Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Joanne wins Becta Next Generation Learning Award

Teaching Awards 2009 Winner. Joanne Murray from Cookstown Primary School has just secured 'The Becta Award for Next Generation Learning in Northern Ireland.'

Joanne Murray’s reputation precedes her. Among her many accolades are several awards for her work using technology in the classroom and her methods are to be featured in a new book about ICT in learning by an American educationist.


No-one who has worked with Joanne can be surprised by her success. She is described as a “wonderful” classroom teacher, who knows how to bring the best out of her pupils. Pupils think she is “just cool”. Joanne is constantly seeking ways in which ICT can be used in the curriculum, and as a result of her efforts the school is seen as a leader in the use of ICT in Northern Ireland.

She was one of the first teachers in the school to use an interactive whiteboard and quickly realised its potential. She uses techniques such as ‘Creativity through Digital Video’, mediascapes, Wiki, MPs players and GPS technology daily with pupils and has just begun to explore how learning and teaching can be enhanced through the use of web2 technology.

She inspires the whole school staff by demonstrating how effectively technology can be used to motivate pupils. A colleague said: “When Joanne attends a course, I always wonder what new ideas she will come back with and look forward to being able to discuss how we can take advantage of the opportunities that exist for our pupils and staff.”Joanne’s enthusiasm is legendary and colleagues believe that the only time she doesn’t think about technology is when she is asleep!

She is regularly invited to speak at educational conferences and has trained Cookstown primary’s staff to have the same confidence in applying ICT as she has.One teacher said: “There can be little doubt that Joanne Murray’s work is ground breaking. Her preferred learning and teaching pedagogy is well ahead of time.” One of her pupils said Joanne “makes us think about the future and what we might want to do when we grow up … it helps us get a step ahead”.

Beyond her work as a teacher, Joanne is a community volunteer and a Middle East Christian Outreach Volunteer. Judges said Joanne’s “thinking outside the box in relation to use of ICT in the classroom makes her a worthy winner”.

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