Our other official meeting of last Monday was with the Consulate General of Ireland in Boston. We met the Consul General Breandán Ó Caollaí and colleagues and were treated to a warm Irish welcome in 535 Boylston Street. (The Consulate is located very close to the finish line of the Boston Marathon).
The meeting gave us the opportunity to discuss our impressions of our trip to date. Since we are all about game-based learning we summarised our experiences and impressions by means of a simple game.
If you are following #edtechie on Twitter you might have seen the Gotcha Ninja who has accompanied us throughout the trip. Passing him among us, and using the letters in NINJA, we discussed things like: N for Networking, I for Inspiration and the International dimension of education and even the first two of the letters together in NI for Northern Ireland and colleagues outlined ideas for cross-border links that could emerge from this exchange programme. The second N evoked the idea of ‘Never Give Up’ where perseverance and what Americans call ‘grit’ were seen as being key to successful learning and enterprise. We also talked about this being an on-going learning J for Journey. From the letter A we discussed Assessment and how data-driven, personalised learning that can be drawn from carefully designed game environments. The letter A also prompted a reflection on the word Aspire where STEM subjects can be accessible to everyone regardless of their background so long creative approaches to learning are adopted. Indeed, the word STEM has also been refined to include A so that STEAM is the new acronym with Art, Craft and Design included in the equation.
Finally, in a last minute twist to the rules of our Ninja game (because you can always change the rules!) Tony re-named the Ninja Conor and talked about C for Connections: the many multiples of which we are making with each other and with our American hosts that is making this a very enriching experience for all of us.