Volvo Ocean Race, NUI Galway and online learning

The Volvo Ocean Race is in town! As I write this, the boats are due into Galway (the finishing point of the race) after midnight tonight. The last time “the Volvo” was in Galway in 2009, an estimated 10,000 people crowded into Galway city to greet the boats arriving — at 3:00 in the morning — and enjoyed sunshine and a festival atmosphere for the next 10 days. Such is the spirit of Galway. [03/07/12 Update: huge crowds attended the race finish in Galway in the early hours of this morning.]

The event is about much more than the race. For the 2012 Volvo Ocean Race event, Galway has been transformed. We have a Race Village and a Global Village where you can find food stalls, musical entertainment, comedy, sports and adventure activities, crafts and fashion, as well as science, technology and education events. There is a great programme of events scheduled at the NUI Galway pavilion where I’ll be speaking in the Ideas Lab on Tuesday and Wednesday (July 3rd and 4th) at 2pm.

I’ve been asked to speak about “Online Learning for the Future” and I look forward to meeting people and engaging in discussion about social media in education, open learning, online and blended learning, and the range of opportunities for studying at NUI Galway. I’ve prepared the following short presentation as taster, but I hope that this will lead to conversations, both in person and online.

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I didn’t want this presentation to be only about higher education and NUI Galway — online learning happens everywhere, formally as well as informally, and at all levels of education. So a few weeks ago I asked teachers involved in #edchatIE in Ireland if anyone would be willing to contribute a short video to show how they and their students are using technology. The results, from 10 different classrooms across Ireland, were amazing — see for yourself!

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From my vantage point in higher education, these are our future students, as well as our future citizens. We need to be sure that we are doing our best to welcome, engage with and challenge these students as they enter post-secondary education. That’s a big challenge for us. May the conversation continue…

Image: PAUL TODD at www.volvooceanracegalway.ie

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About catherinecronin
Academic coordinator of online IT programmes and lecturer in Infor-mation Technology. My work focuses on online and open education, digital literacies, social media in education, and #ITwomen. Currently working towards Ph.D. exploring open education and digital identity.

3 Responses to Volvo Ocean Race, NUI Galway and online learning

  1. plerudulier says:

    I particularly like the video which is a terrific showcase for anybody who would be interested in elearning.

  2. marloft says:

    Love the way you set this up as a conversation, Catherine. We need more of that in education :)

  3. Thank you both! Pascal, the video is a collaboration with some wonderful teachers here in Ireland who are active on #edchatie on Twitter. You can connect with many of them there. Please feel free to share the video :)

    And as for that conversation, it was multiple conversations today, Mary. I agree with you that we could do much more of this. I certainly learned a lot today, and met some wonderful people. I’m looking forward to returning to the NUI Galway pavilion tomorrow. Who said the Volvo Ocean Race was just about boats? :)

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