitter – even when using twitterdeck! (web 2.0 tool I highly recommended if into twitter, or even beginning to use twitter)

cat mad.jpg

Instead of being disappointed – I was able to download the whole discussion via a transcript a few hours later on the edchatie website. (

little things.jpg

#edchatie is one of the best discussion to join into if you are a teacher (even more so if you are teaching in Ireland). It connects you with hundreds of other teachers in similar situations and you can share tips or problems you have – which can be resolved in a matter of minutes in some cases!

connected twitter.jpg

How do you sign up for #edchatie or even how do you promote the use of #edchatie in your staffroom? I found this poster via the semoraranga website (all credit to @seomraranga) which is clear and easy to understand.  edchatie_poster

Hope to see you all there tomorrow night!





History Twitter Education!! All of them together!

Microsoft Word - Document6

History Resource Time

Many educators use twitter! #edchatie is proof of this every Monday night!

Having participated and watched a few #edchatie a few times I’ve begun to notice how many history teachers use twitter as an educational tool and to communicate with each other!

Here a few I’ve found well worth following!


  • @levdavidovic
  • @MrsThorne
  • @IrishTeachers
  • #historyteachers
  • @ahistorymuseum
  • @historytweeter
  • @HistoryDay
  • @HistoryOfAll
  • @Medievalists
  • @teachinghistory
  • @MissedHistory
  • @VHStudio

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.


twitter educationOriginally I thought twitter was an educational tool that would be of no use in the classroom. However, after a month of using twitter – Twitters simple yet attractive, easy to use 140 character restriction has won me over. I’ve quickly realised that twitter is possibly an invaluable and underrated educational tool.

Looking back on my use of twitter in the past month I’ve seen a great wealth of knowledge become available at my fingertips – in the literal sense. It’s a goldmine for resources and connecting with other educators from all corners of the globe. I’ve also noticed that it allows for professional development between educators as educators share content on an ongoing basis and establish lasting dialogues with other teachers as seen via the ‘granddad of education Twitter chats’ #edchat. (Social Media in Higher Education: A literature  review and research directions, Jan 2012). Focusing on dialogue, some articles even go as far as to say that:

combination of tweets and hashtags creates a unique form of communication that has become a new literacy practice(Greenhow & Gleason, 2012).

Another reason why I think twitter is invaluable in the classroom is we are trying to engage and teach students who only know of a world where they can google any topic given to them.They have never known a world without technology. This has been highlighted in U.S. studies were middle and secondary students in the United States have found that students believe academic experiences would be more engaging if they could use these tools at school(DeGennaro, 2008; Spires, Lee, Turner, & Johnson, 2008). As twitter is a free app which can be downloaded onto smart devices it’s an educational tool which could engage students. Also, just to reaffirm that sentence FREE APP! No hidden costs and can be accessed as long as you have a WiFi connection – dream resource?

However, despite the benefits and growing body of academic research that suggests that when social media when used correctly it can boost both learning outcomes and student engagement, there has been recent queries over the benefits of technology in the classroom. This can be seen by the recent publication of the recent OCED PISA assessment of digital skills stating that:

 even countries which have invested heavily in information and communication technologies (ICT) for education have seen no noticeable improvement in their performances in PISA results for reading, mathematics or science

Ironically enough, despite this outcry – most of this information was published and accessible via online platforms such as The Journal and Rte.

Despite this I have not be deterred and looked to see how other educators have embraced twitter – warts and all. The simple reason being I’ve found Twitter can be used to learn, collaborate, connect and inspire students and teachers both inside and outside the classroom. One good example of twitter being embraced and inspiring in a structured learning environment is in this twitter experiment.

Dr. Rankin, professor of History at UT Dallas, wanted to know how to reach more students and involve more people in class discussions both in and out of the classroom. She had heard of Twitter… She collaborated with a graduate student, Kim Smith, from the Emerging Media and Communications (EMAC) and reached out to EMAC faculty for advice.

One moment in the youtube clip that caught my attention was the simple fact that over forty students can discuss one topic at all once as opposed to the traditional one or two. Also, I liked that after class, it gives students a chance to go back hours after the class has ended and look at the varying discussions and ideas that were discussed in class. Another key factor as to why I think twitter is an excellent educational tool is the 140 characters really limits what you can say thus it forces people to convey their main idea or argument in a very condensed manner.

However, social media is powerful. It can be abused by people who do not want to be respectful of others online. Or it can simply be a lapse in judgement which has a lasting effect Refer to my previous blog on the dangers of tweeting and the future effect it could have on students lives. It’s why twitter is blocked in a lot of schools – and understandably so.

However, TWITTER IS FANTASTIC!!! I’m in love with all the resources and #edchat tweets which have significantly broadened my own horizon of knowledge and classroom resources. One example of classroom resources which I’ve fallen in love with it is

I’ve even started sketching my own version of it for my own classes.

historyMicrosoft Word - Document6

Before I end this blog I have to acknowledge the huge archives of online pictures being posted by these twitter accounts:, ,,,  and Archiving is a difficult process and the time and effort to make these archives free and easy to access on a public domain is outstanding! It has helped promote in class discussion which proves invaluable for engaging all levels in the classroom and is a resource that can be brought home! 

To finish this lengthy blog (hope you enjoyed it! 🙂 ), twitter is a powerful social media tool that has allowed the saying the pen is mightier than the sword to come alive – but online!

the pen is mighter than the sword

The articles I referred to in this blog are as follows:

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

Digital Classrooms – Ireland

With each passing day more and more of our lives are becoming more technology based.

However, instead of ignoring this – the Irish Education system is embracing this and preparing students for this modern global society by investing 210 million euros!

This will benefit Ireland and with the recent launch of the – it’s clear to see that Ireland education system will only benefit from this huge investment.

For more information about the Digital Strategy for Schools please refer to the links below:

  5. #digitalstrategy
  6. #digitalschools