News and Events

Newsletter - January 2020



Education is the turning of the soul or psyche toward the virtue that makes knowledge make sense. The teacher cannot force the turn but has the capacity—if she knows she knows nothing—to create the conditions for the student to make some slight turn in the direction of truth. Those conditions include time and the questions that subject each prior claim to careful scrutiny. But the teacher and the student must also desire one another; they must see in the other something attractive that makes the meeting of the minds fruitful.’ 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (Biesta and Stengel, 2016, p. 20).

And what is ‘education’ for us?

Reference: Biesta, G.J.J. and Stengel, B. (2016). Thinking philosophically about teaching. In Gittomer, D. and Bell, C. (eds) Handbook of research on teaching. 5th edition. Washington, DC: AERA, pp. 7-67.

[Bio: Gert Biesta is (part-time) Professorial Fellow for Educational Theory and Pedagogy with the Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh (since August 2019). In addition he is (part-time) Professor of Public Education at the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy at Maynooth University, Ireland and (part-time) NIVOZ Professor for Education at the University of Humanistic Studies, The Netherlands]


It’s January 2020 and the first newsletter of the decade! We hope you enjoyed a break over the Christmas and have settled into the New Year. Once again this year, we will share with you every month some considerations for your teaching practice, some design and tech resources and a calendar of upcoming T&L events. But we’ve also reserved a place for your valuable input; we would love to hear about what you are doing in your classroom to help your learners learn and, with your permission, to share this in subsequent editions, thereby building a community of learners.

We very much look forward to hearing from you!

The TLC team

Learning, Design & Technology Resources

(Resources for consideration)

it carlow teaching and learning centre - learning, design & technology resources







MS Office365 Powerpoint – Real-time Captions and Subtitles

This feature in Office 365 PowerPoint which enables you have subtitles on screen in real-time. As you present and as you talk, PowerPoint will transcribe your words and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you are speaking or as subtitles translated into another language.

This can help accommodate individuals in the audience who may be deaf or hard of hearing, or more familiar with another language.






For a video overview, click here

For more information, click here

MS Office365 Forms for Surveys – File Upload

A new feature in MS Forms allows respondents to upload files, you can specify the number of files with max 10; you can specify the max single file size as 10MB, 100MB or 1GB; and, you can specify the file type(s) that can be uploaded.  Uploaded files are stored in a OneDrive folder





For more information on this new feature, click here

For more information on MS Forms, access Blackboard and go to:

TLC Staff Hub – eLearning Section – MS Forms Resources













Teaching and Learning Reflections

(Items to consider for your teaching practice)

it carlow teaching and learning centre newsletter - teaching and learning reflections






TLC and Affective Care in Education

                  - Dr. Susan Flynn, Teaching and Learning Centre

TLC, to anyone listening to Hip Hop in the late 90s, was the band responsible for hits like No Scrubs, Waterfalls and Creep. The acronym represented the band members’ nicknames; T-Boz, Left-eye and Chilli. Others will recall Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit P.Y.T. (Pretty young thing) which included the line “I want to love you TLC, tender love and care”, a song which is now featured on many ‘no-play’ lists. Irrespective of musical inclinations, the term TLC is associated with tender loving care, a fact that is not lost on the Teaching and Learning Centre at IT Carlow.

Philosophers from Plato and Socrates to Freire have claimed that love and care play an important part in education, inspiring enquiry, the quest for knowledge and the commitment to making the world a better place. Dedicated followers of fashions in education will note that there has recently been an increasing amount of attention to the ‘affective realm’ in education; the care, support and solidarity in the learning environment which helps students to feel at ease and connected to education. TLC, in this regard, is an important aspect of learning to learn. As bell hooks wrote, “well-learned distinctions between public and private make us believe that love has no place in the classroom” (hooks, 1994, p.62) however, love enhances our ability to be self-actualising. Lynch, Baker and Lyons (2009,  p.1) discuss relations of love, care and solidarity which “help to establish a basic sense of importance, value and belonging, a sense of being appreciated, wanted and cared about”.

As lecturers, many of us will agree that it is wrong or misleading to label students as in need of care; every student is different, with varying strengths and needs. However, we are relational beings; emotional, intellectual and individual, we operate largely as social animals. We are all interdependent, with intersectional identities, operating on various levels of existence.

Using a Freirean approach, in the Teaching and Learning Centre we believe that students’ ability to think critically about their education is vital. In order to have the confidence and self-efficacy to critique their education, their educators and the institutions of modern global life, students need self-belief. The affective element of education supports the development of this self-belief through creating a sense of belonging, a feeling of being accepted, valid and cared-about. Respect for students’ life experiences is critical, as is acceptance of the many and varied personal challenges they may face.

While running academic support sessions recently, I was fortunate to have multiple conversations with students from a wide array of disciplines. I was struck by how diverse the student body is, and by how many amazing ‘back stories’ students have. We are so lucky to work in an institution that provides opportunities, but we also have a responsibility to help students to honour their ambitions and to seize their potential.

Let’s start a conversation about caring for our students (and each other). What do you think? Let us know!


Freire, P. (2005) Pedagogy of the Oppressed (30th anniversary edition). New York: Continuum

hooks, b. (1994) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge

Lynch, K., Baker, J. and Lyons, M. (2009) Affective Equality: Love, Care and Injustice. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Calendar of Events

(Upcoming Teaching and Learning Events)






Voice Training Workshop




  • Venue: IT Carlow
  • Date: Monday 20th January
  • Time: 09.30am – 4.30pm
  • Facilitator: Poll Moussoulides

We are delighted to be offering a one-day Voice Training workshop, specifically for lecturing staff, taking place on 20th January.  This one-day workshop will give you the skills and knowledge to dramatically increase your vocal communication abilities and sore throats and vocal strain from sustained speaking or misuse will be a thing of the past! The workshop will be facilitated by Poll Moussoulides from Voice Matters.

More information on the course, click here

Publishing and Research Workshop
  • Venue: Wexford Campus
  • Date: Thursday 23rd January
  • Time: 12.00 – 1.00pm
  • Facilitator: Dr. Susan Flynn 

This publishing and research workshop will support staff and practitioners in developing a research profile and disseminating their research.

Supporting Students with Dyslexia Workshop


  • Venue: IT Carlow
  • Date: Thursday 18th February (tbc)
  • Facilitator: Caoimhe O’Malley (Adult Dyslexia Coordinator for the Dyslexia Association of Ireland)

This workshop will explore what dyslexia is and how to recognise the signs of dyslexia. In addition, the workshop will analyse ways of supporting students with dyslexia and in particular will consider practical techniques that could be implemented within a teaching environment.

National Forum Seminar Series


The National Seminar Series gives those working in higher education the opportunity to connect with colleagues and to focus on shared interests in both the research and practice of teaching and learning enhancement. The series also creates opportunities to hear from national and international experts in different areas of teaching and learning.

Themes included in upcoming seminars include:

  • Practical Universal Design for Educators (Dundalk IT - 15th Jan)
  • Student Success is Everybody's Business: Developing a Student Success Strategy at MIC (MIC - 22nd Jan)
  • Teaching Online is Different (DCU - 23rd Jan)
  • Assessing Your Stress - Connecting Wellbeing and Assessment (DCU - 30th Jan)
  • Supporting Doctorial Students to Submission - Strategies for Supervisors (NUIG - 6th Feb)

And there are lots more, so check out the full list here

Academic Support Sessions

The Academic Support sessions will re-commence week beginning Monday 13th January.

All students are welcome to the drop-in sessions on:

  • Academic Writing
  • Maths Support






The schedule is posted on the TLC Student Hub on Blackboard, on the notice boards of various different faculties and outside of room A204.

Take a tech break! : 30 mins of learning tech





Our weekly informal learning technology workshops.

  • Sessions:             Two sessions (one topic) per week
  • Venue:                 IT Carlow
  • Days + Times:    Monday 1.00-1.30 and Thursday 10.45-11.15
  • Room:                 A204 in LRC
  • Facilitator:         Emmett Cullinane

The final three sessions in this term will look at:

Quizlet : is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes.

Mentimeter : engage with your learners, you present, learners easily connect via smart phone enabling; real-time polling, voting and feedback. Gives all your learners in your class a voice.

One Note : is your very own digital notebook. Use One Note to present in your class

If you’ve missed previous sessions, you can take a look at the tech explored here:

Canva: design anything
For more information, go to the Canva website

Unidoodle: a classroom response system app which allows students to quickly submit sketch-style answers via their iOS or Android device to questions asked by their teacher in class.
For more info, go to the Unidoodle website

Carrd: create simple, free, fully responsive one-page sites from pretty much anything.
For more info, go to the Caard website.

MS Forms: easily create surveys and polls. An online survey tool and part of Office 365.
For more into, go to

Collaborate - Virtual Classrooms for you in IT Carlow

The Collaborate Couch to 5k programme was designed, developed and launched in September 2019. It is all on-line, available anytime, allowing you to learn at your own pace.  Now, we’ve blended the programme with a Collaborate Bootcamp!

The Bootcamp is a face-to-face classroom based session, providing hands-on support to bring you through the entire Collaborate Couch to 5K programme, from absolute beginner to proficient user. It will support you to get up and running and enable you to use Collaborate Virtual Classroom effectively with your learners.  

The face-to-face bootcamp sessions took place in November and December 2019.

If you wish to enquire about further face-to-face bootcamp classroom sessions or would like additional support in starting to use virtual classrooms with your learners, contact

Over To You

TEL (Technology-Enchanced Learning) us your story





We'd love to hear from you.

In 200 words or less, share your thoughts and experience of TEL that you are using with your learners.
For example, tell us how you are using it, what your students like about it, how effective it is in supporting learning and whether or not you believe it has applications in other contexts.
If you are happy to share your piece (either with or without your name/dept/section), we will include it in a subsequent issue of the newsletter.

Your contribution - this edition






Lang J. (2016). Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

The reason I like this book starts with the title, because in my experience effective change occurs in small increments. James Lang sets out to recommend some small easy fix solutions into improving the classroom which can be introduced as you teach, as opposed to completely overhauling or redesigning how you do your teaching. The important thing for me to remember is that it is about the student learning. The book is divided into three sections starting with student knowledge and how students learn. This has traditionally being a challenge for me due to the way in which people are selected for education by the Defence Forces and also the restriction of information. The second is focused on how students understand the material. This is a challenge within the Defence Forces as with any large hierarchical organization due to the quest to know “what to think as opposed to how to think.” Lang then focuses on inspiration of both students and instructors in the third part of the book. He talks about growth and lifelong learning which is something that I try to develop in my students. For me, this is a must read book.

Contributed by: David O'Reilly, participant on the MA in Teaching and Learning

Link to the ebook click here

Link to the book click here

Contact Us

If you would like more information on the Teaching and Learning Centre email or follow us on Twitter