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'Digital Schools of Distinction' aim for 750 new schools

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 21/10/2014. 'Digital Schools of Distinction' aim for 750 new schoolsTags: Education And Politics Teachers

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD yesterday launched the second year of Digital Schools of Distinction’ and highlighted ambitious plans to grow the number of schools participating in the flagship award programme which promotes, recognises and encourages best practice use of technology in primary schools.

The programme is supported by HP Ireland and Microsoft Ireland who have confirmed that they will support the programme with €200,000 in funding for its second year.
More than one in three Irish primary schools – a total of 1,100 schools - signed up to become ‘Digital Schools of Distinction’, in the first full school year of the programme. The programme aims to sign up a further 750 schools during this academic year.

137 schools have already been awarded Digital School of Distinction status and it is expected that a further 300 schools will be awarded during this academic year. Plans are also in place to expand the programme into Northern Ireland and the UK in 2015. 

Primary schools who achieve Digital Schools of Distinction status this year will receive a range of ICT supports, including free printing for a year via a HP OfficeJet Pro printer and a monthly printing allowance of 250 colour pages and 2,500 black and white pages; Microsoft software andeducational apps as well as technical support and access to education ICT specialists.

In a survey of 300 Irish primary schools who have registered to take part in the programme, access to high speed broadband, IT maintenance, support and funding were identified as the major obstacles to integrating ICT in the classroom.

Other findings from the research included:

  •  Primary school teachers were virtually unanimous (98%)  that ICT used in teaching is necessary to help prepare students to live and work in the 21st century
  • 80% strongly agreed that ICT used in teaching has a positive impact on student motivation

  • 75% of teachers agreeing that Digital Schools of Distinction has created momentum in innovative and effective use of ICT tools by teachers
  • 84% said that the programme has helped their school to focus more on ICT usage to support curriculum objectives

    For further information and to register online visit

    Article Source: Press Release


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