Pause for Thought

May 28, 2010

For those of us not fortunate enough to have attended this year’s ILTA conference in Athlone, this keynote presentation gives a flavour of trends and themes :

Children who blog, text or use social networking websites have better writing skills than those who do not, according to research from the National Literacy Trust.

A survey of 3001 children aged 9-16 found:

• 24% had their own blog
• 82% sent text messages at least once a month.
• 73% used instant messaging services to chat online with friends.
• However, 77% still put real pen to paper to write notes in class or do their school homework.
• Of the children who neither blogged nor used social network sites, 47% rated their writing as “good” or “very good”, while 61% of the bloggers and 56% of the social networkers said the same.

The research shows a strong correlation between kids using technology and wider patterns of reading and writing. Far from damaging literacy, the results show that the more forms of communications children use the stronger their core literary skills.

A new and welcome development for the educational technology community.
First of its kind in Ireland – the new structured doctorate in the Learning Sciences at NUI Galway (designed by Dr. Tony Hall of the School of Education and colleagues in the School of Psychology ) gives recognition to the growing importance of ICTs in educational settings.
Learning Sciences is an interdisciplinary field of scientific enquiry, drawing principally on the disciplines of education, psychology and computer science. It endeavours to enhance human development and learning through the design and appropriation of new educational innovations and technologies.
This new doctorate will provide a conceptual framework around key empirical and theoretical issues whilst training students in the design, application and evaluation of learning innovations and technologies, including design-based research and educational technology.

School of Education link :