Technology in schools, used right

In a post about Early Evangelism Eamon Costello follows up on a comment I made earlier about the local Gael Scoil in Newcastlewest. I told Eamon I’ve been quite sceptical in the past about an over emphasis on elearning technology, fearing that the task of mastering (and ‘playing with’) the hardware could actually distract from the learning process and material.

Even though my niece has attended Gaelsocil Ó Doghair for the last two years and I was aware of the European awards they’d won for use of technology, I’d never actually seen the inside of a classroom. But this[1] TG4 feature on the school has opened my eyes to the benefits of technology when used appropriately. And that’s the key point that comes across from headmaster Daithí Ó Múrchú who says, though technology is an intrinsic part of the educational program, it is still switched off at certain times of the day. The hardware/software is the means to an end, not an end of itself.

One of the highlights for me of attending CreativeCamp in Kilkenny last weekend was getting to play with an Asus EeePC. And I deliberately use the word ‘play’. Not because the sub-notebook / UMPC feels like a toy but because it’s so much fun to use. Which brings home to me the major takeaway I get from watching the TG4 programme – those kids are having a whole lot of fun learning. And that’s got to be a good thing.

[Here’s an interesting review of the Asus EeePC from a 10 year-old who’s already immersed in technology] –

[1] You can stream the programme by visiting the TG4 Web TV player and choosing Cláir Eile – Cartlann, then scrolling down to An Tuath Nua – 22/2/08. The feature on Gael Scoil Ó Doghair starts near the 19 minute mark.

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2 Responses to “Technology in schools, used right”

  1. Daithí Ó Murchú Says:

    Táimíd an-sasta leis an gclár ar TG4. Léirigh se cuid d’obair na scoile. is brea linn úsáíd a bhaint as an dTeicneolaíocht ach tá i bhfad níos mó ag tarlú linn!!! tar isteach am éigin. Beidh Suíomh NUa ar http://www.gaelscoil.com i gcúpla seachtain…yahoo!!!

  2. James Corbett Says:

    Welcome to my blog Daithi and thanks for commenting. I’m not sure I understand the comment fully but I’ll ask you next week when we meet up 🙂

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