Who’s Zoomin’ Who? – Looking Back

I have probably wanted to start a podcast for at least a year but like most things could never manage to find the time or have an interesting enough idea of what it was I wanted to talk about.  After being asked to be involved in #GastaGoesGlobal I used that as the springboard to get myself going as I knew once I got started I was going to be more than halfway there.  Now with thirteen episodes recorded and a short break planned I am using this week to look back on who I have talked to and what it was we talked about.


It was April 8th and just a few short days before #GastaGoesGlobal when the first episode of Who’s Zoomin’ Who? appeared with my first guest being none other than Tom Farrelly.  Our conversation covered the forthcoming event, a run-through of the speakers, a look at the seismic shift in online education as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and Tom’s overall EdTech strategy. (Link)

Week two saw a good friend and colleague Colm Dunphy from WIT and as we recorded it immediately after the #GastaGoesGlobal event we spoke about what we just watched and the messages that resonated.  Colm, as I was, was impressed with the messages of care and compassion that were shared by the speakers, he also spoke about the award-winning Higher Diploma in Science in Computer Science a fully online conversion programme and about the life load issues faced by students as a result of the ongoing crisis and the steps that they had taken to mitigate them. (Link)

In week three I spoke to another good friend Orna Farrell from DCU talks about #OpenTeach an online short course about teaching online that ran recently, her thoughts on the pivot to online teaching as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and educational technology and what the future might hold for online teaching in general. (Link)

Week four and episode 4 brought the first of many new friends that I have made along the way. Sharon Flynn from IUA (Irish Universities Association) talks about the Enhancing Digital Teaching & Learning project, her experience as an online educator, the resilience shown by staff and students alike in these challenging times and also imagined what the future might hold. Week 4 also saw the introduction of my short intro video/animation, well I like it! (Link)

In week five I was back on more familiar ground with another longterm friend and wonderful supporter Marie O’Neill from CCT College who talked about the impact of digital technology on libraries, some of her favourite developments both nationally and internationally in higher education and a collection of open-source digital tools that she recommended. (Link)

Week six and it was relatively new territory again as while I would have met Oisín before I don’t know that we would have spoken all that much.  Oisín Hassan from the National Student Engagement Programme (NStEP) talked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the project, defining an Irish definition of Student Engagement and plans for the rollout of their National Forum Digital Badge and other online training and development activities. (Link)

Week seven saw the wonderful Catherine Cronin (another new friend) from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education talk about the recently published findings from the INDEx survey, share her Open Education philosophy and discuss the impact and possible legacy of the COVID-19 crisis. (Link)

Week eight saw the first of two visits to Cork with Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin from CIT (my own alma mater) talking about their recent move to Canvas, about the resilience and anti-fragility of the educational technology systems that we use, the CIT MA in E-learning, Design and Development, and the OER resources available on TELU.me. (Link)

In week nine I headed (virtually at any rate) to the North West where Brian Mulligan talked about his long history of innovation and discovery in online learning and educational technology, the IT Sligo online model, their response to the COVID-19 crisis and imagined what future legacy might emerge from where we are now. (Link)

I made another new friend in Week 10 in Carina Ginty from GMIT.  She talked about the iNote project and the recently launched DigitalEd learning environment which aims to equip CUA (Connacht Ulster Alliance) – GMIT, IT Sligo and LyIT staff with the necessary skills to teach online. Carina also reflected on the rapid move online and pondered on what the future might hold. (Link)

Returning to the Rebel County even if I was talking to a Tipperaryman, in week 11 I spoke with Tom O’Mara from UCC where we talked about the lexicon of learning, the connected university, digital badges in UCC and the challenges of COVID-19. Tom also looked forward to September and what the new academic year might hold while outlining some of the steps that they are taking in UCC to prepare for next semester. (Link)

Returning to the capitol for episode 12 and my second visit to DCU, Eamon Costello turned the tables somewhat and manages to ask me a question.  We talked about Springboard and DCU Connected, the challenges of assessment, the diversity of modern life, academic writing, sanctuary scholars and he even manages to mention Tipperary hurling. (Link)

The final episode (week 13) of the first run or season of Who’s Zoomin’ Who? was another new challenge as I had not one but two guests featuring Lorraine Gallagher and Trevor Boland from AHEAD who talked about their recent series of webinars on the accessibility features of Word and PowerPoint, the AHEAD response to COVID-19, a look at what September 2020 might hold and some practical tips and pointers around UDL (Universal Design for Learning). (Link)

To all of my guests, I thank you most sincerely for your time and generosity in talking to me and for sharing your insights, experience and wisdom.  To each of my listeners and viewers thank your for your ongoing support and interest.  The full playlist above runs to a little over eight hours which seems a lot when I look back on it, at the time it didn’t seem that long at all.

All of the recorded videos are available on YouTube or as audio-only podcasts on Anchor.fm, suggestions, comments and feedback are always welcome.

YouTube: (Link)
Anchor.fm: (Link)

Tom O’Mara

Who’s Zoomin’ Who? – 11 – Tom O’Mara

In episode eleven of Who’s Zoomin’ Who?  Tom O’Mara from UCC talks about the lexicon of learning, the connected university, digital badges in UCC and the challenges of COVID-19.  Tom also looks forward to September and what the new academic year might hold while outlining some of the steps that they are taking in UCC to prepare for next semester.

Ken McCarthy is still using his new headset and it still doesn’t help with the umming and ahhing, but he is still trying to ask some sensible questions.

Sometimes funny, mostly serious, but hopefully entertaining.

Links: https://www.ucc.ie/en/digital-ed/digital-education/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomomara1/
Twitter: @tomomara

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