Secondary schools get to grips with technology changes

Tuesday 04 September 2012 21.55
One-in-ten first year students began secondary school not with a bag full of books but with a tablet instead
One-in-ten first year students began secondary school not with a bag full of books but with a tablet instead

This year it is estimated that one-in-ten first year students began secondary school not with a bag full of books but with a tablet and e-books instead.

Irish school textbook publishers reckon that within three years 50% of schools will have gone digital to some extent.

However, while many schools are choosing this option, it can be expensive.

Tablets can cost anything between €160-€500. E-text books for a First Year student can cost up to €300, and unlike traditional text books they can't be recycled.

The licence you buy dies after a specified time, one or two or three years, depending on the course.

A small number of schools are also exploring other ways of using technology and relevant online content in the classroom.

In Scoil Mhuire in Carrick-on-Suir, teacher Fintan O'Mahony allows students bring in whatever devices they are using at home, such as smartphones or laptops and they use those devices and Twitter in history class.

More and more online content is being developed too that is relevant to the Irish curriculum and available for free for schools.

This week for instance the Department of Education's Scoilnet has introduced a new resource to support Geography students.

They took technology and content that's in use in various state departments and agencies, such as Ordinance Survey maps and census data to create a Geographical Information System for schools to use in class.

Click on the video at the top of the page to see the interview with teacher Fintan O'Mahony  

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