Keynote speakers 2014

Daithí Ó Murchú

Dr.Daithí Ó Murchú is a primary school principal teacher in Ladyswell NS, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15, Ireland. In 1985, he became principal of a gaelic-medium primary school, founded the first co-educational, second level ‘ all-Gaelic Gaelcholáiste’ in the Mid-West in 1993 and in 1996 was awarded his Masters in Innovative Management and Curriculum studies in Trinity College, Dublin.

Following on from his first PhD in Technology and linguistics, and subsequently in Elementary education, and eLearning, he was appointed as a cultural and technology expert with the European Union’s MyEurope schools, and as a distinguished member of AUCEi, CRELL, Learning to Learn, EU Expert Boards, and the 2nd. Forum for Learning. He also collaborated/collaborates with International universities on their blended-learning, and teacher training programmes. Seconded to MIC College of Education, University of Limerick as a lecturer in Methodology of teaching Gaelic, he continued to work with and further develop the Master programmes in MSc, MEd and MA in Education and ICT in the various universities. As a research fellow in ICT and Education at Trinity College, Dublin, he lectured and designed the first Gaelic, MSc programme modules in Knowledge management and ICT. Daithí’s innovative consultancy, lecturing and contractual work with Hibernia College, over the past decade is renowned.

Deirdre Butler

Dr Deirdre Butler is a senior lecturer in Education at St. Patrick’s College with responsibility for designing and co-ordinating learning programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students using a broad range of digital technologies to enable them to understand what being digital in learning can be. She has extensive experience in the theory and practice of digital learning, as well the design and development of sustainable, scalable models of teacher professional development. The TeachNet project, for example which she directs provides professional development and support to teachers in Irish primary and post primary schools to enable them publish online curriculum resources to the wider teaching public. To date the project has published in excess of 500 online curriculum units which are available free of charge through the  website. TeachNet has also developed a Learning Blog and a range of online teacher professional development courses.  Deirdre has also designed, developed and managed a range of projects and school based initiatives which focus on the creative use of digital technologies (e.g. Empowering Minds, 1998 to date; EduWear2006-2008link ).

Deirdre is Chair of the international advisory board for the second phase of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiative (MS-PIL 2008-2013). The primary focus of this advisory board is to provide ongoing feedback & input on the PiL initiative and a worldwide perspective on education for this ten-year, $500 million global initiative that supports educators’ use of technology in K-12 schools (link).  She is also an advisor to the Innovative Teaching & Learning ITL Research which is a multiyear global research program designed to investigate the factors that promote the transformation of teaching practices & the impact those changes have on students’ learning outcomes across a broad range of country contexts (link). In addition, she is member of the Horizon K12 Advisory Board whose task is to manage the process of researching, discussing, and ultimately, selecting the topics for the annual Horizon Report: K-12 Edition which focuses on emerging technology and its applications to K-12 education. (link)

Building on these experiences Deirdre is currently engaged in a large scale project to support the development of Pre-service and In-Service Teacher Education in Kosovo (Dec 2011 – April 2014) introducing ICT as an instructional medium with a special focus on non-majority communities.

Michael Hallissy

Michael Hallissy is a founding partner with H2 Learning. He trained as a primary school teacher in Coláiste Mhuire Marino in the mid 1980s and after teaching for two years emigrated to the US where he enrolled in Boston College’s M.Ed programme where his major focus was on education technology with a minor focus on assessment and learning. On returning to Ireland in 1994 he resumed his teaching duties. He was seconded by the Irish Department of Education in 1996 to assist them in developing their first ICT in education policy, Schools IT 2000. Subsequently he worked in the NCTE. Having spent five years in the NCTE he left in January 2002 and established H2 in August 2002.

Much of his work is focused on the creative use of ICTs in teaching and learning – particularly in using ICT in a constructivist manner. He is extremely interested in how technologies can improve student literacy, particularly their digital literacy. He is currently enrolled in the international EdD programme in the Institute of Education and he hope to conduct research in the area of digital literacy and computer games. He believes computer games provides a great opportunity to create new forms of learning, particularly for students who are not engaged by traditional methods and approaches.