This year Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education Training Board (MSLETB) ran an awards event to recognise innovation and creativity across their entire service. Projects could be entered under six broad categories open to staff and students. The categories were as follows:
|Contribution to local community/society||This award will be presented for the best initiative promoting the positive contribution to local community/society. The submission requires demonstrated evidence of initiative and the positive impact on the local community/society.
|Creativity||This award will be presented to the project that best illustrates creativity. Projects in this category may be of any nature. Submissions will require demonstrated evidence of the creativity process how this process impacted the final creation.|
|Health and Wellbeing||This award will be presented for the best initiative promoting the positive benefits to a healthy lifestyle and/or wellbeing with demonstrated evidence of the positive outcomes following the implementation of the initiative.|
|Inclusive Project||This award will be presented for the best initiative promoting Inclusivity. The submission will require demonstrated evidence of initiative and how the initiative impacted on those involved|
|Innovation and Entrepreneurship||This award will be presented to the project that best illustrates ideas and innovation with a demonstration of entrepreneurial aptitude and spirit in overcoming obstacles and challenges en route to implementation of an innovative idea. Projects in this category may be of any nature whether social, commercial, scientific, artistic, technical or other.|
|Working smarter using Technology||This award will be presented for the best initiative using technology to enhance teaching, learning or administration. The submission will require with demonstrated evidence of the positive impacted of implementing this initiative.|
Please note: Table taken from MSLETB website on 17/05/2017
Out of all the projects submitted, shortlisted entries were invited to an Awards day earlier this month where judges selected the overall winners of each award category.
Luckily I was in able to attend this event with a group of eight first-year students shortlisted for a project under the Working Smarter with Technology category. It was a truly inspiring event, seeing and speaking with people from across MSLETB about their ideas and inspiration. The event was far more about exchanging proven ideas across the service than winning an award.
The first-year students I accompanied had to present their project and answer questions from other attendees and the judges. The project was called Consumers to Creators, which focused on students creating learning resources with technology rather than only using pre-made resources. To achieve this, they created a YouTube channel where they would upload Math tutorial videos they make in class explaining a variety of topics and concepts. I have added an article about this project previously which is accessible at http://blog.teachnet.ie/students-own-how-to-maths-toutube-channel/.
They also designed their own Kahoot! quizzes that they then had other students play in class. Often students who would finish an exercise early, would, as an extension activity, use the computer in the classroom to create a short quiz on the topic. The MSLETB Awards was a fantastic way to gain recognition for their efforts and to share this with other education providers across the service. This was a very rich experience for students and indeed all involved.
I would love to see an event like this available regionally to ETB and non-ETB schools to allow us educators to connect and to share all types of innovative ideas from our own classrooms with one another. If projects could subsequently move from regional to national level, then this could be an inspiring event that would engage education providers right around the country.