Computers in their hands


2 Oct 2011

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Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn with Brendan Cannon, director of corporate affairs at Intel Ireland, at the launch of Intel's eSchools laptop initiative at Christ the King Girls' School, Cabra, Dublin

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Take a look at how some Irish schools have equipped themselves to educate their students for the 21st century.

CHRIST THE KING GIRLS’ SCHOOL, CABRA, DUBLIN

Intel eSchools was launched earlier this year, an infrastructure for education programme enabling primary schools to use wireless technology in the classroom. The initiative awarded two complete technology packages to Irish schools.

Christ the King Girls’ School was one of the two winning schools and the package gave them 30 new laptops, a dedicated teacher laptop, an LCD projector and a portable trolley unit to move the kit between classrooms.

Students and teachers can use these laptops to access the internet within schools, letting them integrate technology and learning.

ST COLMAN’S COLLEGE, CLAREMORRIS, MAYO

A secondary school in Mayo gave first-year students the option of using an iPad for schoolwork instead of traditional schoolbooks.

St Colman’s College in Claremorris, Co Mayo, started bringing iPads into use from September this year. All 90 new first-year students were given the choice to use the tablet for work instead of carrying school books.

Each iPad comes with a suite of learning apps installed. The package costs €700, covering the three-year period of the junior cycle. The decision was made after several weeks of consultation with teachers, students and parents and 96pc supported the option.

ST COLMAN’S NATIONAL SCHOOL, MULLINGAR, WESTMEATH

With the help of fundraising and state support, St Colman’s National School managed to put a whiteboard in all 17 of its classrooms.

The first five whiteboards were obtained through the Jack and Jill Foundation where, for every 300 old mobile phones collected, they would provide a 78-inch Promethean ActivBoard with software and tools.

The school bought three more from its own fundraising efforts and the rest came from the Government’s Smart Schools = Smart Economy project.

ST FINTINA’S POST PRIMARY SCHOOL, LONGWOOD, CO MEATH

This VEC secondary school equipped all its first-year students with laptops with e-books installed as part of an initiative pioneered by Intel, Steljes and The Education Company of Ireland (Edco).

The school has given all first-year students a Fizzbook Spin tablet-style laptop, which has a full range of Edco e-books installed in it.

The Fizzbook Spin is the first specifically-designed PC for the Irish education system. The computer provides netbook, e-reader and touchscreen tablet functionality together with full PC capability, including word processing, spreadsheet and art software packages.

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