Learned helplessness in the classroom – What teachers can do

I’m about 20 minutes into a class with 28 science students. We’re investigating electric circuits and how current, voltage and resistance influence each other and I’ve done a bit of theory in the class already, explaining the what happens with an animation and an analogy and a little bit of drilling (the voltage pushes the current, the current […]

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Thoughts on the Leaving Certificate Exams

“Teaching for the exams” has long been considered a dirty phrase in teaching. I believe it’s time to re-assess this, in a balanced way. Before my words are misrepresented, I believe in the importance of teaching subject content, skills, attitudes and behaviours that facilitate student learning and growth. In my subject, learning appropriate skills, attitudes and […]

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Digital prosumers

Prosumers take in multiple sources of information, analyse it and then produce a new body of work. They act simultaneously as producer and consumer of information. Digital natives today are prosumers; absorbing information in different media forms and meshing it together to create something new. What does this mean for educators? Research and analysis skills […]

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Integrating technology into education

When I started teaching fifteen years ago, IT in the classroom was being promoted as education’s saviour. Smart boards were replacing blackboards and whiteboards, Powerpoints with multimedia were adding some much-needed flash to the classroom and notes could be handed out to students, rather than having them transcribe from the board. So, IT was changing […]

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