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New Digital Strategy Plan for Schools

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 19/06/2017. New Digital Strategy Plan for SchoolsTags: Education And Politics Teachers

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., today launched the Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 Action Plan 2017.

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 sets out a clear vision to embed ICT in schools to realise the potential of digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning and assessment so that Ireland's young people become engaged thinkers, active learners, knowledge constructors and global citizens to participate fully in society and the economy.

Making this ambition a reality requires targeted and innovative use of technology to enrich teaching, learning and assessment.

Since this plan was launched implementation has been proceeding; the plan launched today is aimed at giving a new impetus to that work.

Today’s plan sketches out in detail, quarter by quarter, the actions to be implemented in 2017 to implement this ambition. It will be followed by annual action plans in 2018, 2019 etc.

Publication of today’s plan is a key action under the government’s Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education and training service the best in Europe within a decade.

Fully harnessing the potential of digital technologies in teaching and learning is a key part of becoming the best education system in Europe.

Key element of the plan include:

  • A new clustering programme, through which schools across the country will collaborate with each other on innovative projects for using digital technology in teaching and learning. This will be an important means of encouraging schools to innovate in this area, and also for the system as a whole to develop new methods

  • A programme of curriculum reforms will see ICT embedded in all emerging curricular specifications and intense preparation for the phased introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject option from 2018 and coding as part of the primary school maths curriculum

  • A new Digital Learning Framework will be trialled in the new school year and will allow schools to evaluate their progress and measure how they stand against benchmarks of highly effective practice of using digital technologies in teaching and learning. Examples of good practice will continue to be captured and shared amongst the teaching community.

  • Provision of a range of professional learning programmes for teachers and school leaders to enable them engage effectively in whole school planning and self-evaluation to support them to embed digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment

  • A full suite of content and exemplars of good practice available through an online portal which will also facilitate the sharing of good practice between teachers.

  • The continuing rollout of a €210million capital investment programme backed by the dissemination of research on best practice in equipment selection, collaboration and technical support

  • A progressive programme of high-speed broadband connectivity

  • New ways of business and industry supporting schools in embedding digital technologies in all aspects of their activities

  • Reviewing policy on the ethical use of the internet and online safety for young people

    Today’s plan is the product of a programme of work in this area undertaken by Minister Bruton after taking office. Having considered the best possible way of progressing policy in this area and implementing the Strategy and its ambitions,

    Minister Bruton convened a half-day round-table discussion in late 2016, attended by industry leaders, academic experts, practicing teachers and school principals as well as policy-makers from the Department and its agencies.

    Following on from that forum, Minister Bruton established an implementation advisory group in this area (membership outlined below) chaired by Professor Brendan Tangney of TCD. This group was tasked with reviewing implementation of the Strategy up to this point, and provide advice on the best means of implementation from here on.

    The plan being published today is the first major output from that group, and will be followed by a 2018 implementation plan to be published at the end of this year.

    Input from key stakeholders including educators, learners and industry has been captured to inform the development of the Action Plan through consultation including at a recent event in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh.

    Source: Press Release


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