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The Best Year Yet, ICTEDU Conference “23

ICTEDU Conference – Exploring technology that is changing the way we teach

Shaping the Future of Education

The 2023 ICT in Education Conference was held on May 13th on the Thurles campus of the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS). The theme for ICTEDU “23 was “Shaping the Future of Education” with a particular focus on exploring technology that is changing the way we teach. The conference began with
two incredibly inspirational keynote addresses with Dr Michael Hallissy of H2 Learning, speaking on the future of education and Niall Larkin of the PDST, presenting on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on education.

The session then broke out for a plethora of fantastic workshops before the group were back together again for a plenary address which was delivered by Ian Chambers from the Data Protection Commission. This address was subsequently followed by an Cybersecurity panel discussion with additional input from industry experts Jennifer Cox, David Dalton MSc and Tom Davis.

Interested and want to find out more? Just keep scrolling!

Dr. Michael Hallissy looks to the future of education at ICTEDU 23″

The Future of Education is Blended – Looking back before we move forward

Dr. Michael Hallissy is a highly respected researcher and policy consultant within the field of digital education. As a former primary school teacher with over 30 years experience, Dr. Michael Hallissy is a undoubtedly an expert in how digital technology can enhance teaching, learning and assessment practices.

Dr. Michael Hallissy, of H2 Learning delivered an incredibly emotive and thought provoking keynote talk surrounding the future of learning here in Ireland. He spoke of the “new normal” and empathised with the many educators who feel as if they are at a crossroads with digital technology and whether it should play a role within their school community post Covid-19. The expectations of transformative digital technology were carefully evaluated in terms of what we teach, how we teach and where we teach. With further discussions of how the repercussions of our actions now will have further impact on when, where and how our students will learn.

“…we need people to make mistakes and learn from them. We then need to share that learning…”

Dr. Michael Hallissy gave great insight into his own professional journey and reassured those in attendance that it is okay to make mistakes when trialling out new technology but that it is important to discuss these learnings within school communities. He pointed out that the role of the teacher within a classroom setting has also been and will remain key. He concluded with the thought that ICT is there to be utilised for both student and teacher, however it is up to individual educator on how they want to frame it for their classroom.

Niall Larkin of the PDST questions whether AI is the New Teacher’s Pet at ICTEDU “23

Artificial Intelligence: The New Teacher’s Pet

Niall Larkin is the Team Leader for Digital Technologies teaching, learning and assessment team (Primary & Post-Primary) for the Professional Development Service for Teachers. Niall is a primary school teacher seconded from Durrow National School, Tullamore, where he has experience working as a mainstream class teacher and a Special Education Teacher. As the Team Leader for Digital Technologies, Niall is responsible for leading, planning, developing, and delivering continuing professional development and support for primary and post-primary teachers at a national level. Niall leads a team of 15 advisors who are dedicated to supporting schools with the embedding of digital technologies into teaching, learning, and assessment.

“…AI has the potential to revolutionize education as we know it…”

To begin with, Niall delved into the increasingly prevalent role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our daily lives and its potential to revolutionize education as we know it today. From adaptive learning systems to intelligent tutoring systems, AI is being used to provide personalized and engaging learning experiences for students. Niall Larkin examined the practical applications of AI in education, highlighting its ability to help teachers save time and enhance students’ learning experiences. Before then discussing the ethical considerations surrounding AI such as privacy concerns and the potential for biases in algorithms.

Niall Larkin then went onto explore the Erasmus project Artificial Intelligence for Teachers (AI4T), which is dedicated to investigating the use of AI tools to support students’ learning in education.

Ian Chambers, Deputy Commissioner heads the panel of cyber experts at the ICTEDU “23

Cybersecurity in Education

Ian Chambers, Deputy Commissioner and Head of Regulatory Activity as the Data Protection Commission of Ireland took centre stage to deliver a highly informative and thought provoking talk on Cybersecurity in Education. Ian Chambers brought us through the various types of cybersecurity threats that schools in Ireland often face, which was further illustrated by previous examples of cybersecurity incidents in schools. The Deputy Commissioner discussed the impact of cybersecurity incidents on schools as well as the role of processers. Ian Chambers referenced the fantastic materials created by the Data Protection Commission of Ireland to educate schools about topics such as “Phishing” and “Data Breaches”. The Deputy Commissioner reminded us that even the most minor action can completely expose a school to a cyber attack, so it important to stay vigilant online and review your cybersecurity regularly.

This talk was followed by a panel discussion with Tom Davis, Lecturer at the Department of Information Technology in TUS, Jennifer Cox, Security Engineering Manager, Emerging Enterprise, CSM & Global Architect teams at Tenable as well as our very own IT Systems Managing Director, David Dalton MSc.

The cybersecurity panel tackled many difficult topics such as active awareness, data exposure and exploring methods of cybersecurity. The experts discussed what to look out for if you feel you are being targeted, what to do if you wish to secure your school and the measures to take if you are a victim of a cyber attack.

ICTEDU “23 over and out

Our final thoughts

Cyber-attacks are a present and growing danger for Irish schools. Your school is more reliant on information technology systems to function than ever. Schools just like yours, manage substantial amounts of sensitive personal data, including data on staff, students and parents. This has resulted in schools often becoming targets for cyber criminals. Cyber security must be a priority for schools with a reliance on information technology and online systems.
IT Systems will secure your school from these cyber-attacks. Our team of cybersecurity specialists will implement the key priority measures to mitigate against these risks. We will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to keep your entire school community safe online.

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