“Our Digital Strategy – making IT matter”.
On February 27th the Computers in Education Society of Ireland (CESI) will hold its annual conference – a long established calendar highlight for those who are interested in integrating technology into teaching and learning. This year sees the conference return to the capital where Dublin City University will be the venue.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Our Digital Strategy – making IT matter”. October 2015 saw the launch of Ireland’s Digital Strategy for Schools (2015-2020) which calls upon all teachers “to use ICT in the classroom to bring learning to life for students; to give learners the tools to collaborate and to examine engaging problems; to research and analyse information; and to use ICT resources to communicate their ideas and to share what they create with others beyond the walls of their classroom or school” (p. 4). With this in mind, this year’s CESI conference will focus upon our understanding of the importance of information technology in education, the potentials and problems that lie ahead in implementing the Digital Strategy for Schools, and the ways in which we can make a meaningful and magical curriculum for the learners in our care.
The keynote presentation for this year’s conference will be delivered by Professor Mark Brown (@mbrownz) of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL). Mark is an internationally renowned scholar and speaker that has held key leadership roles in the implementation of several major university-wide digital learning and teaching initiatives over the last decade, including the original design and development of the Mahara e-portfolio system and the first New Zealand university-wide implementation of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform [Open2Study]. This year we are delighted to welcome back Tim Rylands (@timrylands) & Sarah Neild (@sarahneild) for the capstone presentation. What teachers take from a session with Tim and Sarah is a resolution to weave more wonder into their classes and the inspiration and ideas they need to go about that, and the flow and grace with which they organised and presented their ideas at last year’s conference was as much a treat to watch as was the content itself.
This year’s conference will also feature twin spotlight sessions from Derek Breen (@breenworks – associate partner at Wonderfull Lab, author of Scratch For Kids and teaching fellow at Harvard Extension School) and Leigh Graves Wolf (@gravesle – Assistant Director of the MSU Hub for Innovation in Learning & Technology and an Associate Professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University). There is also ‘Researchmeet@RangBianca’, a meet-up for those engaged in edtech related research. And of course, we’ll have the usual mix of high quality hands-on workshops and engaging presentations, opportunities to network and make connections (including face-to-face ones for some of those people you only know through Twitter!), lunch and coffee breaks, vendor stands to visit, and all topped off with the CESI AGM.
For further details, visit the conference website at www.cesi.ie/conferences/conference-2016/ where you can find registration details for the event, the full timetable for the day, workshop abstracts and presenter biographies. There are still tickets available for the conference – but don’t delay …
And of course, the conference will be preceded by the now-traditional TeachMeet CESI event on Friday evening (26th February). This event is now sold out but a waiting list is in place should any tickets become available and you can add your name to this by going to the conference registration page.