I spent a lot of time yesterday with professionals from Ireland’s Higher Ed sector, who have a particular interest in Technology Enhanced Learning. Project teams from across Ireland’s thirs-level institutions presented summaries of their National Forum funded projects and some of the themes that emerged were simple, yet so interesting.
One of the speakers, Tom O’Hara from UCC, had previously worked at the National Adult Learning Agency and was passionate about the need to move technology from the foreground to the background and make it more of an enabler than a pre-requisite. Other projects, including the Take1Step project that I am involved in, run by UL, Mary I & LIT, also illuminated how the very strong, non tech focused, Take1Step brand helped to break down barriers between educators, learners, and technology. DCU, AIT, DKIT & MU told the attendees, and the international reviewing panel, about what they had learned about ‘What Works and Why’ in Technology Enhanced Learning and again the message is clear; pedagogy needs to be front and centre in all of our efforts.
The chair of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning is Professor Sarah Moore and she reminded us often, that we are developing staff, not just developing stuff. Wise words, and ones that we need to keep with us in whatever we do in Higher Ed in the imparting of knowledge to our peers, and to students.