Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ireland says No to Nice

Well we have gone and done the unthinkable, we as a nation have gone on to reject the Nice treaty. The treaty designed to bring the EU into the 21st century. Polls not more than a month ago had indicated that things were going well for Nice, with the majority of those who had decided what way they were voting were voting Yes to Nice, although a large majority of people were undecided.

Where did it all go wrong, well the No campaign ran a brilliant campaign of misinformation, filling the Irish hearts and minds of fear, by indicating that issues such as abortion, corporate tax rates, neutrality, sovereignty, would be defined by Brussels rather than by the Irish Parliament in Dublin. Although none of this was true, the fact that the treaty itself is incomprehensible and growing disillusion with politics in Ireland lead to a No vote being pretty inevitable I suppose. Another key factor, was the feeling of being bullied, our government, the EU president, the French president just to name a few all "warned" us about rejecting this treaty, how stupid can you get - we Irish have always had a bit of a rebellious steak in us, if you tell us we have to do something or face the dire consequences, as Sarkozy put it, a lot of people decided there and then to show them and vote No.

I hope the political leaders can find a way past Lisbon, and I hope Ireland is apart of that, but I have a funny feeling we are drifting westward away from Europe, away from the decision-making in Brussels.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Edupunk - refers to the "new" phenomon, where teachers and learners are using a DIY attitude to teaching and learning and not conforming to traditional tools and methodologies. Using such things as social software to aid education. This has really taken off over the last month (the term I am talking about here) - may be here to stay. For more information, Stephen Downes outlines it better than I ever could at, or you could even check out the wikipedia page

Erik Duval Interview

Erik is a professor at KUL in Belgium, he is a well respected academic in the area of metadata and Technology Enhanced Learning. An interview with him is available at, which is well worth a listen. Here he describes his famed "Snowflake Effect" among other things.