Claire Conneely, Director
As Director at Bridge21, Claire Conneely brings together her love of learning, technology and teaching. With a deep interest in educational reform, ‘innovation’ and ‘collaborative learning’ are phrases and practices she holds close. She has been involved with the programme since its inception in 2007 and has played a key role in the growth of the organisation and the development of its educational model over the last 5 years.
A Music Education graduate, Claire has a wealth of experience teaching Music at primary and secondary level, as well as private instrumental tuition. Her interest in technology and its role in transforming learning grew during the Masters in IT in Education, which she received in 2007 from Trinity College Dublin. Keen to continue her research interests, Claire is now embarking on the long journey of a PhD at the Centre for Research in IT in Education.
“I can see the impact the learning experience has had on students. It brings out a creative side in them, engages them in real problem-solving, and, most importantly, they learn how to work and interact with people their own age.”
Kevin Sullivan, Programme Co-ordinator
Kevin Sullivan is Bridge21’s resident superhero (or so the students like to call him). As Programme Co-ordinator, he puts the teams coming through the magical doors of Oriel House through their learning paces, all with a helpful and fun twist.
Starting initially as a volunteer mentor, then as assistant, Kevin now leads the Bridge2College programme, co-ordinating school visits and ably assisted by the super team of volunteer mentors. His day job is so much fun he refuses to leave.
Kevin is a DIT graduate in Applied Sciences and has previously worked in the Computer Science and software sectors.
“I love my job. I get to meet great people and have lots of fun. The fact that it feels worthwhile and helps others is a bonus.”
Ciarán Bauer, Programme Manager
Having spent the last twenty years working in the IT industry, Ciarán has recently moved into the educational sector and joined Bridge21 as Programme Manager in early 2012. As a former company director and shareholder of Abacus Systems based in Dublin, his role encompassed a wide range of duties including administration, marketing, training and finance.
Ciarán was a volunteer mentor with Bridge21 since Sept 2010. During that time, he took an active lead on many workshop activities, so he certainly knows the ropes of the learning model and programme. He also worked as a substitute teacher in one of our partner schools (CBS Westland Row) for the past two years.
Late last year Ciarán joined Donabate & Portrane Educate Together National School, Board of Management as Chairperson and looks forward to a challenging and rewarding relationship with the school, long into the future. He is also a big baseball fan (one of the few in Ireland) and looks forward every year to following his beloved Red Sox all the way to the World Series.
Ciarán is a keen and passionate advocate for radical reform in Irish education. He is a first year postgraduate student on the M.Sc. in Technology & Learning at Trinity College Dublin.
“To be involved in education is a long sought after dream, but, to be here in Bridge21 at the cutting edge of change in education is a dream come true .”
Brendan Tangney, Academic Director
Bridge21′s Academic Director is Brendan Tangney. He is a fellow of Trinity College Dublin and a senior lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Statistics. He is co-director of Trinity’s Centre for Research in IT In Education and former course director of the M.Sc. in Technology &Learning, both of which are collaborations between the School of Education and the School of Computer Science and Statistics. He is a recipient of a Provost’s Teaching Award for excellence and innovation in teaching and learning, is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Computers & Education and the AACE Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching and is Treasurer of the International Association for Mobile Learning.
His prime research interest is in how technology can be used to assist in creating authentic learning experiences in which, in the words of the poet Gibran, the teacher “does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” To this end the Socratic observation “that asking questions is teaching” is his guiding principle.
“Bridge21 brings together the best in technology mediated learning, collaboration and innovative teaching strategies to offer a pragmatic alternative to our current content-overloaded and ‘learn to the test’ focused school system.”