Primary Education Breakout

Dr. Deirdre Butler

Dr. Deirdre Butler
Senior Lecturer in Education at St. Patrick’s College

Deirdre Butler’s passion in life is exploring what being digital in learning can mean. She is interested in ways that using digital technologies could revolutionise learning by challenging us to examine how we learn and to question our assumptions about "traditional" models of schooling.

Deirdre is a senior lecturer in Education at St. Patrick’s College, Ireland (www.spd.dcu.ie) with responsibility for designing and co-ordinating learning programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students using a broad range of digital technologies to enable them to understand what being digital in learning can be. She has extensive experience in the theory and practice of digital learning, as well the design and development of sustainable, scalable models of teacher professional development. She has also designed, developed and managed a range of projects and school based initiatives which focus on the creative use of digital technologies (e.g. Empowering Minds, EduWear, TeachNet).

Deirdre was Chair of the international advisory board for the second phase of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiative (MS-PIL 2008-2013) and is a member of the worldwide Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) Advisory Board. She is a key advisor to the Innovative Teaching & Learning ITL Research which is a multiyear global research program designed to investigate the factors that promote the transformation of teaching practices & the impact those changes have on students’ learning outcomes across a broad range of country contexts. Finally, she is member of the Horizon K12 Advisory Board whose task is to manage the process of researching, discussing, and ultimately, selecting the topics for the annual Horizon Report: K-12 Edition which focuses on emerging technology and its applications to K-12 education.

Michael Hallisey

Michael Hallisey
Founding partner H2

Michael is a founding partner with H2 since 2002. Michael currently holds the post of Director of Learning for The Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA). The DHDA delivers a range of education and training programmes under the umbrella of The Digital Hub Learning Initiative. The Learning Initiative focuses on the learning and training needs of the local community, schools and the digital media sector. The programme is developing a range of showcase programmes including Future Creators and Schools Broadband Exemplar for use by schools in The Digital Hub and beyond.

Michael helped establish the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MATL) with Hibernia College and has recently stepped down as course director. This Masters is delivered entirely online and uses a range of synchronous and asynchronous e-learning techniques. Michael has also worked on post-graduate course design for Trinity College and University of Limerick. Michael is currently completing his Doctorate in Education with the Institute of Education in London, where his research focus is on the pedagogical approaches tutors use to design effective student learning.

John Hurley

John Hurley
Founding Partner H2

John is a founding partner with H2 since 2002. In this role, John is responsible for the day to day running of H2 and manages the TeachNet Ireland project on behalf of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and Educators Learning Journeys on behalf of Microsoft. John leads our work with Discover Science and Engineering and provides on-going education and management support for the Discover Sensors and Scifolio projects. Prior to establishing H2, John spent four years as National Co-ordinator for ScoilNet with the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE). In this position he pioneered the provision of Internet for Irish schools and the development of ScoilNet as the official portal for Irish education in partnership with Intel Ireland.

John has considerable teacher professional development experience and is a member of the TeachNet Ireland management team designing and delivering cutting edge training for practising teachers on the use of ICT in Irish schools. John has worked on post-graduate course design for Trinity College, University of Limerick and Hibernia College. John is a qualified primary teacher and holds a B.Ed. from Trinity College. John holds an MBA from Dublin Business School.

Robbie O'Leary

Robbie O'Leary
Sacred Heart SNS, Killinarden

Robbie O’Leary is principal of Sacred Heart SNS, Killinarden, Tallaght, Dublin. He is a graduate of St. Patrick’s College of Education, and has a Masters Degree from Trinity College, Dublin. He has had extensive involvement in the evolution of ICTs usage in Irish primary education since the early 1990’s. He has written and lectured widely on the subject, and is co-author of ICTs in the Primary School: Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century (Dublin West Education Centre, 2010). He has also edited and contributed to Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy with ICTs (DEWC, 2011) and Enhancing the Learning and Teaching of Irish with ICTs (DWEC, 2012). He was among the first proponents of the PC as an educational tool, and was the first Irish teacher to successfully publish indigenous digital content for use in Irish primary schools. Since then, he has been centrally involved in the design and production of numerous software titles for Irish primary schools including The Normans in Ireland, Who took the Book?, Who Stole Mona? and The Vikings in Ireland. He has worked closely with NCTE since its establishment, as well as INTO, IPPN, CESI, Trinity College, Froebel College of Education and Dublin West, Blackrock and Navan Education Centres in the design and delivery of pre-service, in-service and postgraduate training courses, and in promoting the use of ICTs in primary education. He is the instigator of the Digital Schools award scheme and the author of a number of children’s textbooks.