Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore was the venue for the launch of the Digital Strategy for Schools. The location was well chosen as the hosting students demonstrated their high levels of comfort around effective use of technologies and ability to discuss same. Shauna Finnegan spoke eloquently of her experience of ICT and 21st Century learning in the school. I was struck when she said that the school had started its journey eight years ago – long before she was a student – reminding all present that transformation and integration do not happen overnight.
The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 has been a number of years in gestation. The strategy development process has involved research, consultation, analysis and actions. The four themes are:
- 1. Teaching, Learning and Assessment using ICT
- 2. Teacher Professional Learning
- 3. Leadership, Research and Policy
- 4. ICT Infrastructure
The timescale for the strategy is five years. The headline attracting much attention is the amount of money being set aside for the delivery of the strategy – €210 million with €30 million in the first year (2016-2017) and ‘rising to €50 million a year towards the end of the strategy’. €210 million is available in total. No indication of how the distribution of the monies to the schools would be undertaken.
There is much to read in the strategy and as it will drive everything in the coming five years, it is a highly recommended read for all who will be involved in its delivery.
You can view/download the Digital Strategy for Schools at https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/Digital-Strategy-for-Schools-2015-2020.pdf