CESImeet in Tipperary

 Last weekend, I attended #cesimeet and the #ICTedu conference of Irish educators In Tipperary.  I arrived late to the Friday night #cesimeet event - after a long drive from Sligo.  The very first impression I got was of a welcoming wave of warmth and calm.  Mags Amond (@magsamond) has a way of setting a tone of conversational collegiality which immediately puts a relative stranger at ease and conveys a feeling that you are among friends. Our shared Twitter history also helped :)

This was my 3rd #cesimeet experience and each time I have been struck by the supportive and encouraging atmosphere.  Here, educators from all levels, primary, secondary and third level share tips and tricks of pedagogy and technology.  You can pass only a sheet of paper between those taking the podium and their audience.  Everyone is learning from each other in an air of conviviality and fun. These are conversations - not presentations.


This impromptu video by Bernie Goldbach @topgold (demonstrating the Google+ new recording feature for hangouts) gives some flavour of the informal, 'lets try this out' atmosphere of the event.  It's all about learning together.


Note: the sound kicks in around 12 mins


The #Cesimeet presenters I got to see included: 
  • John Mayo (@johnmayo - sorry, I can't seem to call him his proper name :) mashing-up history, Lady Gaga and Battleship Potemkin  - where else would you get it?
  • Hellie Bullock's (@anseoamuinteoir) smart use of a cameraphone for scavenger hunting
  • Mark Glynn's (@glynnmark) deep dive into bookmarking with Diigo
  • Damien Quinn's (@seomranga) demo of the slick polling tool: http://mentimeter.com 
  • Sabine & Ciaran McKenna's (age 11) shared experience with #minecraft (@sabinemckenna @clwmckenna)
  • @LiamDunphy's tour of the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning - @scil
Liam Dunphy's Creative learning spaces 
View more PowerPoint from Liam Dunphy
These are engaged educators, sharing novel ideas and good practice to engage the students in their classrooms.


Pam & Ira
After I'd settled in my seat, I spied our American guests, Pam Moran (@pammoran) and Ira Socol (@irasocol).  There is something very special about meeting people in the flesh whom you've made a connection with online.
The next day at the #ictedu conference, watching Pam & Ira weave a unique space where they magically reflected the values of Irish educators back to them was pure poetry.
They challenged all of us to think about how we teach and learn and how we can make small changes in our classrooms to meet the needs of all students. 
I hope to post again on some of the issues the conference raised here for my children, my students and for Irish education.
Thank you to the #cesimeet executive and LIT staff for all their hard work - @magsamond, @pamelaaobrien, @anseoamuinteoir, @_conorgalvin and @topgold. 


Here's a visualisation of the #cesimeet tweets - thanks to @mhawksey for the tool he makes available to create these.  He also sent us thismultimedia story of the #ICTedu event - which I really enjoyed - thanks!

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