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First LONG day of travel.

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Our first day of travel is about to come to a close. We have been in transit since 1:00p.m. on May 20th till now, May 21st at 5:37 p.m. (Irish time) and are just taking care of a few little odds and ends before we gather together for dinner.

So far things have gone very well. The trip to JFK went smoothly and the flight to Shannon airport went well. We had a short 45 minute delay, but it helped once we got to Ireland as we started our day here at about 7:00 a.m. Irish time.

We traveled to see the Cliffs of Moher as well and a number of other sightseeing stops until we finally made it to Galway where we will be spending the night.

While we have had spots of rain, the weather as a whole has been brilliant! The student have been excited and energized despite the number of hours we have been traveling.

Our driver, Rory O’Connor, has once again come through with a great coach equipped with tables that the students have taken to sitting around to play games as we drive the narrow Irish roads.

We have been able to keep in good communications through our Twitter posts and have just recently posted a gallery of images from our travels so far.

Look for more updates as we continue. Again, thanks to Rory, we have a broadband modem card that should provide us with Internet access from any locations, though we will be putting that to the test when we enter Northern Ireland (UK).

Keep checking back as we post more content here, to Twitter, Flickr and our YouTube channel.

Preparing for our trip, and a NEW Irish Studies Website

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

As we enter the Spring and the month of May quickly approaches there is a growing sense of excitement for the upcoming trip.  Our Tuesday evening classes are buzzing with questions and excitement and chaperones and students are counting the days till we board the bus to JFK airport.

Class lessons continue on Irish history, The Famine, politics (both past and present) and emigration. Readings from the text(s), web sites, articles and letters help better inform students about where they will be working and studying, what they will be seeing and experiencing while travel through the Emerald Isle.

This year students will be using social media tools to tell the story of the Irish journey.  As they prepare for the trip, students are reviewing the web sites from previous years. This year, they will be applying lessons learned and using some exciting new tools to share their stories online in our revamped Irish Studies website.

wordpress_logoA WordPress weblog will be used as the foundation for the site. The blog will host posting from each of the areas of studies in which we will be working, along with posts from chaperones and students about the trip.

We will be using Twitter to “micro-blog” about the trip, providing short text message like updates. Followers will be able to visit the blog and view the posts on the site, view our Twitter page ( or “follow” our Twitter feed from their own Twitter application.

YouTube and Flickr with be used to share out videos and images with our audience. You will be able to visit the trip’s site to view these item or you can view our Youtube channel ( or our Flickr Photostream (

The changes to the format of the site are designed provide for more authentic authorship of the students work and to invite comments and dialog about their work. It provides a true opportunity to be “published” authors and contribute to the online Irish Studies knowledge base.

For more information and detail on our use of these social media tools and the change in format check out: and explore the pages and posts there.