Athlone IT academics win prestigious awards at annual PATT38 Global Technology Conference

Academics from Athlone Institute of Technology and members of the Technology Education Research Group (TERG ) won prestigious awards at the PATT38 Conference virtually hosted by the University of Turku, Rauma Campus in Finland.

The AIT academics and members of the TERG group received a variety of prestigious awards including the award for best paper, which was presented to Dr Jeffrey Buckley, assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Niall Seery, director of the AIT-LIT technological university project and director of TERG, and Tomás Hyland, postgraduate researcher in AIT.

The winning conference paper, ‘Examining the replicability of contemporary technology education research’ discusses the replication crisis in research and the necessity to adopt appropriate methodological and reporting practices to ensure trust in published results. As there is currently scarce discussion on replicability in technology education, the study served to instigate this type of consideration for research in this space.

The award for best presentation was presented to AIT postgraduate researcher and TERG member Clodagh Reid and AIT academics Dr Jeffrey Buckley and Dr Rónán Dunbar. Their presentation investigated the effect of engineering students’ spatial ability and expertise on general complex problem-solving. Dr Rónán Dunbar was also awarded the award for conference engagement.

Commenting on the success of the AIT and TERG delegation, Dr Ronan Dunbar noted that the awards recognition confirmed the efforts of those involved to make positive contributions to technology development.

“We were delighted and very proud to receive these awards from our international peers in technology education research. It highlights and confirms the efforts of the group to make meaningful contributions to the development of technology education through our research activities, not only nationally but also on an international stage,” Dr Dunbar remarked.

“It was great to see the main agenda of TERG to progress and challenge thinking around teaching, learning and assessment in technological education being recognised on an international stage. I am very proud of the contributions that the members of TERG visibly made at the PATT conference that shows how we strive to push beyond state-of-the-art thinking in our field,” Dr Niall Seery, Director of the TERG research group, added.

TERG aspires to have an international impact on the advancement and provision of technology education at all levels of education. The nature of research activities within TERG is varied. The group conducts basic research, use-inspired basic research, and applied research in the context of technology education in areas such as human intelligence, development, and cognition, technology-enhanced learning, and pedagogical content knowledge.

More than 60 HEIs with delegates spanning over 15 countries took park in the virtual annual conference organised by PATT (Pupils Attitudes Towards Technology ), an international community of technology education colleagues (researchers, teacher educators, and teachers ) who are interested in educational research as support to developments in technology teaching.

The conference theme was ‘Technology in our hands - Creative pedagogy and ambitious teacher education’, with world-leading publications presented by the global audience aiming to highlight the contemporary view of human cognition being ultimately based on bodily experiences.

In technology education, this implies the acknowledgment of the importance of physical objects, experiences, and activities in the creation and application of technology.


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