Dr Deirdre Butler is a senior lecturer in Education at St. Patrick’s College with responsibility for designing and co-ordinating learning programs for undergraduate and postgraduate students using a broad range of digital technologies to enable them to understand what being digital in learning can be. She has extensive experience in the theory and practice of digital learning, as well the design and development of sustainable, scalable models of teacher professional development. The TeachNet project, for example which she directs provides professional development and support to teachers in Irish primary and post primary schools to enable them publish online curriculum resources to the wider teaching public. To date the project has published in excess of 500 online curriculum units which are available free of charge through the www.teachnet.ie website. TeachNet has also developed a Learning Blog and a range of online teacher professional development courses. Deirdre has also designed, developed and managed a range of projects and school based initiatives which focus on the creative use of digital technologies (e.g. Empowering Minds, 1998 to date; EduWear 2006-2008, link ).
Deirdre is Chair of the international advisory board for the second phase of Microsoft’s Partners in Learning initiative (MS-PIL 2008-2013). The primary focus of this advisory board is to provide ongoing feedback & input on the PiL initiative and a worldwide perspective on education for this ten-year, $500 million global initiative that supports educators’ use of technology in K-12 schools (link). She is also an advisor to the Innovative Teaching & Learning ITL Research which is a multiyear global research program designed to investigate the factors that promote the transformation of teaching practices & the impact those changes have on students’ learning outcomes across a broad range of country contexts (link). In addition, she is member of the Horizon K12 Advisory Board whose task is to manage the process of researching, discussing, and ultimately, selecting the topics for the annual Horizon Report: K-12 Edition which focuses on emerging technology and its applications to K-12 education. (link)
Building on these experiences Deirdre is currently engaged in a large scale project to support the development of Pre-service and In-Service Teacher Education in Kosovo (Dec 2011 – April 2014) introducing ICT as an instructional medium with a special focus on non-majority communities.