In early January Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills, announced he is investing €30m in ICT infrastructure grants for primary and post-primary schools. This announcement markets the start of the €210 million Digital Strategy for Schools.
Minister Bruton was delighted to confirm that the Digital Strategy ICT Infrastructure grant would be worth approximately €4000 for every 100 pupils and around €11,000 for 500 pupils at primary level. At post-primary level, it is estimated that it is worth €15,000 for a 500 student school and over €27,000 for 1,000 student school.
The funding will support the development and implementation of an eLearning Plan for each school to embed ICT in teaching and learning.
Examples of what can be purchased with this funding are:
1. Teaching computers/shared student computers. These may include desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or hybrid devices.
2. Projectors including short throw or ultra-short throw, long throw, interactive, or interactive flat screens (IFS).
3. Cloud based tools and applications to support learning.
4. Learning platforms – these are generally cloud based applications used to support the teaching and learning process.
Minister Bruton said:
“No matter what career a young person contemplates, there is one thing for sure, digital technology is revolutionising it. We can already see the agents of change – cloud, mobile, social and the internet of things.”
“For the generation of children recently born, creative thinking and problem-solving skills will be absolutely key to how they develop in reach and achieve their potential. In particular, their ability to think critically and develop solutions in the digital world will be vital for their prospects in life.”
“Our Digital Strategy for Schools sets out a clear vision that is focussed on realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the learning experiences of students. While we are introducing coding and computer science into the curriculum, we must also invest in the ICT infrastructure of our schools. That is why we are making €30m in ICT grants available to schools in the coming weeks. In the next five years we will invest €210m in our schools.”
Further information about the terms applying to this funding are available at Circular 0001/2017 – Grant Scheme
Development and Implementation of an eLearning Plan
LCDL can support you in the development and implementation of an eLearning Plan for your school.
The following ‘school self-evaluation’ type questions should assist school in the process:
1. What is your current vision for teaching, learning and assessment in your school?
2. In what areas are we achieving this vision?
3. In what areas can we improve over the next 5 years
If you would like to discuss how ICDL can assist you in answering these questions, just contact us today.
Plans include ICDL ICT Bundle – Covers both the new and fundamental skills your students need to study and work.
Notes to Editor
The rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €22.20 per mainstream pupil in primary schools, with additional per capita payments for pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special Schools. At post-primary, the rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €31.90 per student, with an additional per capita payment for students in DEIS schools. The grant is worth approximately €4,000 for a 100 pupil school and approximately €11,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary level. At post-primary level, the grant is worth circa €15,000 for a 500 student school, and over €27,000 for a 1,000 student school.