Limerick teacher brings idea back from Future Classroom Lab in Brussels

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

From Bruree to Brussels: Karen Murnane, teacher

From Bruree to Brussels: Karen Murnane, teacher

A COUNTY Limerick teacher travelled to Brussels to visit the “Future Classroom Lab” to learn about collaboration and the integration of new technologies into her teaching and learning.

When Karen Murnane, who works in St Patrick’s NS, Bruree, saw the opportunity to participate in a workshop entitled Collaborative Teaching and Learning with ICT, she immediately applied. She describes her experience and how it will benefit pupils in Bruree.

“There were two main aspects – collaboration and using ICT tools. Collaboration was dealt with in two contexts. The first was between teachers when planning within their school or when planning with another school or schools or an etwinning/Erasmus+ project. The second context was using collaboration as a learning method for children. Collaboration as a learning method for children is probably what we have heretofore called “group-work,” said Ms Murnane. 

Many teachers find this challenging because it is noisy and the teacher isn’t as much of a leader as in the traditional classroom.

“However, collaboration is a life skill, one that most people in the workplace use on a daily basis and so it is very important that children are given the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers.

“The second aspect, ICT tools, involved many fun activities that teachers could easily use in their classroom, whether as a tool for the teacher in the presentation of new material to the children or as a tool that the children themselves can use to enhance their own learning,” said Ms Murnane, who has already began using some of what she learned in her own classroom.

“Education is always evolving, the challenge is to educate children in such a way that they gain a love of learning, take ownership of their own learning and as a result become life-long learners themselves,” she said. Just like Karen is.