Editorial: June 2011

The final month of the school year has arrived already! The countdown to the summer holidays seems to have come a bit quicker due to the late Easter break but I’m sure it won’t be a relaxing one for principals and their Boards of Management as the recent IMF/government changes are causing all sorts of problems for the education system.
Each week there seems to be a new circular released that makes life worse for children in Ireland.  For example, this month a deadline for applying for resources for children with special educational needs was imposed for the upcoming academic year.  This means that if a child requires extra help or has care needs in school, that unless they have registered these with the school, they will get nothing.  Worse yet, those who have, may receive nothing anyway as cuts have been made to language staff and general allocation to special education.  This is already on top of the dreadful cuts that have already been made to children’s lives in school.  While some people may feel a lot of this doesn’t affect their own children personally, they are mistaken.
Coupled with the fact that there is a hiring ban that seems to have no end in sight, teaching doesn’t seem like such a cushy job that some would have one believe.
Thankfully Anseo.net is not affected by cuts (except powercuts) so this month we’ll be avoiding the bad news around and focus on lots of positive things teachers around the country are doing despite the obstacles being thrown in our way.
June 7th sees a new experiment where we’re asking schools all over the country to help with a Mental Maths project.  During this week, we’re seeing how by working together, we can come up with as many solutions as possible to a targetboard.  The more schools on board, the better this will be.  The biggest challenge, of course, will be getting word out there so, if you can, send people to “Targetboard.net
The annual ICT in Education Conference held in Tipperary was so good, we had to write about it twice! Have a read of both mine and Rozz’s perspective on the big event, which saw inspiring talks from teachers across Ireland and the UK.
On top of all this we’re going to look at 5 must-have pieces of educational software, we’ll show you 30 Irish schools who are tweeting, we’ll discuss if Facebook should be used in Primary Schools and lots more.
Rozz is also starting a new series of articles on Autism and Education, which is well worth a read.  In this month’s article, she discusses sensory, motor and relationship perspectives for children with Autism.

As well as the usually mix of free software, previews of themes for planning and product reviews, we’ve also teamed up with Mediascene to launch a competition to win an underwater digital camera worth €400.  Enjoy this month’s Anseo.net, and despite the uncertain months ahead, enjoy your summer holidays!

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