The grand finale of the REBEL project, generously supported by Erasmus +, unfolded in front of a distinguished gathering on February 28th, 2023, at the DCU Alpha campus in Dublin. The final conference aimed to shine a spotlight on the project’s intellectual outputs, encompassing case study research, a practitioner training program, a blended learning toolkit, an evaluation framework, and a MOOC.
Setting the stage for this momentous occasion was an enticing promo video, thoughtfully shared with participants prior to the event, providing a glimpse into the immersive experience that awaited them.
The conference commenced with a comprehensive overview by the project coordinator, Anthony Kilcoyne. PDST Technology in Education (PDST TiE), delving into the funding objectives and project goals. This session ensured that attendees were grounded in the collective vision that propelled the project activity.
Distinguished keynote speaker Professor Charoula Angeli then took centre stage, captivating the audience with an insightful exploration of the lessons garnered from the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The speaker shed light on the intricacies of emergency remote teaching and learning experiences, intertwining them with the captivating lens of culturally responsive blended learning. By doing so, the keynote speaker shed new light on the potential impact these concepts hold on our understanding of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) model.
Following this enthralling opening, participants were treated to a presentation unveiling the compelling findings derived from the case study research. The exploration of these findings not only provided valuable insights into the present landscape but also offered a glimpse into the future implications that they hold for educational practices.
The stage was then handed over to Ulster University, presenting on the practitioner training program. This program, developed within the confines of the REBEL project, introduced an innovative professional learning framework.
Niall Larkin of PDST TiE subsequently provided a comprehensive overview of the open-access teacher toolkit, designed to facilitate the seamless integration of blended learning practices into classrooms. This toolkit, an invaluable resource emerging from the REBEL project, promises to equip educators with the necessary tools to navigate blended learning implementation.
As the afternoon session unfolded, a vibrant series of workshops were facilitated by teachers hailing from Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as one on the practitioner training program at UCY facilitated by Professor Charula Angeli. These narratives, steeped in real-world encounters, illuminated the practitioner training program.