Sunday, 26 April 2015

EUfolio Conference 2015

After leaving the Eufolio conference at Dublin Castle this week there was much to reflect on.

I really enjoyed the keynote from Prof. Val Klenowski  which talked about using technology to help pupils become more socially responsible in the 21st century. There was also, I found, an insightful discussion of the difference between 'Communication' and 'Connection' amongst pupils and people today. 

From speakers on the day and the presentations from pupils it was clear how much energy and creativity the EUfolio pilot made happen. This was not only in Ireland. I thought the video (below) showing organisers, teachers and pupils from all over Europe displayed the ambition and scope of this project. Innovative, engaging and new educational experiences were made possible because of this pilot. That in itself means this pilot was a success. Let's hope we can, as Minister O Sullivan suggested, continue the cascade effect of using ePortfolios in Ireland/Europe. 

I was delighted to speak at the event. The presentation I delivered (below) focused on how I used ePorfolios in the classroom with my Junior English class. In the middle of the presentation you'll find a poster we created for the day with interviews from pupils and my colleague Ger Doyle who also took part in the pilot project.

We have the experience of using ePortfolios in Ireland now. A base has been created of teacher and pupil experience that we will hopefully build upon. As Sean Gallagher, referencing Seamus Heaney, eloquently reminded us before we left: we've walked the road now, we have the tar on our feet. Evidence of this building process can already be found on the EUfolio site resource section.

Sincere thank you to Rita, John, Ben and especially Sinead for all the guidance throughout the pilot. My colleague Ger Doyle for the talks and help. Newbridge College and my principal Pat O Brien for always wanting to try what is best for our pupils. Our school ICT coordinator Gerry Gavin for helping in every way throughout. And finally all the pupils and parents that we worked with over the last two years, for being so willing to engage and come along on this great educational journey.