METS Carnival 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014 - 00:00

For the past four years the Education Department and the Centre for Teaching and Learning have co-organised the Maynooth Educational Technology Showcase. []  Held on March 20th (the date this year of the Spring Equinox) the event is presented as a Carnival of Creative Learning and aims to ‘conjure up’ inventive and quirky uses of technology in the classroom, break students away from residual fears about educational technology and promote the sharing and exchange of creative ideas for teaching and learning. 
Starting with a Techno-carousel in the Iontas Building where a total of 16 different ten-minute presentations covered a huge diversity of technology available for teaching and learning, students then moved to John Hume Building. There they had to choose from a range of parallel 90-minute workshops: namely, ‘The Shooting Gallery’ (animation, movie-making and so on) and ‘The High Wire’ (cloud computing, online collaboration etc.).
Meanwhile, during the lunch break, participants had the opportunity to meet creators and publishers of digital content and educational apps in an exhibition space in the Iontas Foyer entitled The Games Arcade. The finale for the day was The Hall of Mirrors: after all what student teacher experience would be complete without some time for reflection? This keynote session was led by David Riley, former teacher of English from Newcastle and founder of (a suite of tools for classroom use) who provided some excellent ideas about how, when (and when not) to use technology for teaching in creative, engaging ways. 
METS Carnival would not have been possible without the generous support of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and the kind participation of staff and student presenters of the Education Dept. and Froebel Dept. of Primary and Early Childhood Learning, Maynooth University.
We’d like to add our thanks and congratulations to the pupils and teachers in two schools: Griffeen Valley Educate Together National School and Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew, Co. Wicklow who developed and led a number of the presentations and workshops on the day.
Finally, METS14 included a ‘Leaders Lounge’ panel discussion, aimed at school leaders, to discuss the infrastructural aspects for schools of the deployment of mobile technologies. Again a big thank you to Keith Young (PhD Candidate Maynooth University); Tom Lonergan and Anthony Kilcoyne (PDST Technology) and Aoife O’Dwyer (Deputy Principal of Coláiste Bhríde, Carnew) for their insights and expertise in this area. We are also very grateful to Prof. Lynne Schrum, visiting from West Virginia University, for taking the time to participate in this session.