News

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    • The 2 Departments of Education in Belfast and Dublin have decided to end the funding for swiss replica watches Dissolving Boundaries at the end of August 2014.

      The programme team, based in the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and Maynooth University, Republic of Ireland want to place on record their deep appreciation of the remarkable work done by the 50,000 pupils and the 2,600 teachers who have been involved in this pioneering programme.

      Enquiries about the programme, including research on its impact should be sent to Professor Roger Austin, School of Education, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BT53 7PS or rsp.austin@ulster.ac.uk

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    • In celebration of UNESCO World Teachers' Day, the Teaching Council (ROI) hosted FÉILTE, the Festival of Education in Learning and Teaching Excellence, at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin on Saturday 5th October 2014. This event was a celebration and promotion of innovation in teaching which showcased the work of teachers who are leading innovative learning projects. The day provided a platform for teachers to lead each other in maximising the use of innovation in their own professional practice for the benefit of their pupils and students.

      The Dissolving Boundaries team was invited to showcase the DB programme at this event and saw this is a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about the range of collaborative work going on between schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Several team members attended the celebration and set up a display which included posters containing DB school projects, a Powerpoint presentation, copies of the Planning Folder and also the 2012-13 Yearbook. The team answered questions from many interested teachers. For more details about Féilte 2013 see Teaching Council website: http://www.teachingcouncil.ie/promoting-teaching/world-teachers-day.2761.html

       

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    • The work of Dissolving Boundaries is one of the highlights of a new book by Professor Roger Austin, co-authored with Professor Bill Hunter from Canada called Online Learning and Community Cohesion;Linking Schools 


      It was launched in New York by the Irish Consul General, Noel Kilkenny, his wife Hanora and Stewart Matthews from the Northern Ireland Bureau on 17 July to an audience of around 80 which included the publishers, Routledge as well as teachers, academics and policy makers.

      Roger and Bill have been chosen as 'authors of the month' for the book which examines the different ways ICT is being used to link schools on the island of Ireland, in the EU, Israel, England, Canada and the USA.

      From the publishers’ site:

      Authors of the Month, July: Roger Austin and Bill Hunter

      Roger Austin and Bill Hunter's Online Learning and Community Cohesion was published in early July. This book is a critical examination of the technologies that have been deployed, the professional development that has been provided and an evaluation of what constitutes good practice, particularly in terms of what collaborative learning really means for young people. Online Learning and Community Cohesion was launched July 17, 2013 in New York, NY by the Irish consul General and the Northern Ireland Bureau.

      Roger Austin is currently working in the School of Education at the University of Ulster. Professor Austin has held a variety of leadership roles in Northern Ireland and is currently the co-Director of the Dissolving Boundaries programme which uses ICT to link schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. He has published extensively on modern French history, the teaching of history and the role of ICT in teaching, learning and policy implementation. He is the co-author of E-Schooling: Global Messages from a Small Island.

      Bill Hunter is currently on The Faculty of Education, University of Ontario Institute of Technology. From the UIOT Website: Bill Hunter was the Founding Dean of the Faculty of Education, and served as dean until 2007. He is currently a full professor engaged in teaching and research related to educational technology. His current research is focused on educational multimedia and on the use of ICT in education and teacher preparation in Northern Ireland.

       

       

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    • Live online broadcast from Dundalk Institute of Technology 16th May 2013
      This year the Dissolving Boundaries programme celebrated the year’asme b31.3s work in spectacular fashion! Broadcasting live across the web it was possible for all of the primary, secondary and special schools in the programme to view and comment on the event that took place in Dundalk Institute of Technology on Thursday 16th May. The webcast was made possible with the help of Classroom2000 (C2k), the providers of educational technology for schools in Northern Ireland and an outside TV broadcast team from the North East Education and Library Board. 
      On May 16th ten of the 200 or so DB schools presented what they have learned from taking part in this programme. Like all their work on the programme, the DB Day presentations were created jointly by the pupils and we heard about project topics such as ancient Eqypt, World War 1, population studies and the weather. They also spoke about how they used technology to communicate throughout the year and what it’s like to work in a cross border team. 
      Teachers and pupils in Canada and Israel were also part of the audience. 
      DkIT President Dr Denis Cummins launched the event and Andy Pollak, retiring Director of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies closed the proceedings. Both of guest speakers praised the initiative with Andy Pollak calling it the best example of using ICT to build bridges that he has seen in Ireland, or indeed, across Europe.
      The schools that participated in the celebration included;
      Bangor Academy & Sixth Form College & St Michael’s Holy Faith Secondary School, Finglas
      Teachers: Gareth Proctor (NI) & Sinead Gilligan Quinn (RoI)
      Pupils: Emily Murdoch, Zara Lockhard, Chloe Diamond (NI) & Rachel Maguire, Robyn Coleman and Adrianna Belica (RoI)
      Presentation Senior National School Mullingar & Parkhall Primary School Antrim
      Teachers: Niamh O'Neill (RoI) & Stephen Baillie (NI)
      Pupils: Anda Baltag, Jenna Mulligan and Aoife Shaw (RoI) & Karl Johnston, Jodie Majury, Max Lilleyman (NI)
      Forge Integrated Primary School, Belfast & Rush National School
      Teachers: Alice Hartford (NI) & Caoimhe Trappe (RoI)
      Pupils: Arthur McKeever, Lily Collins, Lesedi Vellem (NI) & Maia McCann, Tomás Hegarty and Robyn Langan (RoI)
      Thornfield House School, Newtownabbe & St Mochta’s National School, Clonsilla
      Teachers: Alex Kirk (NI)
      Pupils: Bronagh Long, Scott McGurk and Thomas McKnight (NI)
      St Manchan’s National School, Moate & Clonalig Primary School Crossmaglen
      Teachers: Christina McCann (NI) & Barbara Conway (RoI)
      Pupils: Rian Kelly-Murphy, Ava Cornally and Rebecca Peavoy (RoI) & Tara Goodman, Jack Kennedy, Caoimhe Dooley (NI)

      Live online broadcast from Dundalk Institute of Technology 16th May 2013

      This year the Dissolving Boundaries programme celebrated the year’s work in spectacular fashion! Broadcasting live across the web it was possible for all of the primary, secondary and special schools in the programme to view and comment on the event that took place in Dundalk Institute of Technology on Thursday 16th May. The webcast was made possible with the help of Classroom2000 (C2k), the providers of educational technology for schools inNorthern Ireland and an outside TV broadcast team from the North East Education and Library Board.

      On May 16th ten of the 200 or so DB schools presented what they have learned from taking part in this programme. Like all their work on the programme, the DB Day presentations were created jointly by the pupils and we heard about project topics such as ancient Eqypt, World War 1, population studies and the weather. They also spoke about how they used technology to communicate throughout the year and what it’s like to work in a cross border team.

      Teachers and pupils in Canada and Israel were also part of the audience.

      DkIT President Dr Denis Cummins launched the event and Andy Pollak, retiring Director of the Centre for Cross-Border Studies closed the proceedings. Both of guest speakers praised the initiative with Andy Pollak calling it the best example of using ICT to build bridges that he has seen in Ireland, or indeed, across Europe.

      The schools that participated in the celebration included;

      Bangor Academy & Sixth Form College & St Michael’s Holy Faith Secondary School, Finglas

      Teachers: Gareth Proctor (NI) & Sinead Gilligan Quinn (RoI)

      Pupils: Emily Murdoch, Zara Lockhard, Chloe Diamond (NI) & Rachel Maguire, Robyn Coleman and Adrianna Belica (RoI)

      Presentation Senior National School Mullingar & Parkhall Primary School Antrim

      Teachers: Niamh O'Neill (RoI) & Stephen Baillie (NI)

      Pupils: Anda Baltag, Jenna Mulligan and Aoife Shaw (RoI) & Karl Johnston, Jodie Majury, Max Lilleyman (NI)

      Forge Integrated Primary School, Belfast & Rush National School

      Teachers: Alice Hartford (NI) & Caoimhe Trappe (RoI)

      Pupils: Arthur McKeever, Lily Collins, Lesedi Vellem (NI) & Maia McCann, Tomás Hegarty and Robyn Langan (RoI)

      Thornfield House School, Newtownabbe & St Mochta’s National School, Clonsilla

      Teachers: Alex Kirk (NI)

      Pupils: Bronagh Long, Scott McGurk and Thomas McKnight (NI)

      St Manchan’s National School, Moate & Clonalig Primary School Crossmaglen

      Teachers: Christina McCann (NI) & Barbara Conway (RoI)

      Pupils: Rian Kelly-Murphy, Ava Cornally and Rebecca Peavoy (RoI) & Tara Goodman, Jack Kennedy, Caoimhe Dooley (NI)

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    • Congratulations to one of our DB schools, ST LOUISE'S COMPREHENSIVE COLLEGE, Belfast, who have gained the International School Award and are now accredited with this for three years from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2015.

      Each year the British Council offers the International School Award (ISA) as an accreditation framework for schools to record and evaluate their international work and embed it into the curriculum and whole school ethos.

      The International School Award is free of charge to schools and online accreditation is open to all schools in the UK. Every year around 1000 schools apply for the award and 95% of those schools gain it, having been offered support and guidance throughout the year of application. The accreditation lasts for three years.

      The awarding panel made specific reference to Dissolving Boundaries and sent the following message to Helen Keenan, the St Louise’s DB teacher:

      “A good range of international activities. It will be interesting to see more in-depth, collaborative projects develop, such as the 'Dissolving Boundaries' project.

      Congratulations on working so hard to co-ordinate such an impressive range of work as the International Co-ordinator. You are a credit to the school and the wider community.”

       

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    • One of the PGCE (Post-graduate certificate in Education) students at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, was inspired by the ideas in Dissolving Boundaries to bring together two schools in which she did her teaching practice. One of these schools is from the maintained sector (mainly Catholic) and the other from the controlled sector (mainly Protestant) in Northern Ireland.  The student organised a one-day music workshop.  This is her story:

      One of the teachers in the controlled school is an active leader in various youth projects both inside and outside of school.  She has worked with an exceptional amount of young people from both sides of the community, involving them in various projects and activities. It was most inspirational to witness this kind of work being done in the local area and especially by someone who is passionately committed to the cause.  It essentially sparked off my interest in becoming involved with cross community work. tag heuer replica watches

      I was able to look at different cross community projects that already exist in Northern Ireland such as Dissolving Boundaries and A Marvellous Medicine and it was encouraging and inspirational to see that this kind of project could be very successful if it is carried out effectively.

      On the day of the workshop, the mini bus arrived at half past nine and we arrived at the other school at quarter to ten.  The ice breaker games in the morning session worked excellently in helping the pupils become more comfortable with each other and learn each other’s names. 

      The Irish Traditional group was next on the agenda and they arrived just in time.  Prior to their arrival, the young people were placed into their groups, with an equal mix from both schools.  The group played their set and their excellent musical skills were enjoyed by both pupils and teachers.  The young people were able to give a grand performance of The Kerry Polka and were starting to communicate with the others in the group whom they had only just met that day. 

      The most memorable moment of the day was during the break.  Forty-five minutes was allocated for lunch and during this time, the pupils began to really communicate with each other, without persuasion.  It began with a girl from (controlled school) playing Adele’s ‘Someone like you’ and then everyone started gathering around her and singing together.  It was such a joy to witness as the main idea of the day was to get young people from both sides of the community to work together to create music and to develop new friendships which they would not have been able to initiate if it hadn’t been for the workshop day.

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    • For the second year in a row Dissolving Boundaries have held a major all island video link-up. Partner schools across the island have celebrated the work of their projects and have used Thursday 24th May as the day to present the fantastic work that they have been doing in their schools. While teachers and students were busy organising and holding DB events in their schools, the two universities linked up to hear collaborative presentations on the Olympics, Space, World and Irish festivals, Titanic and The Sound of Music from five partnerships.Pic

      This year we were honoured to welcome the new President of NUI Maynooth, Professor Philip Nolan, Dr Aidan Mulkeen, Head of Education Department, NUI Maynooth, Professor Richard Barnett, Vice Chancellor, University of Ulster and Dr Linda Clarke, Head of School of Education, University of Ulster, who jointly launched the event.

      Partnerships presentations were introduced in turn by Angela and Roger. Well done to all the students and teachers involved and a huge thank you to those who represented their partnerships so expertly!

      St Colmcille’s NS, Durrow, Co. Offaly & Maghera Primary School

      Teachers: Niall Larkin (RoI) & Michael Dillon (NI)

      Pupils: Jack Mitchell, Clare Leonard, Sarah Kehoe (RoI) & Madison Selfridge, Ashleigh Murphy, Johny McLean(NI)

      Gaelscoil Nás na Ríogh, Co. Chill Dara & Gaelscoil an Chaistil, Ballycastle

      Teachers: Meabh Nic Aodha (RoI) & Grace Mhic Mhaolain (NI)

      Pupils: Marc Mac Oirc, Jodi Ní Luachráin, Conchúr Laarhoven (RoI) & Eilidh De Buitléir, Caitlín Ní Fhiachra, Ódhrán Mac an tSaoir (NI)

      Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co. Meath & Cullybackey High School, Ballymena

      Teachers: Clodagh Brady (RoI), Patricia Cummings & Ciaran McClaren (NI)

      Pupils: Tshepang Mahasha, Caoilainn Clancy, Nadine Smith (RoI) & Joel Harris, Alex Fleming, Andrew Millar (NI) 

       

      Presentation SNS, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath & Parkhall Primary School, Antrim

      Teachers: Carol Naughton (RoI) & Barbara Irvine (NI)

      Pupils: Catherine Cotter, Ellen O’Brien, Alyssa Ludden (RoI) & Cameron Reid, Ruth Shiels, Emma Wilson (NI)

      St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls, Cabra, Dublin 7

      Teachers: Eda Walshe & Shirley Higgins (RoI)

      Pupils: Leah Ennis McLoughlin, Jaima Gago, Emma Nolan (RoI)


      We would also like to extend our thanks to Dr Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences, Sharon Lawlor, Department of Education (NI) and Angela Long, North South Co-Operation Unit, Department of Education and Skills, who closed the event with their kind and inspiring words to all involved in Dissolving Boundaries.

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    • image from TES articleThe work of Dissolving Boundaries has had a special mention in a feature about the use of ICT to link schools in different parts of the world; the 4 page feature called 'Laying the world at their feet' by freelance journalist Liz Lightfoot was published on 13 April 2012 in The Times Educational Supplement, the premier educational weekly in the United Kingdom, reaching nearly every school staffroom. It includes a detailed description of the way that DB works and evidence of how it is making a difference to pupil attitudes.

      Roger Austin and Angela Rickard comment that this  recognition of the value of the work done by teachers and pupils in the DB programme is a further endorsement of the distinctive DB model with its reach to embrace all types of school and young people from as young as 7 and up to 18.

      See full article here.

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    • calendarWell done to Ms. Rice’s 3rd class students of Scoil Assaim Boys N.S. in Raheny, Co. Dublin and Mr. McCullagh’s P5 class in St. Teresa's P.S., Omagh, Co. Tyrone on the production of their 2012 calendar.

      Although this is their first year of involvement in the Dissolving Boundaries programme, Scoil Assaim decided to undertake an ambitious entrepreneurial project with St. Teresa's. Working in collaboration with their partner school in Tyrone, the children designed and produced their own calendar. Both classes have been very busy with the project since October. They used video conferencing and Moodle to discuss and develop the idea and to share and describe the images used in it. Following that they worked hard to secure local sponsors and supporters for their joint venture.

      Pupils have been developing their skills in Marketing and Promotion. Clearly to very great effect since all three hundred copies of the Calendar have been sold!

      The Dissolving Boundaries offices in Maynooth and Coleraine are very pleased to have this very colourful, interesting and informative calendar about all the different cultural events that take place on the island of Ireland throughout the year. It is truly a work of art and we congratulate all those involved.

      The DB team in Maynooth have put the images from the calendar into a short video to give you a flavour of the work itself. If you would like to get more information about how the schools put the project together please contact the DB team.

       

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    • Around the world, teachers and educators are looking at how best to link schools together and in 2011, the Dissolving Boundaries (DB) team have been working closely with the Schools Linking Network (SLN) in England to share ideas. In November, four of the SLN staff came to Northern Ireland to look at how we in DB are using ICT.

      During their two day visit they spent time in Portstewart Primary School with Principal Alan Millar, DB teachers Caroline Rankin and Sandra Smyth and pupils from Primary Seven.

      They also spent time in Holy Child Primary school in Derry with acting principal Orla McDonnell, DB teacher Bill O’Donnell and pupils from Primary Six. SLN

      Angie Kotler, CEO of the Schools Linking Network sent us a wonderful thank you letter which we wanted to share with you...

      SLN was so inspired by the Dissolving Boundaries programme that we made the very unusual decision to send four members of the SLN team to Northern Ireland to find out more!

      SLN has, since 2002, established an effective model of face to face school linking, with proven results in terms of developing positive attitudes to people from different backgrounds and improving confidence and communication skills and increasing willingness to work collaboratively with others.

      While we have always used ICT to introduce pupils to each other, we have not until now used it to develop ongoing collaborative work and we are now very excited about the possibility of doing so.

      The Dissolving Boundaries team were extremely generous with their time and willingness to explain every detail of their programme to us and some of the participating schools were both impressive in what they have achieved and also in their willingness to explain and share this with us.

      SLN has now put in place a clear ICT strategy which we will be able to offer to schools across the UK to support our ongoing programmes and importantly to provide more schools that have been unable to find sustainable links within visiting distance a means to develop a meaningful way of learning together with a link school.

      We look forward to having an ongoing dialogue with the Dissolving Boundaries team, sharing successes and new learning from all the ongoing challenges involved both with the process of linking different communities and of course the ICT itself!

       

Media Gallery

For Dissolving Boundaries Day 2014 we invited schools to send us short video recordings that show what DB means to them. We've pieced these together into a movie!

A documentary about linking schools through ICT; case studies of cross-border links between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the Dissolving Boundaries programme and in Israel through the TEC program.

 

School Participation

View map of Dissolving Boundaries schools

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