Monthly Archives: July 2017


I just got to breeze in one door and out the other for this year’s Inspirefest in Dublin, but what I saw and heard in that very short time still has my head buzzing.

Ann O’Dea of Silicon Republic has a lot to be thanked for – she has built a beautiful showcase of women who are getting on with making the world a better place for everyone. Her thoughtful curation and graceful chairing of this event is lovely to watch.  When people argue about whether STEM should have an A in it, I say ‘yes, if A is for Ann; Ann is the original A in STEM!’

I just got there in time to hear the later morning talks – Arlene O’Neill of TCD and Lisa Looney of DCU speaking of encouraging girls into the physical sciences and engineering; Sue Black telling her story of disrupting her own life and now empowering others to do the same; Kelly Hoey outlining how every move we make is forming our own network; Anne-Marie Tomchak of Mashable and Raju Narisetti of Gizmodo (NOT a token man in any way – he’s one of the sanest voices on Twitter right now) giving us the naked truth about current media not-so-fake news affairs; and Michelle Cullen passionately calling for more gender showcasing action like the recent Women On Walls project supported by Accenture.

Emer Coleman, whose by-line on the programme said Technoethics, was the highest of highlight for me. In her brief, fast-paced transit across the stage (more of this kind of thing next year, Ann!), she delivered a searing wake up call to us all about current data management worldwide, and the need for each of us to think about where we’re allowing ourselves to be led. New word (and thought) of the moment for me – disintermediation. Ouch.

I was delighted to meet teenage students there, a group from Bridge21 with Grace Lawlor, and a group with UCD’s Aoibhinn Ní Shuilleabháin – what an experience!

All too soon it was time to grab the yummy portable lunch, and out the other door for me…sorry I had to miss so much of the awesome others I have heard and read reports about since.

Thanks, Ann and Inspirefest team.

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As part of the 2017 World Conference on Computers in Education, ICS hosted a session during which John Hegarty presented an overview of the Computer Science (CS) curriculum currently proposed by the NCCA for study at Leaving Certificate in Ireland from Sept. 2018.

John is the CESI representative on the curriculum development group, and as such he represents the views of those teachers already highly interested in, and to various degrees experienced in, CS in all levels of Irish classrooms – most of whom are part of the CESI tribe. His measured outline of the current curriculum content and assessment plans was s clear as is possible at such an early stage; CESI picked the right one to represent us!

The audience included folk with a wide variety of perspectives, and everyone there was keenly interested in John’s presentation. The question and answer session was lively, with conversations continuing out to the hallway and the courtyard for quite a while after the allotted time elapsed.

The draft document can be viewed at the NCCA website:

Interested parties may add their opinions to an NCCA online survey questionnaire here:

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Code Week ambassadors from all over Europe had a busy day in Google, Brussels on Friday June 30th. This was our last meeting with Joanna Sterzynnska Lindberg, and we wish Joanna good luck in her new role in another part of the Commission, as we continue to work on with Annika Ostergen Pofantis of the DG Connect section.

After a packed full agenda for the day, our final afternoon activity took us across the road to Parc Léopold for a marathon work-out (!) digital treasure hunt devised by our coordinator Allesandro Bogliolo, using a mashup of the Telegram app and the Cody Roby game. Watch out for this 5th Birthday activity in October. And keep an eye on Code Week EU website.

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