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Patrick McGrath

Patrick McGrath is the founder and Managing Partner of iTeach, a non-profit organization based in Belfast, UK that helps implement iPads into the classroom. Patrick is driven by a passion for the change that technology can bring to education. A technologist by qualification, he focuses exclusively on bringing effective technology into the classroom by training teachers and educators. A STEM ambassador and Apple Education Mentor, Patrick specializes in the iPad in the classroom, and has managed a significant number of 1:1 school programs throughout the UK and Ireland.

Q & A with Patrick McGrath

If you weren't in education, what do you think you'd be doing and why?

I am a technologist by trade - not an educator, but my passion has always been for how those two areas mix and how using technology effectively can and does make a massive impact on education. With those two in mind and the passion I feel for both, I would always be led back to a combination of the two.

When you were a kid, you wanted to be a ______? Why?

When I was young, I only ever wanted to be an astronaut - I was enthused about the exploration aspect and at that time the possibility of visiting alien life!

What's your idea of happiness?

Being surrounded by a healthy family. There is no greater joy in life that that.

Twitter changed my life because:

It provided an instant way to extend my knowledge, and a platform to exchange ideas that never before existed.

What are your favorite books and authors?

I am not a big fiction fan, but I do compulsively read biographys - mainly business and science.

The teacher who had the biggest impact on me and why:

My P4 (when I was 8 years old) teacher, Mrs Gawn - she encouraged me endlessly that I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it. That has stayed with me forever.

If you were dictator and had total control, tomorrow education would:

Put technology into the hands of every child

If you could live anywhere other than where you are, it would be:

Right here. Ireland has had its share of problems in the past, but the people are the warmest and friendliest around.

The biggest problem with K-12 education is:

Certainly in the UK and Ireland, bureaucracy, and the constant emphasis on exam results as the only measure of achievement.

Do you have a motto you live by?

Its a cliche, but Carpe Diem - seize the day. There is no greater way in my opinion than to leave your life foe the moment and the here and now.

I've always wanted to visit:

Red Square in Russia - the history and architecture fascinates me.

What are your most treasured possessions?

The things that mean most to me are my wife and daughter. I donít put much stock in physical possessions - experiences are what matter most to me.

If you never had to worry about making money, what would you do?

I am fortunate that I run my organization as a non profit. It does not need to make money, it just needs to enable change. It is right where I want to be.

What kind of kid were you in high school?

If I am honest - lazy yet popular. Lazy about school work. I had the smarts but never the motivation.

What's the best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

Reach for the stars and you will touch them. From my father