Thursday, December 18, 2014

Design Thinking in Action

The Design Thinking Process was introduced and used by the teachers of CBC Monkstown in a CPD day organised by The Learning Revolution.

The Design Thinking Process is a methodology created by David Kelley (IDEO) in Stanford University and is used by Industry to foster creativity and innovation .

The purpose of the day was to use the Design Process to look at ways in which we could apply this process into the Education system. The core purpose of this was to look at ways to enhance our own learning environment and spaces.

This was an alternative method of brainstorming ideas. It focused on small groups collaborating to come up with solutions to specific areas that were agreed by the teachers.

These are a selection of images from our fab CPD on Design thinking held recently and facilitated by esteemed facilitators Professor Suzi Jarvis and Dr. Colman Farrell from the Innovation Academy in U.C.D.

The day was a great success and the staff have subsequently been implementing the changes discussed into the school.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cross Collaboration in Action

History and Geography teacher Mr. Stephen O'Brien and two of his second year students Orson O'Sullivan and Gareth Hughes who made a great presentation to the Learning Revolution last Friday on their Cross-Curricular project using the Caravel ship. The project involved History, Geography and Technical Graphics and was a great success! Thanks to all involved for the great work done!
Report written below!

Cross Curricular Exercise
(History, Geography and Technical Graphics)
The second year group 2 ASM completed a cross curricular lesson exercise that encompassed history, geography and technical graphics.

The Project:
The project was based on the Caravel ship, used in the 15th century during the Age of Exploration. The first aspect of the exercise was Mr Murnane’s transition year students designing a Caravel during their graphics class, which culminated in them supplying a step by step guide to the design process, which was put together in a 3 minute presentation, and a number of stills. The work produced was to the highest order and a credit to the class.

Once the Caravel was designed the class was planned, the start of which was the students being given a brief overview of what was to happen, they were assigned some research and to come up with some questions. On the day the class went to the graphics room, and Mr Corcoran started us off with a talk on his crossing of the Atlantic, the presentation consisted of a PowerPoint presentation and talk, with the students taking notes. After the talk there was an opportunity for questions and answers.

Mr Murnane then proceeded to give the students some background on the design of the Caravel and some excellent historical background to the ship. Mr Murnane focussed his presentation on the mast and the difficulties of the day in acquiring and placing it, with the actual tool used to smooth it, which again heightened the students interest.  The class then attempted to design a mast and sail on the computers, which while they found difficult, they successfully completed the task in the main. This section of the exercise was the first time many of the students had experienced graphics and was a key tool of the cross curricular in pulling together their various learning skills.

The following class was devoted to group work were we brought the various aspects of the class together on the whiteboard, and the students agreed upon the structure for their reports. The reports consisted of the students tracing the Caravel, which was a still supplied by Mr Murnane, and labelling it, and a section on Mr Corcoran’s talk, the Caravel and finally a paragraph on what they taught were the benefits of the class.

Reporting the Process
The reports handed back were of an excellent standard, and the students really enjoyed and benefitted from the exercise. The students were able to put into context the difficulties experienced crossing the Atlantic by Mr Corcoran and they showed a better understanding of what the actual experience of crossing in a Caravel would have been like. The design section gave them a concept of the design process and an experience into the subject of graphics. They managed to relate all of their learning to the caravel and into an historical context, with a lot of geography used as well.

Two of the students presented their finished reports to the Learning Revolution, at lunch on Friday, and all teachers present were highly impressed with the finished reports. The students reported that they enjoyed the experience, of using different subjects to learn and found the various learning methods helpful.

There were some very interesting outcomes from the exercise, firstly the students were clearly invigorated and drawn into the learning experience. They also reported that the different learning methods were enjoyable, with the cross curricular, and three different teachers involvement extremely interesting and giving a greater learning experience. Secondly, while looking at the finished reports, they were a number of students that preformed far better than they usually would on tests, with one in particular standing out as excellent, which highlighted that the different approach to teaching and learning can really benefit some students.

I would like to thank Mr Murnane for putting so much work and effort into the exercise, and his transition year group for the excellent work that they done, which can and will be used as a resource in the future. I would also like to thank Mr Corcoran for the time and effort he put into the presentation which the students found really enjoyable.

-Mr. Stephen O’Brien

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Remote Desktop alternative - Google chrome remote desktop

I have had a few questions about the Splashtop app, As I said it costs about €6.

I have just started playing around with Google chrome remote desktop, it does essentially the same thing, not quite as well in my opinion but it is free!

Check it out here

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quizlet - how to use this great learning tool with your classes

Join in, sign up and discover lots of class materials already done for you.  Follow this link:

Top tip: Terms in premade sets which you want to use can be starred so you only use the terms your class have done!

How to use and directions coming soon.........

Friday, November 14, 2014

Blogging and cross curricular actions

Today we talked about Blogging and Cross Curricular Actions happening in CBC!
Following on from our positive Design Thinking day, Helen O Connor has been busy promoting science week  by bringing in "science cakes and buns", for all members of staff! She plans to carry out experiments in our staffroom next week with explosive results! This is promoting Fun and learning in our staff room!
Stephen O'Brien is working on a cross curricular project between the History, Geography and Technical Graphics Department where second and fourth year students are involved in designing and learning about "Caravels" from the Age of Exploration!
From  ideas generated by a group of teachers from the Design thinking day, Maureen Morgan has been working on strategies to motivate students on homework tasks. She has designed "Homework Passes" for effort and consistent work ethic and is planning to see how they work for students!

Ian O'Herlihy is using another great motivational tool by giving "Ninja tasks" to students who are excelling in the class. If students complete challenging academic tasks they become "geography ninjas" ! There's lots  happening!

Friday, November 7, 2014

I.T. in the classroom, using your tablet/smartphone.....

Today Ian spoke about downloading YouTube videos, remotely accessing your laptop from your phone, screen mirroring and blogging. 

Clip Converter is the site that I use to download YouTube videos, It allows you to store YouTube videos on your computer and add them to your powerpoint presentations or just access them on your computer even when you are not online. 

Splashtop is a fantastic program (application) that allows you to remotely access your desktop or laptop from your mobile phone or tablet. You need to download the app and then download the associated program to your desktop. 

It is great for controlling your computer while you walk around the classroom and allows you to easily change slides and even change programs and edit documents while you are away from your computer(as long as it is on). 

They have launched something called Splashtop CLASSROOM which I am going to look into and will report back to the Learning Revolution on.

MirrorOp is one of a number of apps available to allow you to show your mobile device's screen on your computer. This is great for showing pupils work through your camera or showing photos or videos directly from your phone. 

There are plenty of other options about including some of the below which may suit you better. 

EZCast, AllCast, MiraCast

We had a brief discussion about Blogging and the pros and cons. 

As discussed Blogging allows you to connect with your pupils in a deeper way than just the classroom, you can put your notes up or share links to articles, website or videos you would like your pupils to watch but don't have time to show during your classes. 

There are again plenty of options for platforms to blog from and a lot of knowledge on Blogging in the staffroom, I am more than welcome to chat with anyone and help out with setting up your blog.  

Click here to view the powepoint presentation

Friday, October 17, 2014

Design Thinking for Educators

This is a copy of the presentation we made today in the learning revolution on the design process! If  you get a chance check out the site loads of great stuff on that and the video where people from IDEO are working on a design challenge is interesting as well!

Click here to download the Powerpoint slides

A great example of the power of education and design thinking!!