News

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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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    • The Dissolving Boundaries programme hosts a Planning Conference for participating teachers at the start of the school year. This is a very important event in the Dissolving Boundaries calendar as it provides the time and space for key planning and discussion of the curricular focus and technology to be used in each school partnership. This year we had almost 200 new and experienced Dissolving Boundaries teachers come together to discuss and plan the theme and approach they will take in their projects for the coming year. 
      We were honoured this year to have had four very distinguished guest speakers: On Tuesday 27th September Prof. Anne Moran Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Educational Partnerships & International Affairs) in the University of Ulster and Prof. Jim Walsh,www.omegawatchreview.com Vice-President for Innovation in NUI Maynooth spoke to the experienced teachers and made reference to the contents of the current report of the programme. The significant links between the work in Dissolving Boundaries schools and the broader educational policies and indeed the work of universities were highlighted by both speakers.  On Wednesday evening Paul Gunning from the North South Ministerial Council and Paula O’Dwyer of the Joint Business Council also referenced the report and commented on the very important role played by teachers in society.
      The event gives us the opportunity to introduce or re-introduce the different technologies involved for teachers collaborating on a dB project. This year we were joined by Brian McAuley and Eamon McAteer form C2k who very ably demonstrated the new video conferencing software that we will use this year: Elluminate. Our thanks to both of them for the excellent training sessions they provided and we’re looking forward to working with C2k and the Elluminate team over the coming year.
      We have compiled a few photos from the event to give a flavour of the conference activities. Enjoy omega replica watches!

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    • The latest report on the work of the Dissolving Boundaries Programme, called ‘Crossing the Frontier’, captures work done in 150 schools in the school year 2010-2011.breitling replica watches The title of the report reflects frontiers crossed in terms of new areas of knowledge, such as enterprise, innovative links made between different subjects in the curriculum and frontiers crossed in the use of new technologies. Some of the students have used flip digital video cameras with film edited on Macbooks, others have used the video-conferencing system ‘Elluminate’ while nearly all the schools have explored different applications in ‘moodle’ such as the forums, wikis, blogs and podcast options.

      The report also shows how frontiers were crossed by teachers in dealing with the challenges of embedding ICT in their everyday work, liaising with their partner teacher across the border to ensure that the work was on track and learning a whole new set of skills about managing intercultural learning.

      The final section of the report reflects on how the model that Dissolving Boundaries has used, with ICT at the centre supported by face to face visits is beginning to attract interest outside Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland particularly in England and in the Middle East.

      The report is illustrated with hundreds of stunning photographs of work done during the year and especially on 26 May 2011 when all the schools in the programme marked Dissolving Boundaries Day by wearing special T shirts, holding whole school assemblies, inviting parents and members of the community into school to see the work they had done.

      Copies of the report are available on the research page of this site. 

      We are very grateful to the Joint Business Council which represents the employers’ organisations IBEC  in the Republic of Ireland and the CBI in Northern Ireland, for funding the report and helping us develop the work done by 20 of the schools on their enterprise projects.

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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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    • 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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    • 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 Dissolving Boundaries Programme was presented to an international audience of teachers participating in the 10th Asia-Europe Classroom Network (AEC-NET) Conference, held last week in Dundalk, County Louth.  Over 100 secondary school educators from across Asia and Europe gathered to exchange views and knowledge on the latest technologies that enhance and foster creativity in education.

      The five-day conference, entitled “Apps in Asian and European Classrooms!  Unleashing Educational Creativity”, was organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), in collaboration with County Louth Vocational Education Committee (VEC). It was supported by the Irish Department of Education and Skills.

      This international conference gave an opportunity for Louth VEC to show off Ireland’s education system to the conference delegates and to showcase key ICT projects such as Dissolving Boundaries. 

      Launched in 1998, the AEC-NET has since grown to involve more than 1,100 members in 846 schools across 43 countries in Asia and Europe.  Every year, its members gather to exchange ideas for collaborative learning and intercultural exchanges.  Under the motto of ‘Two continents: one classroom’, the AEC-NET aims to encourage innovative, effective and sustainable online intercultural, collaborative learning opportunities for secondary and high school educators and students across Asia and Europe.

      AEC-NET confers awards on a selection of outstanding projects. NUI Maynooth picked up a Merit award this year for a project entitled GoCyberGreen that looked at the links between enterprise and the environment.  Angela Rickard, as project coordinator who presented the project at the conference, was very ably assisted by fifth year pupil Louise Henry, from Ballyhaunis Community School, Co. Mayo, one of the participating schools. Louise pointed out that in her school there are pupils from 23 different countries.  She said that among other things the GoCyberGreen project gave her class the chance to learn about some of the countries where her own classmates are from. 

      Other shortlisted projects included: A Magic Flight to Benevento, Italy (Italy) ; East Speaks West, West Speaks East 2010 (Germany); Flora and Fauna Conservation (Singapore); Home Seek (Singapore); and Red-listed and Endangered Species Database (RED) (Sweden).  (See http://tinyurl.com/AECfinalists for more information about the award winning projects)

      The conference was opened by Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairí Quinn, TD and other guests throughout the event included Mr Pat Cox, Former President of the European Parliament; Mr Ciaran Cannon, TD Minister of State, who announced the award winners; Ms Brigid McManus, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills; and Dr Harold Hislop, Chief Inspector of the Department of Education and Skills.

      More information about the AEC-NET Conference is available at

       Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

       

       

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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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    • 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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    • 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)

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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