I'M VISITING LANCASTER, Pennsylvania to catch up with high school friends at a big reunion and during several spontaneous coffee chats, pizza runs, and shopping trips.  I'm throwing in several days to hang out with my brothers, niece, cousins, and daughter before returning to Ireland early in July.
I SPENT A DAY in Dublin's RDS Main Hall surrounded by thousands of Minecrafters and left with the realisation that our 9yo daughter has immersed inside a virtual learning environment alongside her friends in Busybees of Clonmel. Thanks to her expertise, Mia built me a Minecraft world that I used for a presentation inside the Minevention Education Zone. Several primary school teachers listened and now plan to attend our annual ICT in education conference on 6 May 2017 in Thurles where they will meet up with other coders and Minecrafters.
I WATCHED our two primary school children explore a realm of mixed reality in The Workbench of Limerick during a three hour hands-on event sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Action Point Technology and 3D Camp. Although the under-10s have walked around with VR headsets before, they've never enjoyed HoloLens with free pizza. It's an indelible memory.
The most important piece of technology I will share with my kids is Microsoft Hololens. They will use Hololens during an open demonstration from 6-9 PM on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 in the BOI Workbench, 125 O'Connell Street, Limerick.
I think if you asked my kids, they would tell you the most important creative skill they have learned is how to snap selfies (see click on the photo to see 360 proof below).
But I've also seen them with VR headsets and watched them regale in those worlds too so I know they will be fascinated in a room of Hololens advocates. It's a realm I'm exploring with a group of creative multimedia students and software developers during the Spring Semester 2016 in LIT.ie.
[Sent from Bear Writer on my iPhone 5C to Typepad servers using eir broadband in County Tipperary.]
WE ENJOYED AN EVENTFUL Christmas in Ireland because it combined loving joy at home in Clonmel and a festive feast of home cooking with cousins in Drogheda with a session of hand-powered windscreen wiping in between.
YOU HAVE TO ADMIRE the courage on both sides of an recorded interview when it happens during Feilte, the annual Teaching Council of Ireland Conference in Ireland. This morning, Minister for Education Richard Bruton sat in the hot seat while two teens interviewed him about matters affecting their classrooms today.
If you click on the MP3 file above, you get a behind-the-scenes audio of the interview with some unscripted comments from the team and the Minister that establish how conversational the interview actually was--without any handlers vetting the questions beforehand and with Minister Bruton trusting the YMT crew with their broadcast-quality equipment.
I LEARN A LOT by stumbling and I have to say that's what I took away from an afternoon session I had with 40 other educators during the 2016 e-learning summer school in Dublin. I tried to do too much and that's my fault.
I thought I might be able to compress something into an hour--a task that normally takes 110 minutes with my third level students in a lab setting. We had a BYOD environment at #ELSS16 and it just didn't work out. The lecturers in the audience needed a better introduction to Sway. They also needed keyboards to edit the Sway I had created. Things did not go smoothly. As a result, I now have a simple Sway for my blog that I'm embedding below as a work in progress.
WHILE UK VOTERS were casting their ballots to leave the EU, I was listening to a gurgling pond (snapped by my Xperia phone in the photo) and conversations of lecturers on topics arising at the 2016 e-learning summer school on the Bolton Street campus of the Dublin Institute of Technology. Several of those conversations deserve deep dives into the various practices shared by third level lecturers across Ireland.
TIBBS PEREIRA, a recognised expert data analyst, shared his perspective on the role of data analytics with a group of third level lecturers in Microsoft-Ireland this morning. Some of the coolest jobs in the fourth industrial revolution are earmarked for data specialists and data scientists today.