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September 2014

August 2014

Chuffed with @YMTfm on Blog Awards Ireland Shortlists

ICT in Education conference 2013
Photo of Youth Media Team with Junior Minister for Education.

THE YOUTH MEDIA TEAM (, a group of young Irish students mentored by staff in LIT-Tipperary, earned three different nominations in the 2014 Shortlist of Blog Awards Ireland. It's a lovely accomplishment and one that the crew deeply appreciates.

An enthusiastic group of young Junior Cycle Irish students, have interviewed Irish thought leaders during major education events throughout the past 15 months. The Youth Media Team started with baby steps during the May 2013 ICT in Education Conference in Thurles. After a deep immersion at Feilte, they learned to script their own interviews before recording short audio with iPad Minis (provided by LIT) and Lumia phones (provided by Microsoft). Then they publish short commentary at, embedding five to 20 minute audio interviews via the streaming service. At past events, some of the students' work complemented RTE Digital. A few audio clips have recorded several hundred plays.

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The Day That Changed My Path

Ramstein on Flugtag 88
Photo of medevac helicoper at Flugtag88.

ON THE 28TH OF AUGUST 1988, I observed the worst airshow disaster in Europe. The day marks a change in my pathway through life.

It has taken me more than 20 years to gain the perspective needed after a horrific afternoon at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The smell of the incident still lingers with me. I drove one of the support vehicles around the site while helping to mark scorched body parts. The emotional response of the audience remains etched in my memory too. Within a few minutes of the initial impact, the crash zone went from a cacophony of excited observers to a still reverence of a cemetery.

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Exercise Helps You Think

Exercise-BikeI KNOW A STRONG exercise routine helps me think better and create more interesting learning experiences. I just cannot get back into the routine needed to take me to higher levels of creativity through high quality aerobic activity.

I talked to my six year old daughter (shown on this blog post from her first experience on an exercise bike) about trying to extend the swimming we've enjoyed together this past summer into the next six months. My goal--to get back into swimming a mile during a single session in the local pool. Hitting the pool four times a week with Mia on my back as I swam the 25m lengths gave me more strength than I realised I would enjoy during those fun-filled sessions.


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Active Learning with Lumia #edchatie

I BELIEVE IN the maxim, "The best camera you have is the one you carry with you" and extend that idea all the way to third level classrooms where I often complement my teaching with audio and video recorded by Nokia Lumia devices.  I have a Slideshare deck that explains the basic process.

See the 25 item slide deck at

Copyrighting Cooks

I'M WATCHING TV3 as it tries to launch a new cooking show hosted by Angeline Ball, a former Commitments star. The show is called Home Cook's Academy and its name falls afoul of copyright.

That's because Cooks Academy, based in Dublin's South William Street, has been trading since 2005 and its owner thinks the TV show infringes copyright and creates confusion among the public. Cooks Academy teaches home cooking courses. The company employs nine full-time staff along with freelance chefs. It registered its name and its red and white logo in 2006. Publicity pictures for the TV3 programme show a red and white logo.

These kinds of identity disputes can be amicably settled and sometimes result in cross-promotion of both parties.

Learning Video with Lumia WP 8.1

World Class Tripod
Photo of Lumia 1020 on tripod. #edtech

ALONG WITH SEVERAL million others, I upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1 on Lumia and I stumbled into noteworthy video capture capabilities that will help me accelerate teaching and learning.

Several facts deserve mentioning after my initial fortnight making videos every day on the Lumia 1020.

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Direct Entry to Creative Multimedia in Ireland

Getting an inside view with Dermot DalyPhoto of creative multimedia students on a field trip to Tapadoo.

IF YOU WANT to start third level creative multimedia education, you might qualify for direct entry to the well-regarded programme accredited by the Limerick Institute of Technology in Clonmel. Click here for direct entry:

Most of the first year students in the programme arrive via the Central Applications Office (CAO) but a strong cohort also appear on campus by directly applying to LIT for the creative multimedia programme when vacant places are available each year.

Most of the students using the direct entry option progress onwards to the creative multimedia degree and then build their portfolios prior to beginning careers as web developers, creative UX designers, app developers and freelancers using sophisticated photography, audio and video equipment.

Apply for direct entry to third level creative multimedia on a four page Word document. You can also ask (telephone +35350428072 )for answers to questions you  might have about this process.

The Biggest Space of the Summer

Fire Brigade Parking
Photo with Lumia 1520.

I WILL REMEMBER the summer of 2014 as the time when I cleared out seven carloads of stuff from our garage and reclaimed the space. The possible utility of the space emerged during the summer.

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Decent Speed Makes Everything Better

I LIVE WHERE my over the air (OTA) broadband normally sucks--even though public maps suggest otherwise. My problem looms as a national landmark less than 900m away and the landmark blocks a 3G antenna array no more than one mile from my home.

I live in the shadow of the Rock of Cashel, a national monument that stands between me and Gleeson's Pub where O2 has its 3G masts. We get a spectacular view of the Rock and with that formidable structure comes the realization that electronic signals do not burrow through thick rock. Most of the speed tests I have performed in my home show an erosion of 3G speed in our home through the years.

So when the day starts with the kinds of speed in the accompanying screen shot, I feel blessed. But I also wonder why I cannot achieve the same results every time I turn on my O2 Hotshot in our Cashel home.

[Screenshot of Hotshot speed using O2 broadband in a 400 square meter space west of the Rock of Cashel.]


Against Depression by @DervalaH

Image from Billy Wilson. Text by Dervala Hanley.

SHORTLY BEFORE CHRISTMAS, one year after we moved into our new home, I read Dervala Hanley's take on depression. Yesterday, shortly after hearing about Robin Williams passing away, I saw Dervala's post reappear on my newsfeeds and share it below.

“O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall
Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap
May who ne’er hung there.”

—Gerald Manley Hopkins

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