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Posts Tagged ‘broadband’

Post-Primary Schools nationwide to receive High-Speed Broadband

Friday, June 26th, 2009

A 100mpbs Post Primary Schools Project which will deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to second level schools across the country has been launched by  Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD.  The project is the result of cooperation between the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Education and Science, the National Centre for Technology in Education, HEAnet, and the  Higher Education Authority. The first seventy-eight schools taking part in the Project were announced at the launch in the Digital Hub Learning Studio.

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Under the existing Schools Broadband Programme, primary and post-primary schools in Ireland can access a basic level of broadband connectivity. The 100mpbs Post Primary Schools Project marks the next phase in the Government’s ambition to develop our schools as world-class centres of e-learning and to educate the next generation of knowledge workers and digital entrepreneurs.

Launching the new Programme, Minister Ryan said, “We must equip our students with the skills and creativity they need to thrive in the new digital world we are entering. There is no surer way of preparing them than by bringing the Internet right into their place of learning and allowing them to experiment and interact online. Today’s announcement opens a door to them, to take part in Ireland’s digital future.”

This programme will provide world class infrastructure to enable our teachers and students access and exploit media rich online digital content and collaborate with colleagues on a world wide basis.  Schools will now be able to enrich and enliven their teaching and learning across all subjects on the post-primary curricula via these digital tools and online resources.

Schools have been selected against multiple criteria including geographical location, and an adequate mix of schools to ensure broad social inclusion. The speeds available are similar to those that are being offered to high-end national and multinational companies that operate in Ireland. They allow for the quick upload and download of material, instant connection to websites, and the increased and varied use of online applications.

The NCTE will  work with the 78 school to ensure the full benefits of this high speed broadband connection is availed of for learning and teaching. The NCTE will provide a range of support services including e-learning planning, continuing professional development, Scoilnet, online digital content, and technical advice and guidelines.

The Schools which will initially receive 100mpbs Broadband connections are:

Carlow Vocational School Kilkenny Road Carlow Carlow
St. Leo’s College Convent Of Mercy Dublin Road Carlow
St Caimin’s Community School Tullyvarraga Shannon Clare
St Flannan’s College Ennis Co Clare Clare
Cork College Of Commerce Morrison’s Island Cork Cork
Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig Co. Cork Cork
Christ King Girls’ Secondary School Half Moon Lane South Douglas Road Cork
Carrigaline Community School Waterpark Road Carrigaline Cork
Loreto Convent Letterkenny Co Donegal Donegal
Carndonagh Community School Carndonagh Lifford Donegal
St Eunan’s College Letterkenny Co Donegal Donegal
St Columbas College Stranorlar Co. Donegal Donegal
Loreto Community School Milford Co Donegal Donegal
Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola An Fálcarrach Leitir Ceanainn Donegal
Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada An Leadhbgarbh Árainn Mhór Donegal
Coláiste Phobail Cholmcille Baile Úr Oileán Thoraí Donegal
Ballyfermot College of Further Education Ballyfermot Road Dublin 10 Dublin
Malahide Community School Broomfield Malahide Dublin
Loreto Secondary School Balbriggan Co Dublin Dublin
Castleknock Community College Carpenterstown Road Castleknock Dublin
Scoil Phobail Chuil Mhin Cluain Saileach Baile Atha Cliath 15 Dublin
Hartstown Community School Hartstown Dublin 15 Dublin
St Dominics College Cabra Dublin 7 Dublin
Mount Temple Comprehensive School Malahide Road Dublin 3 Dublin
St Josephs College Lucan Co Dublin Dublin
Coláiste Bríde New Road Clondalkin Dublin
St Mac Dara’s Community College Wellington Lane Templeogue Dublin
St Marks Community School Cookstown Rd Tallaght Dublin
St Benildus College Upper Kilmacud Rd Stillorgan Dublin
St Aidan’s Community School Brookfield Tallaght Dublin
Collinstown Park Community College Neilstown Rd. Rowlagh Dublin
St Pauls Secondary School Greenhills Dublin 12 Dublin
Rosmini Community School Grace Park Road Drumcondra Dublin
Presentation College Warrenmount Dublin 8 Dublin
St. Colmcille’s Community School Scholarstown Rd Knocklyon Dublin
St Joseph’s College Nun’s Island Galway Galway
Gort Community School Gort Co. Galway Galway
Presentation College Headford Co. Galway Galway
Calasanctius College Oranmore Co Galway Galway
Gairmscoil Éinne Oileain Arann Cill Rónain Inis Mór Galway
Coláiste Ghobnait Inis Oírr Oileáin Arann Galway
Coláiste Naomh Mhuire Convent Of Mercy Sallins Rd. Kildare
Salesian College Celbridge Co. Kildare Kildare
Maynooth Post Primary School Moyglare Rd Maynooth Kildare
St Kieran’s College Secondary School College Rd Kilkenny
Coláiste Íosagáin Portarlington Co. Laois Laoighis
Community School Carrick-On-Shannon Leitrim Leitrim
Castletroy College Newtown Castletroy Limerick
Crescent College Comprehensive Dooradoyle Rd Dooradoyle Limerick
Colaiste Chiarain Croom Co. Limerick Limerick
Presentation Secondary School Sexton Street Limerick Limerick
Mercy Secondary School Ballymahon Co Longford Longford
St Oliver’s Community College Drogheda Co. Louth Louth
Ó Fiaich College Dublin Road Dundalk Louth
St Vincent’s Secondary School Seatown Place Dundalk Louth
St Mary’s Diocesan School Beamore Road Drogheda Louth
St Louis Community School Kiltimagh Co Mayo Mayo
Davitt College Springfield Castlebar Mayo
St Peter’s College Dunboyne Co. Meath Meath
Community College Dunshaughlin Dunshaughlin Co Meath Meath
Beech Hill College Monaghan Co. Monaghan Monaghan
Killina Presentation Secondary School Rahan Tullamore Offaly
St Nathy’s College Ballaghaderreen Co Roscommon Roscommon
Summerhill College Sligo Co. Sligo Sligo
Cashel Community School Dualla Road Cashel Tipperary
St Paul’s Community College Browne’s Road Waterford City Waterford
St Angela’s Ursuline Convent Waterford Waterford
St Declan’s Community College Kilmacthomas Co Waterford Waterford
Moate Community School Church Street Moate Westmeath
Athlone Community College Retreat Road Athlone Westmeath
Our Lady’s Bower Retreat Rd. Athlone Westmeath
Good Counsel College New Ross Co Wexford Wexford
Mary Ward Railway Road Gorey Wexford
Vocational College Enniscorthy Co Wexford Wexford
Loreto Secondary School Vevay Rd Bray Wicklow

Becta says Learning with technology gets the right results

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Becta, the education technology agency, is urging schools to improve the way they use technology to support learning, as evidence continues to build around the positive impact on GCSE results and grades.

Research reveals that schools that embrace technology see a significant improvement in GCSE results compared with those that do not. Key findings from six years of research by Becta include:

* school ‘e-maturity’ – where technology is integrated across the curriculum and wider school life – is statistically linked to lower absence rates and higher points and percentage A*-C grades at GCSE

* in GCSE science, the average gain from ICT use is 0.56 of a grade (in 2002, 52,484 pupils moved from grade D to C as a result of using technology in their learning)

* schools making good use of broadband and connectivity demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in the percentage of pupils gaining 5+ A-Cs at GCSE in the year after broadband introduction

* a study of young people’s ICT use in the home showed a significant positive association between pupils’ home use of ICT for educational purposes and improved attainment in national tests for maths and English GCSE

* the introduction of interactive whiteboards results in pupils’ performance in national tests in English (particularly for low-achieving pupils and for writing), maths and science, improving more than that of pupils in schools without interactive whiteboards.

Stephen Crowne, Chief Executive of Becta said:
“The evidence is clear; when schools use technology effectively, it can have a direct impact on pupil attainment and results. As pupils across the country find out their GCSE results, schools need to think about whether grades could be improved even further by better use of technology. We know that currently only 20 per cent of schools are using technology effectively right across the curriculum, which means there is real potential out there to improve results and raise grades if schools take full advantage of the benefits technology can bring.

“Schools should make the most of the Internet, mobile phones, interactive whiteboards, school radio stations, blogs, podcasts and video conferencing, helping to create a stimulating and engaging environment for their students.”

It’s not just pupils that see the benefits of better use of technology. The majority of teachers feel that technology in the classroom has a positive impact on the engagement, motivation and achievement of their learners. Technology also has the potential to provide parents with more timely information about their children’s work and progress, for example via secure on-line access, so they can in turn support their children.

The research cited in this PublicTechnology.Net press release comes from the following evaluations and research studies on the impact of ICT use in schools:

* Butt, S and Cebulla, A (2006), E-maturity and school performance – A secondary analysis of COL evaluation data. London: National Centre for Social Research

* Harrison, C et al (2002), ImpaCT2: The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Pupils Learning and Attainment. ICT in Schools Research and Evaluation Series No.7

* Somekh, B et al (2007), Evaluation of the Primary Schools Whiteboard Expansion Project

* Underwood, J et al. (2005), The Impact of Broadband in Schools.

* Valentine, G, Marsh, J and Pattie, C (2005), Children and Young Peoples Home Use of ICT for Educational Purposes: The impact on attainment at key stages 1-4, DfES

“This research highlight the need to embrace technology in Education and also training to enhance performance and training outcomes”, said Sean Griffin, Co-Founder of Learn Skills, the web-based skills and compliance training company.

When Should a Company Consider Using e-Learning?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Most companies need to provide some sort of training or instruction to their employees, customers and suppliers.  This is especially true for technology-based organisations.  Typically these companies provide needed training by sending people to colleges, holding in-house training classes, or providing manuals and self-study guides.  In some situations it is advantageous for them to use e-Learning instead of the traditional training.

“Companies need to be aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of e-Learning”, according to Sean Griffin, Co-Founder of Learn Skills, the web-based skills and compliance training company.  “e-Learning needs to be understood for employers to maximise the benefits associated with this training.”

e-Learning, has many advantages over traditional classroom training for the employees in a company, customers using a product, or students in school. These advantages include:

  • Better than reading the manual – more interactive and engaging
  • Cost-effective – up to 60% more cost effective than traditional training
  • Practical – where employees are based countrywide or globally
  • Standardized learning – more consistent delivery of training

There are some drawbacks on using eLearning:

  • Need access to computer – at home or at work
  • Some need access to Internet and broadband
  • Must know who to use computer – user must be somewhat computer literate
  • Personnel resistance – phobias concerning using computers and tecnology
  • Must be well-done – else it’s like being thought by a poor teacher

Businesses make most sound decisions based on potential return-on-investment (ROI). It is assumed that the company has already determined that training their personnel and/or customers is a value-added activity.   Now, the question is whether or not e-Learning is the best route to take.

Criteria for deciding on using eLearning include:

  • Cost and practicality of sending learners to class
  • Availability of computers and literacy of learners
  • Development cost versus number being trained

Weighing these issues, an effective and informed decision can be made.  Companies should consider using eLearning when it is cost effective and practical and when they want standardized training.  PCs must be available, students must not resist using the PCs, and the e-Learning material must be informative and engaging to provide the best results.

Reference: School of Champions website, article by Ron Curtis (revised 4 April 2004)