Thanks to very many people, the #cesicon weekend (Feb 26/27/28) was very special this year.
The Friday night TeachMeet, co-hosted by Sarah Jayne Carey and Nigel Lane, was really good fun, and set the tone for the weekend – share and care. Details of all speakers and helpers are at the Irish TeachMeet Wiki, on the CESI mailing list and Hassan Dabbagh’s pics are at the CESI Flickr #tmcesi page. The crowd-sourced repoerts are at #tmcesi. The round-tabled disco-balled Regency Hotel ballroom was a terrific venue. The aprés-meet, or TeachEat, was as lively as ever on conference weekend, and there was (reportedly) good natured geekery, moon-walking and some serious codesharing until some very small hours.
On to #cesicon itself, which took place for a long Saturday in Dublin City Unversity. DCU framed the morning for us. President Brian McCraith opened the day with the announced of a ‘Bianca Ní Ghrógáin’ bursary, to be awarded to teachers excelling in creativity and research. It was fitting that we had the company of Bianca’s parents, Pauline and Gerry Grogan, at the conference to welcome this announcement. Prof Mark Brown then delivered a cracking keynote, raising an eyebrow at strategies digital and otherwise…slides are here:
The exhibitors “street” this year was central and lively and full of chat among attendees, and between attendees and vendors. Many of the vendors are now ‘frequent flyers’ and have become a welcome part of the CESI tribe.
My morning was spent with the Youth Media Team at their ‘teach the teachers’ workshop. I love seeing these students work so maturely. The fruits of their morning’s labour are on their site here. From there I went to chair a presentation by Noel King, in which he highlighted the creativity brought about by Coderdojo’s Coolest Projects. In his day job, Noel works with VSware (so he was working at as well as presenting at the conference – a first?); the presentation was about his voluntary projects. Both are of interest to many CESI folk; this mash-up represents the crossover s happening in our ever-evolving CESI universe.
After lunch I was part of ResearchMeet@RangBianca, a session designed to celebrate the spirit of Bianca, who combined the power of practice with the rigour of research. My own deep personal thanks is due to everyone who organised, attended, participated and shared. We are all richer for having been there. The addition of the BeeBot floor mat was inspired, and reminded us all why we were there.
The afternoon keynote was a special storytelling session with Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild. It was a Tim I hadn’t seen before, a primeval Tim, allowing us to really experience what it is like to be a young learner in his class. It was very funny, and very humbling, to be there. Kudos to Sarah for a master class in subtle and powerful use of ‘invisible’ tech to knit the whole process together from the side.
Our special guests Gerry Gorgan and Pauline Grogan, with presenters Leigh Graves Wolf and Joek Von Monfort enjoying the “Tim & Sarah show”
Having fun after the keynote and before the AGM. CESI Executives have a sense of humour to match their sense of duty. The conference 2016 working party pictured here with Keynotes Tim Rylands & Sarah Neild, and guests Pauline Grogan & Gerry Grogan. Front row – Tim Rylands, Sarah Neild, Adrienne Webb (Chair), Declan Whelan (Treasurer); 2nd row – Marie Collins (Secretary), Nigel Lane, Neil O’Sullivan, Richard Millwood, Brenda Walsh; 3rd row – Gerry Grogan, Pauline Grogan, Sarah Jayne Carey, John Hegarty, Elizabeth Oldham, Mark Glynn; 4th row – Hassan Dabbagh, Enda Donlon, Susan Nic Réamoinn, Miriam Judge, Mary Jo Bell, Mags Amond. Bianca loved this Tim-inspired pose and referred to is as “a #timfie”, so we did one in her memory. A moment of shared joy.
Being a tourist in Dublin the next day with Tim, Sarah and Hassan was an eye-opener – I loved it, and definitely have to do that more often! I learned a lesson in negotiating outdoors and indoors with a companion using a wheelchair; the biggest obstacles are some of the other humans, the ones who just don’t “get it”.
Tim & Sarah on a culinary tour, and we celebrate Hassan finding his new spiritual home in Trinity!