Yesterday I was a Dragon!
The first ever Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning will be made at next week's Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) annual conference which is being held at the National College of Ireland this year. The award recognizes and rewards innovative practice in teaching and learning in Ireland. It is made in honour of the late Jennifer Burke who was one on the leading lights in ILTA when I first became involved with this association. I only met her a couple of times before she became ill, and I found her to be extraordinarly kind, helpful, and supportive of any learning technology initiative. The picture to the right is of Jennifer as many people remember her, and is a link to a photo on the award website.
I was delighted to be invited to be part of a Dragon's Den type panel that reviewed the final seven nominations - this was held in The Helix in DCU. Also on the panel was a real RTÉ Dragon's Den icon - Bobby Kerr. Bobby was a super panelist and it was a pleasure to meet him. Jennifer's partner Adam of DCU was also on the panel as was Kate from the Regional Support Centre of Northern Ireland. We were more pussy cats than dragons, but the nominees all did their best to impress us. I can't go in to details here, but deciding a winner was not easy - eventually we agreed on an entry from Trinity called B2C - Bring to College. It was a long afternoon, but fascinating to see all the innovations in learning. Well done to all.
As for my new career as a Dragon? Not sure if this is something I would be good at. There was no money at stake, so it was difficult to be critical. Bobby told us that in the real program every entrant gets an hour - even though we might only see 30 seconds of this on TV.