The history of technology in the classroom

A great infographic about the history of technology in the classroom. Its amazing to see the changes which have taken place so far, makes you wonder what changes are yet to come?


Reflecting on this infographic, I believe the introduction of smartphones and tablets have made the biggest beneficial impact on teaching and learning. Interactive apps would not be possible to access openly without these devices. They have truely changed the landscape of education.

On the other hand, it is hard not to comment on the negative impact of interactive whiteboards. Teachers were not propperly trainning in using them, not enough research on them was carried out and overall so far this initiative has been the least benefical in terms of impacting teaching and learning.

Do you agree with me?
What was the best technological introduction so far?
What was the worst technological introduction so far?


Oceans of Information

Something to think about…

We are awash in information, oceans of it, to the point
that it is hardly a scarce commodity, as it once was. The
internet is a vast ocean of shared information. What in
this ocean is worthy of attention? (Halbert 1998, 123)

In an age where information is both endless and easy accessible, how can we help students discern the real knowledge from the nonsense?

Let me know your thoughts!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Servant Leadership in Education

Advantages of Servant Leadership in Education

1. A mission to serve

Greenleaf (1977) coined servant leaders as those who seek to serve first. As teachers we enter the profession with a mission to serve.  We not only serve our students but also our immediate school community, and society.

2. Teachers naturally exhibit characteristics of Servant Leadership

Teaching is more than subject knowledge and pedagogy. It includes a set of understandings, activities, interactions, relationships, beliefs of democracy, ethics, critical thinking and creativity (Nichols 2010).

3. Servant Leadership underpins the Common Good of Society

Something which has faded into the background of society while individualism thrived, servant leadership demonstrates the importance of providing for the greater good of society – working towards a greater good.

4. Bringing the best out in people

Howard Gardner (1983) identified that human beings possess a range of capabilities and potentials, which can be put to many productive uses. Servant leadership enables us to recognize and utilize all capabilities, resources and tools which students’ posses, in order to achieve maximum learning outcomes. An important connection between Gardner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligence and servant leadership is utilizing these intelligence’s to benefit all.

5. Empowering Others

‘Empowerment is the enabler that drives [student] engagement’ (Warda 2009).This is key, as engagement is required if students are to feel a deep sense of belonging in the classroom and the roles they play in it.  Servant leadership in this sense impacts a belief that all students are gifted and are capable of making a positive difference.

6. Positive Networking

Positive networking involves communication, collaboration and coordination which create enormous potential for positive growth of individuals (Brumley 2011), the organisation and society in general. No one tool in the world can solve all problems; therefore no one person in an organisation can solve all problems.

7. Positive Environments

Servant leadership creates a classroom environment that is respectful and inclusive of all. Opportunities are given to students to have an input in the decision-making process, to be creative in their exercises and to demonstrate a sense of ownership in the process. Therefore, ‘the student in a servant leadership environment is responsive in a positive manner’ (Hill 2008).

8. Visionary Leadership

Like a lighthouse, as teachers we guide our students through their school years. We are in touch with the needs of our students which enable us to look beyond the day-to-day challenges which they face. We are able to see the bigger picture as we have high expectations for all our students and our positive vision keeps us dedicated to their success.

Disadvantages of Servant Leadership in Education

1. Is it possible to remove the power from the education system?

Greenleaf (1998) correctly identifies that ‘faculties have held too much power too long’.  Is it therefore possible to nurture an initiative to redirect the leadership within a system where ‘administrators are too much caught up in the common mores of our institutional life’? Unlike Greenleaf’s optimistic view of a “saving remnant”, I am less optimistic.

2. Too little time

The art of persuasion alone is a time consuming process, one in which Greenleaf (1998) admits that ‘it takes time’, and with a time restriction of 40 minutes per class (sometimes 35 minutes) is it realistic to think that every students has a role to play in decision making and an equal say in every lesson. This doesn’t mean it can never be achieved, however, with the pressures of covering course content, it is feasible to say, that certain elements of servant leadership may not always be implemented.



Teaching Discrimination

In 1968, a small town teacher in Iowa, Mrs. Jane Elliot, went about teaching a lesson in discrimination the day after Martin Luther King died. She divided her children into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups. This was the foundations of a lesson which the children would never forget. I came across this video during college, and it truly touched me. Mrs. Elliot achieved what we all as teachers would like to think we can – make a difference in students’ lives.

I was so impressed with her exercise that I wanted to come up with a similar exercise which using her video, that could be used in schools. This is my TY Discrimination Project;

Year/Class Group: Transition Year

Title: TY Discrimination Project

Time: One week exercise


  • Parents are given a detailed letter of the exercise students are participating in.
  • All staff members were aware of the TY project.
  • TY teacher are to follow the rules by ignoring Red Sash Students for the day.

Red Sash Exercise Day 1

  • Instead of dividing the children by eye color, divide the class into 2 groups and give one group a red sash to tie around their arm. This group had to wear it for the entire day around school.
  • The students with the red sash were made to stand out – to be different and to get noticed.
  • For the remaining students it was just another day in school.

During class the red sash students were ignored, were constantly corrected for their actions and were purposefully treated different to the remaining class.

For homework each student group of students had a different reflection about the day.


Red Sash Exercise Day 2

  • The students with the red sash’s had to hand them over to a student with no sash.
  • The roles were reversed for both groups of students.

Again during class, the red sash students were ignored, were constantly corrected for their action and were purposefully treated different to the remaining class.

For homework the groups had the opposite reflection to which they completed already.

Red Sash Exercise Day 3

Sash’s were given back (with a sigh of relief from students).

Initial reactions about the exercise, was recorded on the whiteboard under two headings – Red Sash – No Sash

Then introduce the video of Mrs. Elliot and her class.

The class can compare the reactions and the reactions of the students in Mrs. Elliot’s classroom.


Here is the inspiring video:



Reflective Practice

Reflective practice is a key element within the teaching profession! It is important to step back, reflect and evaluation various elements of your profession: teaching strategies, classroom management strategies, learning strategies, methodologies, resources etc.

What is working well? What isn’t working well? Why? What can I do or change to be more effective? How effective are my teaching strategies? Are students engaged?

Here is a fanastic infographic on reflective practice, what way suits you best? How do you reflective on your current practices?

How Students are using Technology

The adoleacents of todays 21st century are known as the ‘NetGeneration’, ‘Cyberkids’, ‘Ditigal Natives’, ‘The App Generation’ and ‘The Text Generation’, to name just a few. It is important as educators to understand their use of and reliance on technology and how we can successfully intergrate it into our classroom.

Here is an infographic that gives us insight into how tech savvy US teens are:

The introduction of ‘uncontended connectivity’ of 100mbps Broadband in all secondary schools in Ireland will certainly enable both students and teachers to increase the benefits to learning using technology in education.

Charts and Graphs

chartle.netChartle is a fantastic web 2.0 tool, for charts and graphs! Extremely easy to use, this tool is perfect for getting students to graph information and results from surveys or questionnaire activities in business studies.

3 R GROUP WORKStep 1. Variety of graphs & chart options.

Step 2. Add a title to your graph and update the information.

Step 3. See the changes as you update the Data.

Step 4. Publish, Share or Embed.





3 R GROUP WORK Chartgizmo is a great teacher tool for making graphs and charts. It also allows you to create charts/graphs for your blog, social network profile etc. It is simple to use but contains more advanced options compared to Chartle.


Design: This gives the user more options, perfect for teachers designing labelled graphs/charts for classroom presentations.

Preview: This allows you to see the changes as you make them.