Sustaining Local Identity, Control and Ownership While Integrating Technology into School Learning

  • Deirdre Butler
  • Carol Strohecker
  • Fred Martin
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4226)


Empowering Minds (EM) is a project that has deeply integrated technologically expressive materials, including robotics and presentation and programming software, into the educational practices of teachers at more than a dozen primary schools across Ireland. Here, we present Empowering Minds as a model of constructionist learning and teacher professional development. As the project continues to grow, organisers are challenged to aim beyond sustainability to scalability, encouraging participants to develop ways of maintaining their local identities and their senses of control and ownership of the work and ideas. In this paper, we describe a collaborative project among four participating schools, including one teacher’s account of his students’ adapting a folkloric story in order to appropriate it for their own technical, narrative, and learning purposes. We emphasise the importance of a diverse, supportive community and adequate time for teachers’ self-directed learning to develop and epistemological changes to occur.


Local Identity Teacher Professional Development Constructionist Learning Computational Material Disadvantaged School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deirdre Butler
    • 1
  • Carol Strohecker
    • 2
  • Fred Martin
    • 3
  1. 1.St. Patrick’s CollegeDublin City University DrumcondraDublinIreland
  2. 2.Strohecker AssociatesDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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