CESI Meet at #ictedu

The CESI Meet on Friday 10th May, on the eve of the ICT in Education Conference, was a great night of chat and sharing and learning.  It was a bit different from the previous CESI Meets I’ve been to, because Bean an Tí Mags Amond decided to try the marshmallow challenge with the group.  Essentially the challenge involves creating a structure to support a marshmallow from pasta, string and tape (more info in the post from the conference blog here).  We arranged ourselves into groups of 3 and it was great fun seeing how people tackled the challenge.  My group included myself, a colleague Laura Dargan and my son Dave.  We had exactly 18 minutes to construct our structure.  I couldn’t believe how quickly the time went and how competitive people got!!  Our team decided to go big or go home!! which was unfortunately a risky strategy that didn’t work too well for us 😦  Our final structure looked like this


the sad news is that as soon as we let go it smashed into what seemed like a million pieces!  Seeing the different ways that people approached the challenge was fascinating with some taking a low risk strategy …


which ended up being the eventual winner and others suspending their structures from the ceiling …


and yet others spearing their marshmallow near the ceiling


The conference centre in LIT was a hive of creativity for the duration of the activity 🙂

What followed was a series of soap box sessions on ‘Flipping the Classroom’ from Bianca Grogan, ‘Leap Motion in Maths Teaching’ from Stephen Howell, ‘Curation and Junior Cycle Reform’ from John Heffernan and ‘Raspberry Pi’ from Bill Quinn.  Next came the gorgeous nibbles from Mitchell House 🙂

The last session of the CESI Meet kicked off with a Skype call with Steve Bunce in the UK to hear about the similarities between coding and knitting.  It was a very interesting session and it would have been great to follow through by getting the attendees to do their own finger knitting.  Unfortunately this wasn’t possible due to the time constraints on the night.  Next time!! 🙂

Finally we heard from Mary Jo Bell about Voki, Conor Galvin about the power of using images in education, Joe Dale about classroom management apps, Marco Booth about his new education start up freded.ie and Hellie Bullock about the How I Learn book in aid of Barnardos which will launch soon.  I missed John Heffernan’s presentation so I’m not sure what he presented on but he’s beginning to get a reputation for x-rated presentations at the #ictedu CESI Meets 🙂

Lots of interesting ideas were shared – a great appetite whetter for the following day.

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