Philip Penny

Since 2004 I have worked as a researcher on projects at National, European and International level. Currently, my core work is researcher/main contact on Erasmus+ projects. Periodic Assistant Tutor work on the Applied Psychology course 2007-2009. Between 2011 and 2014 I helped develop the School in a Box project.


CYPSY21: 21st. Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy + Social Networking Conference. Abstract accepted on ‘Empathy and Willingness to help Visually Impaired people in Ireland”. By creating a Virtual Reality (VR) experience which safely recreates visual impairments we argue that people who experience low-vision using VR New Media Technologies (VRNMT) will have more empathy towards people with low-vision over those who have not used VRNMT.2016
Barceona, Spain, iPro Survey Results and Analysis presented during the synergy track at the EDEN conference in Zagreb.2015
Presented papers at European Distance + eLearning Network (EDEN) annual conference 2014 + 2015. iPro project, Zagreb, Croatia. iPro project. 2014
I contributed to the study 'Mapping and Analysing Prospective Technologies for Learning' (MATEL) This publication is a Scientific and Policy Report by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, carried out by the MENON Network.2014
School in a Box Providing a whole-class learning solution in developing countries. This article was also published in a book launched at a gathering in August in Mauritius of Commonwealth Ministers2013
School in a Box. Solar Powered Modern ICTs Transforming Multigrade Schools in Rural sub-Saharan Africa into Twenty First Century Learning Spaces. 2nd. Southern African Conference on Multi-grade Education, (2012) Paarl, South Africa.2012
Barton, H., Horn, C, Penny, P. + Riordan, M. (2008, July). Collaborative Group Podcasts in Psychology: Reflections and Reactions from Students. Paper presented at the Third International Teaching in Psychology conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. 2008
Barton, H., Horn, C, Penny, P. + Riordan, M. (2008, June). Collaborative Group Podcasts in Psychology: Reflections and Reactions from Students. Poster presented at the Psychology Learning and Teaching Network Conference (PLAT) in Bath, England.2008
Barton, H, Horn, C., Penny, P. + Riordan, M. (2008, May). Collaborative Group Podcasts in Psychology: Students as architects of content, does it work? Paper presented at EDTECH Conference in Dundalk. 2008
Published author: “Mobile Learning – A Practical Guide” (ISBN 978-963-9698-15-4)
Barton, H.,Penny,P.+ Riordan,M.(2007,June). Podcasting + Mobile Learning: A pedagogic tool for social inclusion in education for students with dyslexia. Paper presented at EDEN Conference in Naples, Italy. 2007
Penny, P. + Barton,H. (2007, June) Podcasting as Assistive Technologies. Poster presented at CELT teaching and learning conference in NUI Galway. 2007
Podcasting as an Mlearning Approach, Riordan,M., Barton,H. et Keegan,D.(Ed).Mobile Learning a Practical Guide.(2006). Budapest: Aula Press. 2006


  • Africa Ireland Forum 2012 and 2013 (Dublin).
  • Presenting and showcasing School in a Box UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2013 (Paris) showcasing SIAB on Stand.

Research projects

I am researcher/main contact on the following five most recent EU projects:
Y-NEX 2015 – 2017 is one of two current Erasmus+ project IADT are involved in. HRT is the National Television and Radio Broadcaster in Croatia and the lead partner on Y-NEX. The unemployment rate for youth in the EU under the age of 25 is at staggering 22.9%. Such extreme unemployment has a negative effect on their future employability and self-esteem, increasing their risk of poverty, deskilling and social exclusion. It affects the role the young people have in the society and presents an economic burden on state finances, producing a negative effect on economic growth and productivity. As one of the key issues in the EU, youth unemployment is often discussed without sufficient participation of the young people themselves, which adds to the feeling among the youth that their situation is given, and that the causes and the scale of the problem are too great and too far removed from their sphere of influence. This feeling prevalent among the youth, and the tendency to focus on the negative, leads to a loss of motivation and active participation in the society. The main objectives of the project are to develop a new training program and MOOC in mobile journalism. The program will consist of six modules: 1) Media Literacy and Human Rights; 2) Mobile Journalism Technology; 3) Mobile Journalism Storytelling; 4) Mobile Journalism Production and 5) Intellectual Property Rights.

T+D STORIES 2015 – 2017 is the second current Erasmus+ projects IADT is involved in. T+D stories aims to support adult educators by developing teaching/training programmes and pedagogical materials to support three different groups; 1) underprivileged communities; 2) people with disabilities and 3) migrants. The first group consist of young, poor adults, who, for economical or sociological reasons had to leave their educational paths. The second group – deaf people, due to lack of oral communication with the (hearing) others, they preferably shut themselves in clubs and associations solely for the deaf, thus maintaining their own identity and culture but at the same time deepening isolation and increasing the distance from mainstream life. The third group – migrants, due to many cultural differences migrants are in danger of being treated far below their value as potential community members. They cannot express their skills and potential in the new society, they cannot enter it in a full, normal way, so they remain in a bad position in all social relationships – from contacts with neighbours to a place in a job market. This applies to migrants entering new countries and societies but also those who come back to their homelands after long emigration and have to re-enter their own old/new society.

iProfessional 2013 – 2015 IADT were a partner on the iProfessional project which ran from 2013 to 2015. The aim of iPro was to set up a pilot collaboration between HEIs and VET providers in 8 European countries to investigate the potential for a closer collaboration between the world of interactive media the arts design business and the higher and further education institutions for Media and Arts Design Studies. The collaboration focused on the detection of possible skills and competences mismatches between education and the professional world and will consequently put in place a pilot mechanism to address this mismatch by designing and piloting a curriculum design framework for use in this specific sector.

The aim of iPro was to build, test and then distribute a research based model framework to assist the Education sector and especially VET and the Higher Education Institutions to match, in a digital way, the curriculum of their students in Media and Arts Studies with the professional requirements expressed by the international community of media and arts businesses. This framework will demonstrate its effectiveness and quality in a series of pilots projects in the participating HEIs, as well as in other institutions that express their interest. *Note: Aspects of iPro such as the mobile learning modules jointly developed between IADT and Telecentar (Zagreb) underpinned the successful Y-NEX bid mentioned above.

DICE 2013 – 2015 IADT were also a partner on Digital Inclusion Champions in Europe (DICE). DICE ran from 2013 to 2015 and was a transfer of innovation from mentioned above. The DICE consortium was made up of five partners two from Ireland (IADT and the National Council of the Blind of Ireland), Poland, Belgium and Bulgaria.

The main aim of DICE is to help people with disabilities build the digital literacy skills needed to transition from VET centre training to mainstream education and employment by creating an online community based on a peer support model, promoted and sustained by Digital Inclusion Champions. DICE transfers innovation from a previous Leonardo project, Gateway, using online content on assistive technologies aimed at people with disabilities, educators and employers. It adds social media and user-generated content to create a dynamic community of peer support relationships within and across stakeholder groups – people with disabilities, VET digital skills trainers, mainstream educators and employers.

M-TRAINING 2011 – 2013 IADT were a partner on mTraining which ran from 2011 to 2013. The main objective of the mTraining project was to transfer innovative mobile Performance Support System (mPSS) methodology to the area of e-business in Poland, Bulgaria, Spain and Ireland to develop the E-business Mobile Training Methodology (EMTM) on its foundations. The mPSS was designed, developed, evaluated and implemented within the frames of Leonardo DOI project that ended in 2010. mPSS presents m-learning as a form of performance support system for educational and training purposes and can be easily adapted to the needs of future and present e-business managers.

School in a Box 2011 – Present My research on School in a Box (SIAB) began in 2011 when I produced a White Paper. I was appointed lead researcher on SIAB in August, 2012. In 2014 I was asked to shift my focus to the European projects more but continue to help out on SIAB when needed. Below is a list of key presentations, milestones and contacts linked to the development of SIAB between 2011 and 2014.


  • White Paper produced describing School in a Box (SIAB) core elements and concept.
  • I worked with Cape Peninsula University of Technology and submitted a joint funding proposal to USAID for a project in rural South Africa.
  • I performed user testing of SIAB in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
  • SIAB presented to David Coltart Zimbabwean minister for Education, Arts and Culture at Apple Headquarters, Paris.
  • SIAB presented to UNESCO (EFA) division at Apple Headquarters, Paris.
  •  UNESCO agree to fund SIAB deployment in Mozambique. • SIAB presented to the Director General of Basic Education in South Africa (Bobby Soobrayan) at the South African embassy in Paris.
  • SIAB presented to GEMS Education at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.


  • David Coltart Zimbabwean minister for Education, Arts and Culture video interview endorsing SIAB.
  • Defined and developed training course for SIAB Nepal deployment in consultation with Apple trainer David Bough.
  • After a number of iterations VigaSolar agree to supply SIAB solar hardware solution. VigaSolar also agree to supply Pico Projector.
  • SIAB presented to Agence Universitaire De La Francophile (NGO) operating in a number of sub Saharan African countries at Apple Headquarters in Paris.
  • SIAB presented to the Department of Foreign Affairs/Irish Aid in Dublin.
  • SIAB presented via online conference link to the Irish Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique from the DFA/Irish Aid offices in Dublin.
  • SIAB co-presented with Dr Annie Doona on RTE Radio 1 Morning Ireland. Mozambique, Maputo DFA/Irish Aid presentations The following is a list of SIAB presentations that took place in Maputo, Mozambique in 2012:
  • Irish Aid and 10 NGO's active in Mozambique at the Irish Embassy in Maputo.
  • Ruairi De Burca - Irish ambassador in Mozambique.
  • Subarao Venkata Head of Adult Literacy in UNESCO at the UNESCO Headquarters, Maputo, Mozambique.
  • Final agreement reached on details surrounding UNESCO funding of SIAB in Mozambique.
  • The Ministry for Education in Maputo, Mozambique. • The Aga Khan Foundation in Maputo, Mozambique.
  •  Invalco (large investment company in Maputo) who constructed the largest private hospital in Mozambique.
  • The Clinton Foundation (Ruairi de Burca) contact.
  • UNESCO Round Table Literacy Conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
  • Ethiopian Embassy in Dublin.


  • UNESCO Mobile Learning Week - SIAB paper delivered and SIAB showcased at UNESCO headquarter in Paris.
  • SIAB presented to president of Ireland Michael D. Higgins at UNESCO Mobile Learning Week at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
  • SIAB presented under (ICTs track) and showcased at the African Ireland Forum in UCD.
  • SIAB presented to Niall Quinn QSat at the African Ireland Forum in UCD
  • David Mendels deploys SIAB in Indonesia after lengthy consultations with IADT.
  • SIAB presented to UNESCO's mobile learning team headed by Steve Vosloo at Apple Headquarters in Paris.
  • SIAB presented to the African Development Bank at the Apple Developers Tour in London.
  • Apple Cupertino make contact to film SIAB in Nepal.
  • SIAB presented to Teach For India in Chennai, India.
  • Master Card SIAB funding proposal submitted after presentation at Apple developers tour in London.
  • SIAB training begins with key people from the Ministry of Education (Train the Trainer) in Maputo, Mozambique.
  • Second trip to India was to present SIAB to marketing executives from Apple Cupertino and to film SIAB in use in schools in Mumbai and Delhi. The filming was under the direction of Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern the Oscar winning cinematographer on the film Gravity. The purpose of the filming was the possible inclusion of SIAB on Apples worldwide website showing innovative educational use.

2013 to 2016

SIAB continuing research is linked to a challenge for SIAB set by the Ministry of Education in Mozambique in 2012 “can SIAB save lives?” Kauxique Maganial head of ICT in MZ Ministry of Ed. asked, could SIAB be used to overcome language barriers in MZ. I suggested Animation as a medium could be used to convey information about best practice for local (rural) people in Mozambique surrounding Malaria prevention education and that IADT specialise in Animation etc.

This challenge was taken up by Applied Psychology student Lorraine Gannon and Dr John Greaney (lecturer) in November 2013. Students are afforded the opportunity to base their Website and Information Technology projects on a real world issue. The following is taken from Lorraine’s thesis: “Philip Penny is a Researcher at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire (IADT), School In A Box (SIAB) Mozambique project, presented the challenge proffered to him (SIAB, 2016). “Educating our children through SIAB is all well and good however how can SIAB help our children to survive, can it save lives in order to be educated, can it educate people about Malaria prevention” (Kauxique Maganial - Head of ICT for Education in Mozambique, Mozambique personal communication with Philip Penny, (14-08-2012)”.


Media + Learning Conference (steering committee member)2016/15/14/13/12/11/10
Filmbase Virtual Reality Experiment – VR-The Empathy Making Machine: Empathy and Willingness to Help Vision Impaired People in Ireland.2016
MoJoCon – Mobile Journalism Conference2015/16
Leargas invitation to attend - The Challenge of Teaching Entrepreneurship in Education and Training. Erasmus+ Joint Nordic Contact Seminar – Copenhagen 24-27 November2015
Telecentre Annual Conference2014/15
EDEN (European Distance and E-Learning Network) conference to disseminate EU project information2007/11/12/14/15
EdTech Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) 2012/14


MEDEA:EU 2007 to Present: An important area of my research that helps keep me abreast of the latest developments in the use of media in education and training is linked to the Media + Learning Conference, the Media + Learning Association and the MEDEA Awards. I have been a member of the MEDEA Awards panel of judges since the awards were launched in 2007 and a member of the Media + Learning Conference (M+LC) steering committee since its inception in 2008/9. I have attended M+LC (moderating/working) each year since 2010 at the Flemish Ministry of Education in Brussels and have built many contacts expanding my network across Europe. In particular strong links have been forged between IADT and Telecentre Europe + Telecentar Zagreb Croatia who have recently partnered with the Media + Learning Association. The iPro and Y-NEX projects mentioned above are a result of these links. The lead partner on Y-NEX is HRT Croatia Radio and Television.

MEDEA:EU in 2007 IADT was a member of a core group who founded the MEDEA Awards. The MEDEA Awards is a competition that was launched in November 2007 with the aim to encourage innovation and good practice in the use of media (audio, video, graphics and animation) in education. The awards also recognise and promote excellence in the production and pedagogical design of media-rich learning resources. Several members of the MEDEA Organising Committee formed a partnership to submit the MEDEA:EU proposal for the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), Key Activity 4 (Dissemination and exploitation of results) which was approved in 2008. MEDEA:EU was a European Commission supported project that aimed to enhance, strengthen and complement the European dimension of the MEDEA Awards.

MEDEA2020 IADT were also a key partner on the MEDEA2020 (2010-2012). The MEDEA Organising Committee submitted a proposal (which was approved in 2010) to the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), Key Activity 4 (Dissemination and exploitation of results of the programme). This proposal built on and further exploited the work of the MEDEA Awards. MEDEA2020 expanded the reach of the awards to include Italian, Spanish and Polish speaking practitioners. MEDEA2020 also organised a series of workshops in educational media production in France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Ireland. MEDEA2020 also supported the organisation of the annual international conference on Media + Learning. Another outcome of the MEDEA2020 project was the establishment of the Media + Learning Association.

MEDIA + LEARNING ASSOCIATION IADT are a founding member of the Media + Learning Association (M+LA). From 2015 onwards M+LA have provided support for the MEDEA Awards that began in 2007. The Media + Learning Association or its full name the MEDEA: MEDIA + LEARNING ivzw is an international, not-for-profit association to promote and stimulate the use of media as a way to enhance innovation and creativity in teaching and learning across all levels of education in Europe. Since the start of 2015, the Media + Learning Association has taken over the management of the annual Media + Learning Conference which is organised in collaboration with the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training and the European Commission. The association is also responsible for the organisation of the annual MEDEA Awards. Membership of M+LA provides a secure environment where IADT can explore opportunities to collaborate with other members on EU project bid proposals surrounding the creative industries and educational space where new media literacy tools can be exploited.