NUI Galway Creates New Innovative Resources for the Science Classroom

At the launch of the Ski-Hooks Series was (l-r): Dr Veronica McCauley, School of Education, NUI Galway; Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President; Dr Mary Fleming, Director of Teacher Education, NUI Galway; and Seán Ó Grádaigh, School of Education, NUI Galway.
Nov 23 2012 Posted: 11:01 GMT

NUI Galway’s School of Education recently developed and launched the Sci-Hook Series, an innovative APPLE iBook resource for science educators. Sci-Hooks are introductory video clips which aim to grab the learner’s attention by capturing what is interesting and engaging about a range of science topics. The series forms part of the School of Education’s mission to build collaborative and supportive partnerships with second-level schools.

Dr Veronica McCauley and Seán Ó Grádaigh, lecturers from the School of Education at NUI Galway, led this Science Education Research project with a design team of student science teachers from NUI Galway’s Professional Diploma in Education and Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas programmes.

Dr Mary Fleming, Director of Teacher Education with NUI Galway’s School of Education, said: “Engaging student interest in a learning process which is relevant and connected with the students’ own life experiences not only determines what they will learn, but also the depth of learning and degree to which they process the material being taught.”

These Sci-Hook resources have been developed into a set of three iBooks - Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with over 10 videos and support material available in each category, with over 30 Sci-Hooks created for the Junior Science classroom.  

The creative design process was highlighted by NUI Galway’s Dr Veronica McCauley: “The design team has created innovative videos that capture novel and engaging aspects of science, and engage pupils immediately with their curious content, quirky film editing and animation fluidity. These edgy snippets have been created in a way that allows seamless translation into other languages. As such, a vibrant team of Dioplóma Gairmiúil san Oideachas students have adapted them for dissemination throughout Irish Medium Schools nationally.”

NUI Galway’s Seán Ó Grádaigh emphasised the impact that this new form of iPad technology has had in terms of initial dissemination, saying: “Prior to its launch, Sci-Hook Series had already received over 500 downloads. They are available on iBookstores across 50 countries, with our largest market being the US with 32% of all downloads and this is expected to increase further as the Biology resources are published.”

These iBook resources are free to download on your iPad through the iBookstore and also available as videos and pdf on iTunesU and through the scoilnet portal.

Funding from NUI Galway, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) and Apple Ireland supported the project.


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