As part of our Digital Schools Excellence initiative we are continuously delivering, teaching and producing digital projects with our pupils. As part of Year 1 of our Digital School Excellence project with our cluster, our focus has been to enhance teaching and learning of local history in our community. Our first iteration examined the history of Claremorris town and our second iteration has looked at the history of Gortskehy 100 years ago with particular emphasis on Gortskehy NS. All updates pertaining to our digital cluster can be found on our website digitalgmp.scoilnet.ie
In this iteration we asked the children using an application called Padlet to explore ‘What they know about Gortskehy NS long ago?’, ‘What they would like to learn about Gortskehy NS long ago’ and ‘ What they have learned?’. We delivered a Google slide presentation to the pupils (attached below) and we explored www.dúchas.ie, which contains a digitised national folklore manuscript collection. In the collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren during 1937-1938, Gortskehy NS is featured. Thomas Cleary was the school principal and it is a fabulous insight into the stories and riddles of the time, written both in English and Irish. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed this activity.
Then using their Chromebooks, we asked pupils to compile questions that they would like to ask a pupil who attended the very first school here in Gortskehy (1887 – 1964). These questions were then taken by Lily Hession so she could interview her Grandaunt Evelyn Heaney who is 92 years old and went to school in 1935. Mobile technology and a voice recording application were used during the interview. The video of which was shown to all the pupils and is attached below. To gather information from a past pupil from the second school built in Gortskehy (1964 – 2017), the children then posed their questions to Pat Hession who attended the school in 1976. In parallel to this, each pupil compiled their own individual list of questions to ask their parents/grandparents about their experience of school in the past.
Lastly, the children each created their own slideshows of ‘School in Gortskehy 100 years ago and present day’ comparing the similarities and differences. They used an application called Adobe Spark to create these slideshows and then presented these to their classes. As teachers we are extremely proud of what the pupils created and produced. This iteration proved insightful and interesting from both a historical aspect and also a digital technologies aspect. I would like to thank in particular Ms. Donnellan and her Senior classes for their participation.
Samples of Adobe Spark Presentations