Last Friday night, a motley crew of educators turned up at the Crowne Plaza Dundalk for the first CESImeet in the North East of the country. I counted counties and got Wicklow, Donegal, Cavan, Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary, Meath, Louth, Mayo and Laois. There were probably more than that.
The evening was opened by local MC Stephen ‘Scratch’ Howell, who ran us through our paces efficiently and gracefully for the night.
We had a really great menu of speakers, called upon in random order using Stephen’s custom made cool Scratch cat. Time and programme constraints meant I, the designated Bouncer and Timekeeper, had to be really mean with the digital minutes and ding the analog bell after 5 minutes instead of the promised 7 – thanks to all presenters for rowing in with this (not that you got much choice). Links to most of the speakers notes and ideas can be found throughout the ‘chirpified’ Twitter stream to be found here (thanks @fboss for this, it is great to have an archive of the evening).
Floor presentations (without mic, well done everyone, how relaxed and pleasant it was) were from, in not the actual order:
Half way through the evening we got to wander round the room as three Soap Box conversations took place
- James Crook (yes, the James Crook, Audacity coder) who lead a conversation on Coderdojo, pitfalls and all
- Julie Cullen on engaging second level students in Blogging
- Raspberry Pi corner hosted by me and John Hegarty (when I say hosted by I mean I told John I had a notion of setting up me shiny new RPi until I discovered I needed a VGA to HDMI adaptor after the shops had shut, and the uber-cool John – as ever – got it sorted)
Fred Boss closed the evening with CESI news that Hellie Bullock, better known as @AnseoAMuinteoir on Twitter, is going to crowdsource a charity book called How I Learn, harnessing the power of Twitter via Fred’s Monday night #edchatie sessions, and the CESI list. Watch this space for details and be sure to take part.Then we retired for what Fred calls CESI Eat, some food and chat and the odd drink. It was a really enjoyable CESImeet, with a fabulous crowd, it was terrific to meet so many new folk. Sincere thanks to
- Everyone who travelled from near or far on a cold Friday evening. I know we like to joke and say ‘sure it beats the Late Late Show’, but it takes a certain type of teacher to forsake the much needed Friday night rest by the fire on the sofa, and CESI really appreciates it
- the unflappable Aileen Howell who registered us and provided our cool custom made badges
- John Heffernan who, as ever, kept us in Twitterland even when the Fail Whale appeared
- John Hegarty for streaming us live with nowt more than a laptop and Google/You Tube. CESI folk who can’t make it to the meeting live really appreciate this.
- Conor Galvin of UCD, former CESI Chair, for encouraging his students to attend in such quantity and quality (and thanks to former student and CESImeet presenter Pau for tuning in from London, yes Pau – we noticed). Thanks Conor also for the amazing image of the evening…you could be known from here on out as Cool Hand Conor?
- St Oliver’s CC Drogheda – wow, what a great turnout from your staffroom!
- The Event Management and all the staff of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk – they really made it easy for us. And their wifi was truly broad – it never buckled all evening, in spite of the density of devices at play in the room.
- Cara McDermott and Catherine Fox, both of Cavan Institute, for sharing the journey to and from Cavan with me. Cara’s prezi gave me my ‘go forth and do this’ resolution from the evening – engage with and exploit Instagram in the classroom.
- Stephen Howell, and his Sorting Cat, for inviting us to the North West, and doing more or less (certainly more than less) of the preparation work. I have spoken my admiration for Stephen here before, but I say it again, he is a truly inspiring educator who should be cloned and installed in every school in the country. Immediately.
Meantime, it’s back to the fire and sofa for me so goodnight and see you all at the next CESImeet….Mags.