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New tool to help schools improve Digital Capability

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 14/09/2017. New  tool to help schools improve Digital CapabilityTags: Education And Politics Teachers

The Minister for Education & Skills, Mr Richard Bruton T.D. has announced that the Digital Learning Framework for schools is being made available to all primary and post primary schools from today.

The Framework provides a roadmap to help schools manage the transformation of teaching and learning as a result of new digital technologies.

The framework will:

  • Help schools and individual teachers to plan how to upskill to realise the potential of digital technologies

  • Provide for internal and external evaluation of how digital technologies are being embedded across all aspects of school activity

  • Support planning in areas like literacy, numeracy and STEM which require a cross-curricular focus.

The Department will also be seeking a sample of 50 schools to take part in a new trial of the framework. Those schools chosen will receive targeted professional development supports to enable them to fully embrace and engage with digital technologies.

This trial will help refine the Framework so that it can best assist schools to realise the potential of digital technologies. Once learnings from the trial have been incorporated into the framework, the framework will be refined and fully implemented across all schools and teacher education programs. The tool in its current format is still available to schools not participating in the trial to use as they see fit in the meantime.

The Framework complements and supports a range of curricular reforms now underway in both primary and post primary schools including the key skills at Junior Cycle and the planned introduction of Computer Science as a Senior Cycle subject in 2018. A new primary mathematics curriculum is also being developed and it will include elements of computational thinking.

The Implementation Advisory Group, which is led by the Minister, was established to drive forward reforms in how technology is used and taught in the Irish education system has advised on the Framework.

In encouraging schools to avail of this unique opportunity, the Minister noted:

“There is no avoiding the fact that new technology is revolutionising the way our young people access information and the careers they are likely to have in the future. Ensuring that our education system responds to these changes is key to achieving my overall ambition to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe within a decade.

Developing creative thinking and problem-solving skills is absolutely critical if children are to reach and achieve their potential. In particular, their ability to think critically and to develop solutions in the digital world will be vital for their prospects in life. We want to ensure that Ireland is well placed to take advantage of the digital revolution which is taking place. A number of actions in the Action Plan for Education 2017 and the Digital Strategy for Schools emphasize our commitment in this area. The launch of this Framework is one of those actions and I encourage all schools to engage with it and put themselves forward for the trial to improve it.

School management will have to provide leadership if we are to achieve our goal of embedding digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment. The Digital Learning Framework for Schools is intended to guide teachers and schools through this process, to mediate and enable this positive transformation, and to build on the valuable work already achieved in this area.

Further information is available here.

Expressions of interest form is available here.



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