Lord Mayor launches Dublin e-Learning Summer School at DIT

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Dr. Frank McMahon, Director of Academic Affairs, DIT,
Councillor Emer Costello, Lord Mayor of Dublin
and Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT
at the opening of the Dublin e-Learning Summer School at DIT

21st June 2010

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello said this morning that economic recovery will be driven by innovation and by upskilling the work force in the Dublin City region. Speaking at the opening of the Dublin eLearning Summer School in DIT, the Lord Mayor urged educators to be innovative to keep the attention of learners. ?We want Dublin to be known as a Learning City, underpinning the knowledge economy of this country. We have a great wealth and diversity of higher education institutions in the city region and it is wonderful to see them collaborating on this innovative summer school. The participants here are just the kind of educators who will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our aims. No doubt, using these new approaches to learning might make the student experience more exciting for some students already in education but it might also provide new flexible learning opportunities for others to come back to education.?

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Councillor Emer Costello, Lord Mayor of Dublin

More than 50 academics from all disciplines in universities and institutes of technology around Dublin are attending the Dublin eLearning Summer School which is taking place all this week in Dublin Institute of Technology. The Chief Executive of the HEA, Mr. Tom Boland, also spoke at the opening of the Summer School, and commended the organising committee from the eight participating higher education institutions in the city for creating the opportunity for colleagues to participate in what will be a very hands-on, innovative programme. He said that successful institutions in the future will be those who are innovative in teaching and learning, and that flexible modes of learning will be essential if we are to achieve our objectives to become a smart, knowledge-led economy. He admitted, however, that the current funding model for higher education does not support online learning or other part-time study and he said the HEA has recommended full parity of funding for these modes of learning.

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Mr. Tom Boland, Chief Executive of the HEA

The theme of the Summer School is ?Fostering Collaboration?, and it is a joint initiative of eight institutions of higher education in the Dublin region. Since 2003, DIT has run an e-learning summer school for its own academic staff, under the direction of Dr. Kevin O?Rourke, Head of eLearning Support & Development, but this is the first one in which all other institutions are involved. According to Dr. O?Rourke, the range of technology now available to participants in the summer school has increased considerably over those years, while the enthusiasm of academic staff signing up for the summer school has also grown enormously. ?This year we are delighted to extend our DIT summer school and, in collaboration with colleagues in all our partner institutions in the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA), to offer an expanded programme to participants from eight institutions. The programme is very hands-on and we would anticipate that at the end of the week, participants should find themselves very comfortable with the skills required to foster collaboration in the classroom using a range of technologies.?

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Participants at the Dublin eLearning Summer School

The five-day programme aims to help lecturers to facilitate collaboration in their class rooms and lecture theatres, using technology. Throughout the week, participants will become familiar with the trends and innovations in the field of e-learning and develop their own vision for how e-learning can enhance the student?s experience. Rather than replacing traditional lecturing methods, new technologies can add to the resources available to lecturers and can give students a new engagement with their own learning.

While places on the programme are completely filled, for those who cannot be present the event is being streamed live on the internet and can also be followed on Twitter at #elss10.

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