Ireland’s first digital schools will pave way for digital citizens

23 Sep 2010

This autumn, the first 78 schools across Ireland will go live with 100Mbps broadband connectivity.

When Bill Gates went to secondary school, the mothers’ club in the school used the proceeds of a fundraiser to buy what then passed for a personal computer for the students as well as rented time on a General Electric computer. Gates took an interest in programming and was excused from maths class to learn BASIC. The rest is history.

Two and a half decades later, a young high school student called Mark Zuckerberg – although immersed in the study of Latin and capable of reciting entire verses of the epic poem The Iliad – built a software programme to help his father’s colleagues communicate better, plus a music program that learned users’ listening habits. Both AOL and Microsoft tried to recruit the teenager, but he chose to go to Harvard. The rest is history.

What do these stories tell you? They illustrate how important it is that young people who need to succeed in the 21st century are able to immerse themselves in technology. This is a point that Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD underlines.

Read more of ‘Ireland’s first digital schools will pave way for digital citizens’ at Digital 21.

For more, see Digital Schools Week. – Digital 21 is a campaign to highlight the imperative of creating an action programme to secure the digital infrastructure and services upon which the success of our economy depends.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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