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€210m investment in digital technology for schools

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 07/10/2015. €210m investment in digital technology for schools Tags: Teachers Education And Politics

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, has announced a €210m investment in digital technology in schools, the largest ever such investment.

The funding will drive the five year Digital Strategy for Schools which the Minister launched today at the Mercy Secondary School in Inchicore, Dublin.  The publication of this Strategy represents the completion of another important Programme for Government commitment.

Speaking at the launch Minister O’Sullivan said, “Giving our students the opportunity to develop 21st century skills is a priority.  Technology is embedded in all aspects of our lives, and is bringing our society new advantages and solutions every day.
“This five year strategy will achieve our goal of allowing all students to develop 21st century skills.  The strategy is backed by the most substantial funding ever made available in this area to make that goal a reality.  The strategy is a comprehensive and coherent roadmap to prepare schools, teachers and students to take advantage of the vital role that technology will play in the years and decades ahead.”

Among the key points of the Digital Strategy are:

  • Dedicated multi-annual funding to schools to invest in technology
  • Build on the successful roll-out of high-speed broadband to every second-level school by investing in high-speed wifi networks in every school
  • Integration of digital skills in the curriculum and in assessment
  • Develop opportunities for students to take an in-depth ICT course at Leaving Cert, as well as embedding digital skills within other subjects
  • Promotion of the use of e-portfolios at primary and post-primary level
  • Provide enhanced digital content to schools, including working with cultural institutions, sporting bodies and other to expand this range of resources
  • Embed ICT skills as part of initial teacher education and ongoing training for teachers
  • Work with stakeholders to promote safe and responsible use of the internet and social media, including providing new resources to schools to better prevent cyber-bullying

The Minister said “I want to encourage all teachers to use technology in the classroom to bring learning to life for students; to give learners the tools to collaborate and to examine engaging problems; to research and analyse information; and to use digital resources to communicate their ideas and to share what they create with others beyond the walls of their classroom or school.”

The Strategy is the result of extensive national and international research. The Strategy involved extensive consultation and reflects the views of education stakeholders including those of students.  It has been developed around four key themes: Teaching, Learning and Assessment using ICT, Teacher Professional Learning, Leadership, Research and Policy and ICT Infrastructure.

The Minister stated "We are at a turning point in the use of technology in teaching and learning.  The technological landscape is unrecognisable from where we were even a decade ago.  Digital technologies are now part of everyday life.  We must equip our learners to be able to live and work in this rapidly changing world.”

Minister White welcomed the announcement, saying “I am delighted that my own Department has been in a position to support the transition to digital technology in teaching and learning through investment in high speed broadband connectivity to every second-level schools. We have already seen the successful rollout of 100Mbps connectivity to some 780 post-primary and special schools with post-primary students, as well as 20 Education Centres.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is delivering access to high-speed broadband to every home, school and business in Ireland by 2020 and we intend to move to formal procurement by end 2015. The combination of commercial and State investment in the NBP will help to provide access to cost-effective, high-speed connectivity to rural primary schools that currently cannot access reliable broadband.”

Source: Press Release



(09-10-2015 12:44)

Great blurb, but will it be another false promise- as soon as the election is over?


(08-10-2015 09:22)

7th October 2015 - Press Release

Digital Schools of Distinction welcomes the launch of the Governments new Digital Strategy for Schools

Digital Schools of Distinction today welcomed the launch of the Governments new Digital Strategy for Schools action plan.

Launched by the Minister for Education and Skills Jan OSullivan, the Digital Strategy for Schools sets out a five year programme to maximise the effective use of digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning and assessment at primary and post primary level.

The strategy recognises Digital Schools of Distinction as an integral part of the Governments overall plan to integrate technology into the classroom.

Commenting on the launch of the strategy, Martin Murphy, MD of HP Ireland said: We are pleased that Digital Schools of Distinction has been recognised in the launch of the Governments Digital Strategy for Schools. We will continue to work with our partners in the education sector to roll out the programme across Ireland to tackle the digital divide and give every student the technology skills they need in todays connected world.

The Digital Schools of Distinction is a flagship award programme which promotes, recognises and encourages best practice use of technology in primary schools. The programme is supported by HP and Microsoft in Ireland.

Half of Irish primary schools a total of 1,600 schools have already signed up to become Digital Schools of Distinction. The programme aims to sign up a further 400 schools during the academic year 2015/16. Plans are in place to roll out the programme in Northern Ireland at the end of this year.

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