Time to get up-to-speed with technology!


This post was written by Kelly Connolly-Hickey, a ClassDojo Thought Partner


When I started teaching at my high school twelve years ago, we had to fill in bubbles on forms to take attendance, complete progress reports, and complete report cards. Today, we have one integrated web-based system for such student records. Implementing technology previously meant incorporating a laser disk player or displaying a presentation on a small TV. Now, most classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, or are even 1:1. Certainly technology has made teaching easier in some aspects.

education technology

Tools 4 Students -

Tools 4 Students is an iPad app that simply contains 25 graphic organisers. Students can use them to organise their thoughts on a subject/character etc. before exporting the chart as a .png or .pdf file which can be emailed or uploaded to cloud storage. Tools 4 Students 2 is also available, containing 25 more graphic organisers. The app could be useful for school iPads as it could be used across all subject areas and at most class levels. Students sharing iPads just need to remember to change the name in settings when they use the app.

(Source: itunes.apple.com)

education technology edtech apps iPad iOS

Back to School 2014!


This post received a lot of attention two years ago, so I have now revisited it, checked the links and brought it up to date.

Can you believe it’s almost that time of year again? I’m personally looking forward to getting back to work, although I will be looking forward to the October mid-term before long! In preparation for the year ahead I’ve put together this post to round up some resources and sites that could come in useful when preparing to go back to school. I have focussed on primary level as is my wont, but I’m sure some of what you read below could well be applied at other levels too. If any of the links below are broken by the time of publishing I apologise. Also, not all of the resources are free, but none of them are my own so I don’t stand to gain anything.

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EdBlogsIE Archive

Visit the EdBlogsIE archive to look back at the incredible number of blog posts from Irish educators in recent times.

If you were to print them all out and stack them on top of each other they would reach half way to the moon. And remember, 90% of statistics are made up on the spot!

blogging edblogsie

The Culture of Cute in the Classroom

I read this post recently as someone I follow somewhere shared it (can’t remember who or where but hat tip to the mystery sharer). It’s worth reading and thinking about. I use a site called Teachers Pay Teachers to find resources/displays every now and then. Most resources/displays there seem to have such an emphasis on cuteness rather than usefulness or effectiveness. Do students really appreciate or benefit from polka dots, monsters, dinosaurs, Spongebob or whatever “cutified” craze comes along next? And don’t get me started on cute fonts!

Don’t get me wrong, having nice displays in the classroom is fine, but the focus should surely be on their educational effectivity.

An example of a cute classroom that would drive me insane (and I might well be alone in this) can be seen here. I’m sure the teacher in question is an excellent educator, and clearly huge effort has been made to create a bright and attractive space, but does it make that space a better classroom? In my opinion, it does not. If anything, many students could be at risk of distraction or overstimulation. There is a lot to be said for keeping things simple! A friendly nature and an interesting lesson will keep kids happy and engaged.

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