Data Collection and Digital Accessibility Analyst
Tommy has recently retired as Principal of Scoil Naomh Fiachra, a rural primary school in Kilkenny. He also served on the Management Committee of Kilkenny Education Centre, worked part time as an ICT Tutor with the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) and the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) and was part time lecturer with National University of Ireland, Maynooth on their Higher Diploma course “The Application of ICT in Education”.
Throughout his teaching career he led initiatives at local and national level to develop and promote ICT as an enabler for cross-curricular integration and constructivist learning in primary schools. In recognition of this work his school was selected as one of the first four schools in the Empowering Minds Project, which pioneered the use of control technology in primary classrooms. This initiative has since expanded to over 50 schools nationwide.
In 2007 he won the Microsoft World Innovative Teacher Award for Education Content with a project called “Don Quixote, Impossible Dreamers”, which employed robotics to integrate the curricular areas of Arts and Science. Subsequently Microsoft chose his school as one of its 30 worldwide Pathfinder Schools.
One of Tommy’s other interests is the teaching of history and he co-authored a “Time Traveller” (publ. C.J. Fallon Ltd.), a history series for primary schools. In 2013 he won the Best Concept Award at the Microsoft European Appathon Finals in London for a project designed to facilitate schools commemorating the historic period around the struggle for national independence.
Tommy believes that ICT, in the hands of innovative teachers, can promote collaborative and constructivist learning; can enable children to become active agents in their own learning and can help meet the needs of pupils with a range of ability levels and a diversity of needs and interests.