The rise of the ‘smart university’?

Posted in Teaching on January 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A few years ago for this blog, I interviewed the then Irish Minister for Education and Science, Ruairi Quinn. He was one of those relatively rare examples of an education minister with a real understanding of and sympathy for higher education, and indeed a set of civilised and cultured values …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 January]

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New research shows prevalence of sleep texting among college students

Posted in Life on December 14th, 2018 by steve

“Conditions like sleep walking and sleep talking are well known, there are even documented cases of driving and committing murder (homicidal somnambulism) while asleep. Sleep texting, however, is a fairly new area of inquiry but a new study from Villanova University in the United States claims that a significant number of young people are waking up to find they’ve messaged friends in their sleep …” (more)

[Marie Boran, Irish Times, 13 December]


Dramatic fall in number of students entering third-level to study computing

Posted in Governance and administration on December 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There has been dramatic 8% fall in the number of students entering third-level to study computing courses. Employment prospects are good with 81% of recent Irish tech graduates now walking straight into a job, overwhelmingly in Ireland. But despite a high demand for these graduates, and some of the best starting salaries in the economy, interest in a career in this field has dropped significantly over the past five years …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 December]

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Forum-Funded report on the Use of Technology in Assessment Published Today by Minister for Higher Education

Posted in Teaching on October 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A new report, on the use of technology for assessment by academic staff in higher education, was launched today (Wednesday 10 October) by the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD. The report was written by Trinity researchers, Dr Ann Devitt and Dr Mairead Brady, and was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, in partnership with the Irish Research Council, to provide insight and transparency into this critical issue in education …” (more)

[National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 10 October]

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Government Launches Trinity Report on Technology in Assessment

Posted in Teaching on October 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor today launched a Trinity report on use of technology for assessment by academic staff. Carried out by Trinity researchers Dr Ann Devitt and Dr Mairead Brady, the report was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education …” (more)

[Jordan Nann, University Times, 10 October]

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Hiccups and Reflections on On-line Teaching #vlog10

Posted in Teaching on October 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Week 4 has now passed – a third of the way through the semester. Hiccups are still happening and causing me some frustration. here are some reflections on last evening’s class …” (video)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 9 October]

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Some Advice for On-line Educators Part II – ‘Don’t Lecture’! via @MFPaulsen

Posted in Teaching on September 28th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Following up from my post earlier this week where I mentioned some advice given in a 2003 book by Professor Morten Flate Paulsen, comes some further pedagogical recommendations from Prof Paulsen. These are based on surveys he conducted in Scandinavian countries in the late 1990s and early 2000s – still relevant today I think …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 28 September]

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Some Advice for On-line Educators Part I via @MFPaulsen

Posted in Teaching on September 24th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Now that I am heading into my second week as an on-line educator, I am reminded of some great advice from Professor Morten Flate Paulsen given many years ago that still stands today. In his book ‘Online Education and Learning Management Systems’ (published in 2003) Paulsen tells us …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 24 September]


Decline in students choosing ICT courses cause for concern

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Technology Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, says it is concerned at the 11% decline at level 8 and level 6/7 for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) courses as first preferences at a time when total CAO applications fell by 4.2%. Responding to the CAO application data, Una Fitzpatrick, Director of Technology Ireland said …” (more)

[IBEC, 20 August]

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Use of phones in lectures linked to lower exam grades

Posted in Teaching on August 3rd, 2018 by steve

“A study from Rutgers University in the United States shows that use of smartphones, tablets or laptops in class for non-academic purposes is linked to lower end-of-term grades. It was also found that students not using devices were equally distracted by others around them doing so …” (more)

[Marie Boran, Irish Times, 2 August]


Technology can hurt students’ learning, research shows

Posted in Teaching on February 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Giving school students access to iPads, laptops or e-books in the classroom appears to hurt their learning, new research has found. However, putting this technology in the hands of a teacher is associated with more positive results. These are the findings of a major report by the consulting firm McKinsey on the performance of 15-year-old students across Europe …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 February]


Students to complete Leaving Cert exams online

Posted in Teaching on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students over the coming years will complete more of their exams online under plans to modernise the education system. Computer science, which is being introduced as a new subject from this September, is set to be the first exam which will be completed fully on computer. Minister for Education Richard Bruton said he expected this will be the first of many subjects where exams will take place online … (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 December]

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Screen them out?

Posted in Teaching on November 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“One morning in 1986 I walked into a classroom in Trinity College Dublin to deliver one of my scintillating lectures. Just as I was about to start, the lecture theatre door opened and a student walked in carrying – no, I’ll say lugging – what turned out to be a so-called a ‘portable computer’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Universty Blog, 28 November]

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A new type of hacking puts professors’ accounts at risk

Posted in Teaching on November 2nd, 2017 by steve

“A former wrestler at the University of Iowa was arrested last week for his role in a high-tech cheating scheme. The student, Trevor Graves, secretly installed devices called keyloggers onto campus computers and used them to record his professors’ keystrokes. Armed with his instructors’ institutional log-in details, Graves reportedly boosted his grades over 90 times in a 21-month period, in addition to intercepting exam and test questions …” (more)

[Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, 1 November]

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What’s all this about digital skills?

Posted in Teaching on October 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Over 75% of Irish school leavers will progress to further or higher education. And you might imagine that we would adopt an integrated approach to curriculum design in our education system. And you might think that we’d think about each level of the education system in terms of how well it prepares pupils and students for the subsequent level …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 25 October]


‘Never memorize something that you can look up’ #Einstein #InstantLearning

Posted in Teaching on October 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I wonder can you learn how to do anything you want on YouTube? Yesterday I went about fixing my broken car key fob. I had to buy a replacement shell, get a new key cut, and take the transponder and circuit board out of the old key and insert into the new key fob. Easy? …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 24 October]

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Why hasn’t e-learning transformed education?

Posted in Research on October 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This autumn, you may have seen your child start school with a shiny tablet. Your teenager may have left for university with a slim new laptop. You yourself may have enrolled on a part-time course, accessing digital resources and staying in touch through your phone or computer. Education at all levels has changed in the digital age, but transformation has been slow …” (more)

[Claire McAvinia, RTÉ, 3 October]


Thoughts on Computers in Education

Posted in Teaching on July 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Over at the World Conference on Computers in Education people are tweeting about change, innovation and transformation. David Putnam is saying things like ‘Should we fail to radically change our approach to education, the same cohort we’re trying to “protect” could find that their entire future has been scuttled by our timidity’. Strong words indeed but fundamentally alarmist and not really based on any evidence …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 5 July]


I screen, you screen …

Posted in Life on June 27th, 2017 by steve

“I can’t be the only person who gets horrible eye-strain and frequent migraines from looking at computer screens for many hours a day. But my job, in the physical sense, is basically reading screens and typing stuff into computers. Like so many of us. Then there’s the generalised version of the ‘spending too much time reading crap on Twitter’ problem …” (more)

[Crooked Timber, 27 June]


Concerns raised over spending issues at DIT subsidiary

Posted in Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“DIT’s governing body has expressed concern over procurement and spending issues relating to a subsidiary of the college which was established to provide computer services to institutes of technology. An Chéim was established as a subsidiary company of DIT at the request of education authorities to provide a range of IT services to the sector …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 June]

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