Cog Notes: Webwise aims to educate children about online safety

An impressive set of materials is being made available to schools ahead of Safer Internet Day on February 10th

“What did Socrates think would cause young people to be forgetful? (a) writing; (b) skipping; (c) listening to heavy metal music; (d) daydreaming.”

That's the opening question in a quiz about technology through the ages on, part of an impressive set of materials available to schools ahead of Safer Internet Day on February 10th.

Webwise is the internet safety initiative of the Professional Development Service for Teachers. It aims to educate and raise awareness about protecting children online so that they can enjoy the benefits of the internet without compromising their safety and privacy.

This year sees the launch of My Selfie, a new primary school resource that aims to help primary schools meet the requirements of the new anti-bullying procedures. A series of short animations have been created to kickstart discussion about social media. It is aimed at fifth- and sixth-class SPHE students, and is supported by a programme of worksheets and quizzes.


So have you got the answer? “(a) Writing: Socrates famously warned that writing would ‘create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls’,” Webwise notes. “Instead Socrates felt that discussions and talking were necessary to help people understand and remember information.” Think of that next time you tweet or text. teachers/myselfie

This pilot scheme could fly

IT Carlow is putting its best, er, wing forward in the wake of collapsed talks with Waterford IT on a joint bid for university status.

The Carlow institute is cutting the ribbon in the coming weeks on a €500,000 aerospace centre, billed as the only “aircraft maintenance environment” available to third-level students.

The institute’s department of aerospace already boasts a 90 per cent employment rate among graduates.

Tenderfoot helping students take their first steps onstage

The Civic Theatre in Tallaght has played host to a popular apprentice theatre programme for transition-year students since 2007. Now it has brought together a volume of plays "by and for young people", demonstrating the range of talent and creativity in schools.

Tenderfoot comprises 13 plays and three monologues. Inevitably, a common theme is the shadow cast by the dreaded Leaving Cert.

“Everything we’ve done these past three years . . . It was all leading up to these f***ing exams,” writes Tírna McGauley in Weird. “The stressing, the panic attacks. Everything. And now it’s all over? Answer a couple of questions and, what? That’s it, we’re done? I can’t . . . I feel weird, y’know?”

As part of the Tenderfoot programme, the students got to write, design, produce and perform their own plays. The next performances areon January 23rd-24th at the Civic, which plans to share its model nationwide, starting with the Garage Theatre, Monaghan. The volume of plays is for sale at

Top job and top pay for Nixon

Former UCD researcher Prof Paddy Nixon (47) has landed the top job at the newly branded Ulster University (no longer University of Ulster). As vice-chancellor, or chief executive, he will be paid £250,000 plus benefits, making him the highest-paid public official in Northern Ireland.

He holds that position just ahead of Queen's University vice-chancellor Prof Patrick Johnston, who earns a salary of £249,000.

Liverpool-born Nixon taught at TCD as well as Belfield before moving to the University of Tasmania in 2010. He will take up his new post in Coleraine on July 1st.