‘Gifted’ Carlow school children learn in a virtual world

4 Oct 2010

A group of “exceptionally able” students in a Carlow primary school have been selected to use a new virtual world technology that enables them to learn in a 3D online environment.

The Gaelscoil Eoghain uí Thuairisc, Carlow, selected the group of students to pilot the new ICT initiative, which is aimed at supporting “exceptionally able students”. It is the first time virtual world technology has been used in Ireland to teach part of the school curriculum.

The pilot was developed by Daynuv, Ireland’s first and largest Virtual Worlds Development and Services company, and GiftedKids.ie, a site that supports parents and teachers of high achieving children – two organisations funded by social entrepreneurs Ireland – and is overseen by learning support teacher Bríd Uí Mhaoluala.

Daynuv provided a private and secure virtual world which the five Gaelscoil students then landscaped and developed. After some initial training, the group of five collaborated on modelling structures from their own local environment, such as the Castledermot crosses.

Truly challenging

“We worked the Daynuv project for two periods a week in school, but the children continued to work on the project at home. It was great that they could work on what they wanted and on something truly challenging,” said Uí Mhaoluala.

“I am not a techno-wizard, I don’t even have an ECDL, so by taking this on, I felt I would be able to say to any teacher that if I could do it, anyone could,” she added.

“Our plan now is to roll this out to 20 schools nationwide this academic year,” said James Corbett of Daynuv.

“Teachers are buzzing about the positive results and we’re already over-subscribed in terms of interest. But we need to secure corporate sponsorship to make it happen.”