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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Irish universities U-turn on previously rejected A-levels

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Republic of Ireland’s universities will accept results of four Northern Irish A-level subjects they had previously rejected. The change will come into effect for students starting in September 2018. The subjects are Software Systems Development, Moving Image Arts, Digital Technology and Environmental Technology …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 26 May]

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Is That All There Is? Higher Education’s Struggle to Leverage Digital Teaching and Learning

Posted in Teaching on December 12th, 2016 by steve

“In the late 1990s and early 2000s, what we might now call ‘the early days’ of online higher education, advocates of technology-mediated learning imagined themselves as outsiders, rebels working on the margins of higher education …” (more)

[Keith Hampson, Higher Education Management, 11 December]


New rules could spell end of high taxes on electronic school books

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“New rules being proposed by the European Commission could see an end to high taxes on electronic school books. At the moment EU rules mean that all electronic publications have VAT (valued added tax) of 23% levied on them at the point of sale …” (more)

[Charlie Weston, Independent, 1 December]

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Shouldn’t lectures be obsolete by now?

Posted in Teaching on November 24th, 2016 by steve

UK“Lectures remain by far the most common form of teaching in universities – right down to the way academics are called ‘lecturers’. But many predicted that digital technology would have killed off the lecture by now …” (more)

[Matt Pickles, BBC News, 23 November]

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‘This House Believes Artificial Intelligence Could, Should and Will Replace Teachers’ – The future of mass higher education

Posted in Teaching on November 11th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“… Often when I ask lecturers the question, ‘If computers could replace lecturers, should they?’ I get a negative response justified by various quite valid arguments that teachers will always be required for one reason or other. However, the question they are answering is not the one posed …” (more)

[Well I wouldn’t start from here anyway!, 10 November]

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Thumbs down for educational technology?

Posted in Teaching on October 25th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“It is exactly 30 years ago today that I took delivery of my first personal computer. It was an Apple Macintosh, and it had an incredible 1 megabyte of RAM and, er, no hard drive …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 24 October]

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STEM and the gender imbalance

Posted in Research on August 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Hardly a week goes by without there being an article in the newspapers on the need to encourage more women into STEM disciplines. The arguments seem to be threefold. Firstly, there are serious skills shortages in certain STEM disciplines, notably ICT, and in that context, the female population is an untapped ‘resource’ …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 8 August]

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New online marking scheme to be trialled for exams

Posted in Teaching on June 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A new online marking system is being trialled in the State exams this year. Instead of papers being marked in the traditional way, students’ scripts will be scanned and converted to digital images that examiners will access on their home computers …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 June]

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Students using laptops and tablets in class perform worse in exams, study says

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students that are allowed to use laptops and tablets in the classroom for note taking fare significantly worse in exams than those who are prohibited from using devices, a study claims. Researchers found that use of devices had a ‘substantial negative effect’ on university students’ performance …” (more)

[Cara McGoogan, Independent, 12 May]