Would you let this man be in charge of your child's education?

I’ve had a few days to calm myself down about the budget so I could write coherently about the mess that we’ve been put into.  Everyone is incredibly angry and rightly so; in fact, just looking at the picture on the left fills me with rage.  The man on the left is responsible for the education of every person in this country.  I thought Mary Hanafin was terrible…well she was, but this guy is the most useless politician I’ve ever seen.  He didn’t even have the brains to invent some originailty in his budget cuts.  Instead he decided to look back a few years ago when the government spent even less money on education and thought to himself…”hmmm, I’ll simply copy those ideas.”
So now we’re back to having a maximum of two language support teachers which won’t affect small schools but bigger schools will now have to use their General Allocation hours.  That means will children who were struggling have their hours cut for the greater good?
Now we will feel guilty for being sick.  Being a teacher means being with large (even larger now) groups of children.  Children spend their time diseased and, as teachers, we are very likely to pick one or two of these minor ailments up.  These colds, snuffles, sniffles, man-flus (or whatever you want to call them) last about a day or two if the teacher gets a bit of rest.  Now, in order not to let our children suffer, we will either have to come in and make ourselves sicker or go to a doctor (€60 down the drain) to get a piece of paper and a bit of rest in order for a sub to come in.  Never mind the inconvenioence for principals and unemployed qualified teachers who got some sub days.

Read moreWould you let this man be in charge of your child's education?

A Smart Lunch

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the Market Development Manager from Steljes, who supply Smart Boards in Ireland. I was looking forward to this meeting because I like Smart Boards. I like the way you can use your finger to interact with the board. As far as I know, it’s the only board that allows this. However, some companies try to badmouth this with scaremongering and I was interested to see what they had to say. I also wanted to see what their plans were for their new version of Smart Notebook 10, which I’ve heard rumours about.

Read moreA Smart Lunch

Cheap Laptops

I took a visit to PC World today as I was in Liffey Valley and it looks like there’s going to be some fun and games with cheap ultra mini laptops.  Pictured here is a mini laptop from a company called Asus.  The screen is only 10 inches and it runs its own Linux operating system.  It also has a 2 or 4GB hard drive, which isn’t very much.  The cool thing about these laptops though is their size and cheapness.  You can’t run any Windows software on them (well, technically you can but they would work way too slowly) but nowadays you can get good stuff for free on the web.  This model (2GB) costs €269 whereas the 4GB model would set you back €299.

Read moreCheap Laptops

Two meetings with Promethean

I’ve had a fairly surreal couple of weeks since I published my findings about Interactive Whiteboards. Promethean Ireland emailed me to arrange a meeting. Apparently, my survey has had an effect in the company and they wished to discuss it with me. As I was curious, more than anything, I agreed and met the sales and marketing heads from the company.

Read moreTwo meetings with Promethean

The first ever Irish Interactive Whiteboard survey

I gave a course on Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) this week and got hold of 5 different types of IWB. As part of the course, I got teachers to check out all the options without interfering salespeople then surveyed them on their experiences. It is clear that Promethean’s beauty has won it many fans. Smart also … Read moreThe first ever Irish Interactive Whiteboard survey

Loss of ICT Advisors

I’m not impressed by the decision to drop ICT advisors from our education centres. I’ve decided that I should do something to register my disgust. If any members of Anseo.net would like to add their message by clicking on Add a Comment, I will send all messages on behalf of Anseo.net members to the Minister … Read moreLoss of ICT Advisors

Mary Hanafin and the elusive €252m

Teachers have been waiting for quite some time now for Mary Hanafin to announce when she will be releasing €252m for ICT in schools and the INTO annual congress is where she chose to tell us:
“Of course, I am conscious that ICT has become an essential tool for learning. As you know, the NDP sets out an investment of over €250 million for this purpose by 2013. This will address a wide range of needs from hardware and software, to teacher training, curriculum-relevant digital content, maintenance and technical support. I will shortly be publishing a major evaluation by the inspectorate of the impact of ICTs on teaching and learning and also the Report and Recommendations of the Strategy Group which I asked to advise me on priorities for investment in this area. Implementation of the Group’s recommendations will commence immediately sometime this year.”

Read moreMary Hanafin and the elusive €252m

How do teachers view Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)?

There seems to have been very little thought put into the implications for teachers of introducing special needs assistants into schools in Ireland.  This is unfair to both teachers and to those who take up posts as special needs assistants. While some teachers see the SNA as an asset in the classroom, the majority do … Read moreHow do teachers view Special Needs Assistants (SNAs)?

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