#cesicon 2015 – gone, but definitely not forgotten

Two weeks, almost three, have passed through the calendar since the event that was #cesicon 2015, Beyond the Horizon, Technology in Education. The Twitter conversation on #edchatie tonight reminded me to post my takeaways from *that* weekend in Galway. The prompt was my own post in reply to the question – Current Trends in Irish Education – that reminded me…

What I was thinking of was #cesicon / #EdchatIE / #ICTEDU / #PowerUp2015 / #TechMeUp / Teachmeets – #tmCESI, #tmEast, #tmDonegal / SeomraRanga…I could go on; those are just some of the places Irish teachers are currently providing CPD for each other.

And so to #CESICON 2015, and just some of the most wonderful things that happened there.

Teachmeet “East meets West”
The dynamic team of Kathleen Byrne and Ciara Brennan gave us a cracking Friday evening of learning and fun, making it one of the best Teachmeets I have taken part in – the full list of presenters is here:

And as ever we were streaming live, so those in the tribe staying at home could catch all the good ideas – thanks Pat Heffernan of GMIT and our own Padraig Ó Dubhaigh for this.

The icing on the cake of the evening was a really lovely video, custom made for us – complete with Adéle penguins and all, in the Antarctic by Danny McFadden, underlining the importance of encouraging students to enquire and create via technology.

#cesicon Saturday – Beyond the Horizon

Our morning Keynotes Tim Rylands & Sarah Neild enthralled the amphitheatre audience with a full suite of “Tech to Inspire” and engage students in telling their own stories. The flow and grace with which they organised presented their ideas was as much a treat for a teacher to watch, as was the content. Lets hope they return to Ireland soon. And thanks for the shout out to #cesicon on The ‘To Baldly Go‘ Blog!

The Horizon panel discussion “Are we there yet?”, deftly and thoughtfully chaired by our own Conor Galvin, stopped us all in our tracks when our teenage panellist, Caitlin from the Youth Media Team, “told it like it isn’t“, calling for the tech divide between her real life and her school life to be challenged. (This conversation was revisited at Tom Lonergan’s session, with the argument – we take a risk allowing tech into the equation, but we take a greater risk by banning it). Thanks also Adrienne, Catherine and Kathleen for telling it like it is, and to Enda for his timely image from Back to the Future.

The day was packed full of workshops and storytelling, each of which gave fuel for the year ahead to the participants. This short Vine from Cara McDermott sums it all up for me – the new “interactive CESI logo” made by a group of teachers (Bairbre Ni Choisdealbha and Gar Callan among the culprits) at the Maker Ed workshop hosted by Bianca Ní Ghrógáin with last minute assistance by Richard Millwood and Susan Nic Reamoinn. (You may need to unmute to get the full west of Ireland dulcit tones).

As just when we were thinking, that’s it, it just can’t get any better – it did. Our closing Keynote, John Davitt, he of the recently returned Mayo Davitts, took to the stage. He wowed us with talking sheep and tiny books. He rewired our synapses with talk of FreeLearning (tell stories and make things), the Learning Score and the LEG.

The width and depth of his thinking was staggering, and those in that there audience won’t forget it for a long while. Thank you forever John. It prompted me to sum up my feelings as the day came to a close, thus:

The team that builds the annual CESi conference, and the folk that support and attend it, are an amazing tribe – as in this summary quote from our presiding guest, NAACE (UK) Chair Dughall McCormick:

For lots of pics of the day, see our CESI Flickr feed, and the pictures at RangBianca.com

ps – aftermath…it was wonderful to read this within the week after #cesicon – it proves that point I opened on, and it makes the whole thing worth while! Maith thú a Bhrónagh agus do Phríomhoide…

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