Key Challenges for Educators Today: The Voice of the Academic is the focus of this year’s International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy at the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (http://www.icep.ie/ ), in Dublin, Ireland on Friday 14th December 2012. A topic succinctly summarised by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) when he commented that “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
Keynote speaker, Dr. Pádraig Hogan, Senior Lecturer in Education at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, will be examining the quality of educational experience and what makes learning environments conducive to rich educational experiences. Dr. Hogan has led the research team for the €1.3m project “Teaching and Learning for the 21stCentury” (investigation phase 2003-07 and application phase 2008-12) www.nuim.ie/TL21 . To date, he has published over 100 research items, including books, journal articles, book chapters and commissioned pieces. His most recent work is The New Significance of Learning: Imagination’s Heartwork (London & New York, Routledge, 2010).
A second keynote speaker, Ewan McIntosh, CEO of the global creativity and learning consultancy firm NoTosh, will present a talk entitled “What makes learning great? A journey through provocation, emotion of learning, and students taking responsibility for their own assessment.”
Also speaking will be Elizabeth McShane of Turning Technologies who will address the need to align technology with sound educational pedagogy. Elizabeth’s presentation will focus on the Peer Instruction Method, an innovative teaching practice pioneered by Dr Eric Mazur, Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics. This method involves students in their own learning during lectures and focuses their attention on underlying concepts. Lectures are then interspersed with conceptual questions, called ConcepTests, which students answer using handheld voting systems which in real-time expose to the lecturer common difficulties in understanding the material. The students are given one to two minutes to think about the question and formulate their own answers; they then spend two to three minutes discussing their answers in groups of three to four, attempting to reach consensus on the correct answer. This process forces the students to think through the arguments being developed, and enables them (as well as the instructor) to assess their understanding of the concepts even before they leave the classroom.
The second area Elizabeth will be addressing is the true value of technology and the fact that it may not be related to the price but aspects like: utility value, reliability, ease of use, implementation programmes, training of lecturers, integration with learning management systems, up-take by lecturers and popularity with students.
Turning Technologies’ system will be used throughout the event to promote engagement and audience participation.
For more information about Turning Technologies please visit www.TurningTechnologies.com.
For more information on the International Conference on Engaging Pedagogy please visit http://www.icep.ie.
Journalists interested in attending should contact Richenda Wood at Livewire Public Relations + (0)208 339 7442 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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