IRELAND'S ICT in Education Conference pointed a laser at the fabric of future classrooms during a series of presenations and workshops. But I think many of the educators watching the day's events in Thurles could easily have missed what several prognosticators were saying about trends involving hardware and software.
Selfie from MakerMeet.
The light came on for me during the pre-event MakerMeet when Mags Amond pinned a glowing LED onto me. We need only a few lines of code and a little chunk of silicon to make the dumb LED smart. The specifics on how to accomplish this kind of work bubbled up during the Friday MakerMeet with Mags Amond and Bianca Ní Ghrógáin, on the main stage with Steve Bunce, during several Saturday workshops (like Steve Holmes') and in the #ictedu capstone presentation by Mary Loftus.
I saw disruptors in #ictedu sessions pointing the way for enthusiastic teachers to allow their classrooms the opportunity to refashion Wii controllers, Arduino controllers and Raspberry Pi kits into packages that make classrooms more intelligent. This kind of sentiment, arising naturally in the minds of some of the most enthusiastic teachers I have ever met in one venue.
I believe the 2015 edition of the ICT in Education Conference will go down in history as an eureka moment for dozens of school teachers who realise they are on the cusp of bringing to pre-teens a higher awareness of both their virtual and real worlds. The voices I heard did not come from sponsors or vendors. No--teachers were talking about where ICT in Education is pointed. And it's towards equipping young minds with inquisitiveness about wearables, the internet of things and the Technium.
If you're interested in where these thoughts will coalesce in the 2016 edition of the ICT in Education Conference, please follow @ictedu on Twitter and watch for developments on Facebook and Google Plus. And as a bonus, watch for playful images tagged #ictedu on Instagram because we're sketching a lot of the map that we believe represents the road ahead.
[Bernie Goldbach helps organise #ictedu in Ireland with the support of the Limerick Institute of Technology.]