Day 3 Speakers

Speaker: Kieran Lewis


Kieran is a Senior Occupational Therapist within the Disability Service in Trinity College Dublin. For the last two years, he has been a project officer with the Genio-funded project, Career Pathways. Kieran is also the lead on phase three activities within the Disability Service strategic plan, which focus on students’ transition to employment. Kieran holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and is currently undertaking PhD research into the development and efficacy of an occupation-focused self-management programme. He has completed the Individual Placement and Support (IPS)-supported employment course and the Level 1 and Level 2 modules on the Sensory Integration Pathway.

Abstract: Career Pathways transition planning tool for students with disabilities
This presentation will outline the use of the Pebblepad ePortfolio system as part of the Career Pathways project within Trinity College Dublin. Career Pathways is an approach to enabling students with disabilities to manage the transition from college to employment and is a partnership between the Careers Advisory Service and Disability Service within TCD. One of the key elements of the project is facilitating students to engage in work-related experiences throughout the student journey and the logging of their personal reflections and the work-related skills that they have developed. Staff and students have designed a series of templates and other resources for the systems, which will be outlined during the presentation.

Speaker: Catherine Cronin


Catherine is an educator and researcher at NUI Galway, currently completing her PhD, which explores the use of open educational practices in higher education. Catherine’s work focuses on open education, formal/informal learning, digital and network literacies, and digital identity practices. She has also published research in the area of gender and technology. You can find out what Catherine is up to on Twitter (@catherinecronin) and in her blog (

Abstract: Exploring our digital identities
In this presentation, Catherine will invite us to consider our different digital identities – social, scholarly, civic, professional (or pre-professional) – and to explore how we enact and negotiate these in different online spaces. How do we negotiate the sometimes delicate balance between private and public, personal and professional, bounded and open?

Speaker: Dr Teresa Whitaker


Teresa Whitaker is Programme Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning (MATL) and the PhD programme in Hibernia College. Her background is in the social sciences and she holds a BA (Mod) degree from Trinity College and M.Soc.Sc. and PhD degrees from University College Dublin (UCD). Teresa was awarded a Faculty scholarship from the Geary Institute in UCD and a Government of Ireland postgraduate scholarship by the Irish Research Council (IRCHSS) for her PhD in sociology, which was completed in 2015. She has over 20 years of teaching and research experience in higher education. She was project officer on an EU (DG5)-funded longitudinal study on ‘Children Talking; Why do they smoke?’ She worked as a lead researcher in the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (2006–2009) whose remit is to conduct research on illicit substances and report to a cabinet committee on social inclusion.

Currently, she teaches and assesses students on the Sociology of Education and Research Methods modules in Hibernia College. She has successfully supervised many students writing their masters’ dissertations and has been involved in module and programme development with Hibernia College and St Nicholas Montessori College, Ireland (SNMCI). In common with Michelangelo (Ancora Imparo – Yet I am learning) she is committed to lifelong learning and has recently completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Training and Education with Griffith College (Level 9 NFQ). Teresa has discovered the more she learns, the more there is to learn. She has many publications in national and international journals.

Abstract: The use of reflective practice in ePortfolio development
It is argued that you cannot put an old head on young shoulders, but I wonder if you can put a young head on old shoulders by learning new ways of seeing and doing things! In this presentation, I will reflect on my journey to becoming a critically reflective practitioner. I am a programme director of a master’s programme and I tutor two online modules (Sociology of Education and Research Methods). Although I have been teaching in third-level institutions for over two decades, my journey to become a reflective practitioner started in autumn 2012 when I commenced a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Training (Level 9 NFQ). Hughes and Moore (2007) suggest that teachers in higher-level institutions have gained much tacit knowledge through studies and experience but the purpose of reflection is to make this tacit knowledge overt so that teachers can build on their practice to develop a repertoire or a tool kit for solving problems in the future. Using Brookfield’s (1995) four lens for critical reflection, this presentation will focus on the methods I used to become a critical reflective practitioner. These reflections are contained in the ePortfolio that I created and which was an important element of my reflective practice.

Speaker: Bill Hunter


Bill Hunter was born in Larne, County Antrim. His teaching career started in Akron, Ohio where he taught high school English. He received a PhD in educational psychology from Kent State University in 1974. He has worked for universities in Ohio, Rhode Island, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Ontario. He has had research leaves to New York, Ireland, Northern Ireland and New Zealand.

In 2002, he was the founding dean of the Faculty of Education at The University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Before that, he spent 16 years as an education professor and department head at the University of Calgary. He was previously on the faculty of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Throughout his career, Bill has taught educational technology, statistics, measurement, learning theory, human development, programme evaluation and other areas of educational psychology. He has also taught for university departments of mathematics, nursing, psychology and home economics.

His early research was on moral reasoning and educational programme evaluation. In the mid 1980s, his interests turned to educational technology and his current research focus is on ICT and community cohesion. In 2013, Roger Austin of Ulster University and Bill published Online Learning and Community Cohesion, an examination of international projects using ICT to bring together children and teachers from communities in conflict. He has had extensive experience as a reviewer and editor for research journals – most notably as editor of the Canadian Journal of Education.

Abstract: Beyond ePortfolios: student as public scholar
A portfolio is generally understood to be a collection of work to be shared with targeted others: instructors, potential employers, clients. It is, in effect, a limited circulation publication. Historically, ‘student’ and ‘scholar’ were fairly synonymous but they have come to have different meanings, with ‘scholar’ reserved for those with a higher level of expertise. This presentation will look back at some of the other presentations in the conference with the intention of making a case for a larger publication role for students as part of a reconceptualisation of students as scholars.

Speaker: Harry McCann

Harry McCann is a 17 year old tech entrepreneur, speaker, MC, advisor, ambassador, blogger and a number of other things while also being a 5th-year secondary school student in Clane, Co. Kildare. He is the Founder and Director of the first Digital Youth Council in the world, and most recently, the Co-Founder and CEO of the Worldwide education movement #LetsTeachCode. In the past three years, Harry has worked with some of the biggest names across a number of industries including Lord David Putnam, Stephen Fry and Norah Casey. His work and contribution to technology, education and business has not gone unrecognised. Harry has been named in 20 under 20 brightest and most inspirational young people of 2015, list of 7 Inspiring Young Irish People 2015 and a number of other lists recognising the brilliant work being done by people all around the world.

Abstract: The digital lives of teenagers
A generation is meeting people differently, chatting differently, working differently and much more, because of one thing, technology. The effect technology is having on young people cannot be fully understood until you get your head around the swipes, the taps, the shakes and the implications of what this means for how young people represent themselves online.

In this presentation, I will explore the concept of digital identity for teenagers whose lives are increasingly lived on social media sites such as Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. I will consider the extent to which teenagers are aware of the digital footprint they are leaving behind, and how that might impact the way they present their digital selves.

Speakers: Jen Harvey, Peter Lewis, Dave Kilmartin, Brian Gormley

Abstract: Taking the LEAD: reflections on using ePortfolios for students to evidence employability skills development

In 2011, DIT established the Lead, Engage, Achieve, Develop (LEAD) module as a way to recognise and award academic credit to the learning that takes place outside the confines of formal academic study. Students apply online to take the LEAD award and all shortlisted applicants are then interviewed by members of the programme team. Students must demonstrate their involvement in a leadership role within their selected extra-curricular and co-curricular activities, for example, student societies, clubs, volunteering projects and so on. LEADers select three employability skills they would like to develop over the period of the award. These are then consolidated through a negotiated learning action plan. The module is supported through a series of workshops and small group mentor meetings. Students are asked to maintain an online personal reflective blog. The module is assessed through the completion of an ePortfolio of evidence.

As a result of student evaluation feedback, the structure and format of the award has evolved over the 5 years that it has been running. Award graduates value the formal recognition that LEAD provides for their skills development. Success is determined by the intrinsic motivation of the students who enrol on the module, the nature and the level of engagement within the leadership learning opportunities of which they avail over the duration of Award.

Speaker: Bernie Goldbach


Bernie Goldbach lectures more than 16 hours a week for the Limerick Institute of Technology in a cross-section of business, creative multimedia and digital animation programmes. He has taught adult learners since 1979, including high-speed acrobatics to NASA astronauts and heavy aircraft aerial refuelling to special operations pilots in the US Air Force. He has written a blog since 1997 and is one of the first 100 people in Ireland to join LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. He’s very findable as @topgold on several social networks.

Abstract: Managing your digital footprints
This hands-on workshop shows you how to create digital footprints for yourself; how to discover elements of your digital identity that you did not realise existed and how to petition for removal of electronic assets that might be very outdated, controversial or derogatory. You will use Wolfram Alpha to generate a word cloud of content you locate. You will learn how Google points people to places, people, images and videos. Then, you will edit some of those results to improve the quality of information in each case. Some of your time will involve co-authoring a Microsoft PowerPoint deck to share LinkedIn profiles. You will also complete a portion of a presentation in Microsoft Sway so everyone can see the kind of sociometric pattern represented by your digital footprints.

Speaker: Dr Helen Barrett


In 2005, Dr Helen Barrett retired from the faculty of the College of Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage and is now living in the Seattle area. She has been researching strategies and technologies for ePortfolios since 1991, publishing a web site (, chapters in several books on ePortfolios and numerous articles. She worked with the International Society for Technology in Education between 2001 and early 2005, providing training and technical assistance on ePortfolios for teacher education programmes throughout the US under a federal PT3 grant. In 2005, Dr Barrett became the Research Project Director for The REFLECT Initiative, a two-year research project, underwritten by TaskStream, to assess the impact of ePortfolios on student learning, motivation and engagement in secondary schools.

Dr Barrett is currently doing research for a book on interactive ePortfolios to be published online. She has been an adjunct faculty member for Seattle Pacific University, where she taught about issues and advances in educational technology. Her international consulting focuses on the integration of ePortfolios for learning and digital storytelling in K-12 schools and higher education. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator.

At the European ePortfolio Conference in Maastricht, October 2007, Dr Barrett received the first EIFEL Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to ePortfolio research and development. In 2011, she established the REAL ePortfolio Academy for K-12 teachers, providing online courses for individuals and assessment/planning support for K-12 institutions.

Workshop: Digital identity through digital storytelling in ePortfolios

In this workshop, Dr Helen Barrett will explore digital storytelling, including examples from higher education students and faculty. She will discuss why you would create digital stories and tie this in with research on metacognition and learning through storytelling. Helen will also examine how to create digital stories, looking at strategies for using low-end digital tools/software/apps, including mobile devices and online tools.

We will go through the entire process in the workshop, but without a story written, images gathered and a specific platform/software/app in mind, it would be difficult for each participant to complete a story. However, enough of the process will be covered so that participants can try it on their own after the workshop.