Sustaining & (Re)Building

And so in-person conferences begin again – the past two weekends saw the return of two annual fixtures, ICT in Education in the Thurles campus of TUS, and the PG Student Research Conference in the School of Education in TCD.

  1. #ictedu Sustaining Education

On Saturday May 14th my car remembered its way to Thurles for the return of ICT in Education, with Pam O’Brien and her team back in action. It was good to see the Youth Media Team back on its feet, with Bernie Goldback introducing Mia and Dylan to the team. I’d had the coolest interview with Dylan the week before, and I confess he was my main focus at this conference.

The programme for the day is outlined here – I enjoyed it all, but (sorry adults!) I must confess that my favourite session was in the afternoon, when Dylan Goldbach, age 10 took us thru his education and life to date. It was a “you had to be there” experience I won’t forget for a while. Thank you, Dylan.

2. #EdconTCD (Re)building Education: Begin Again, Begin Better

Saturday May 21st I was back on the 109x bus down to Dublin. The programme comprised parallel sessions of themed Early Career Researcher seminars, PhD workshops, Lightening Talks, an advice laden panel chat, and a Keynote. 

I loved each sessions I attended – thank you presenters Derek Maher, Larissa WelHoffer and Clara Fiorentini for each sharing their research, and Prof. Andrew Loxley for his workshop for illuminating the (looming) Viva process. 

The Lightening Talks comprised 5×5 nanopresentation snapshots of research from QUB, MU, and TCD. Thanks to Patricia Nicholl, Jinzhou Ni, Keitumetse Mabole, and Clare Kilgallon who joined me in this venture. Special thanks from me to Keitumetse for introducing us to the custom of KGOTLE. And a hat tip to Ciaran Bauer for timekeeping with smiling signals that kept us in check and within our time limit.

image shows four women and one man who have been presenting together in a bright room.
the image is captioned "KGOTLE (public space for community meeting)" and features a few dozen african people inside a circular wooden fence build under a dry on a hot dry day. A dog lies asleep on the sandy ground outside the circle.
Image: author source unknown at time of writing, image available at

The keynote was exactly what it said on the tin first slide, “My Thesis, Myself”, a fantastic confessional of real life entangled with PhD life, from recent graduate Dr Emer Emily Neenan. I guarantee that nobody who was there will forget this keynote.

Disclosure – I had the royal box for this presentation, a front row seat watching a child calmly ignore their Mam who is speaking about the writing of a thesis while quietly writing their own thesis.

looking down on a seated young child who is about to write into a scrapbook page which has some stickers on the page. the child's shoes are black with lunious yellow space icons.
[picture taken by @magsamond, included with parental consent and and assent of subject]

It was a heartening day of learning, meeting up again, finding out what how everyone is doing.

Thanks to Lorraine, Derek, Stefania, Amreen, Sylvia, and Fiona for making the day so nourishing for the rest of us (and that includes the food, especially the fancy sandwiches for the bus ride home).

[ps – I now realise I didn’t post any thank yous after visiting the BETT TeachMeets at the end of March – that’ll be filed under “tomorrow is another day”] No, couldn’t write them in wrong order, went back and did BETT blog post first.

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