18 October, 2017 - Minister Bruton announces 50 schools participating in trial of the Digital Learning Framework

Minister Bruton Announces 50 schools Participating in Trial of the Digital Learning Framework

The Minister for Education & Skills, Mr Richard Bruton T.D. today welcomed the announcement of the 50 schools participating in the trial of the Digital Learning Framework for schools.

The Framework provides a roadmap to help schools manage the transformation of teaching and learning as a result of new digital technologies.

The framework will among other things:

  • Help schools and individual teachers to plan how to upskill to realise the potential of digital technologies
  • Provide for internal and external evaluation of how digital technologies are being embedded across all aspects of school activity
  • Support planning in areas like literacy, numeracy and STEM which require a cross-curricular focus.

The results of this trial will help the Department understand what supports will be required by schools and teachers at all levels to embed digital technologies into teaching and learning. The trial will also help refine the Framework so that it can best assist schools to realise the potential of digital technologies.

Once learnings from the trial have been incorporated into the framework, the framework will be refined and fully implemented across all schools and teacher education programs. The resource in its current format is still available to schools not participating in the trial to use as they see fit in the meantime.

There was great interest from schools in participating in this trial, with over 300 schools registering their interest - 139 at post-primary level and 176 at primary level. This indicates the level of commitment among our educators and school leaders to fully embrace digital technologies in teaching and learning. In applying to participate in the trial, schools expressed their reasons for applying, and this was taken in to consideration during the selection process. The recognition at school level of the potential for digital technologies in teaching and learning to improve learner experience and outcome emerged very strongly from that exercise.

In announcing the schools to participate in the trial, the Minister noted:

“The level of interest shown in the trial of the Digital Learning Framework demonstrates the commitment that there is among our educators and school leaders to fully utilise digital technologies in their practice, to make it a seamless part of students’ learning.

“We understand that meaningful integration of digital technologies can be challenging to achieve and that schools need guidance and support to achieve it. All too often schools are not clear as to what that integration looks like and therefore are unsure how they can achieve it.

“The Digital Learning Framework resource gives greater clarity around that concept, and provides a lens for how digital technologies can be used to support teaching, learning and assessment in schools.

“This framework is a key action in my Digital Strategy for schools, which sets out how my Department plans to embed digital technology in teaching, learning and assessment and I look forward to seeing the results of this trial”

Notes to Editors:

Full list of schools and further information available here: https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Information-Communications-Technology-ICT-in-Schools/DLF.html

Criteria for selection:

Some 315 schools applied, from which 30 primary and 20 post-primary schools were selected. In selecting the schools, regard was given to the following criteria, to ensure the schools would be representative of the wider school community:

  • DEIS status
  • Gender
  • Medium of Instruction
  • Special School status
  • School size
  • Urban/rural location

Broadly speaking, the proportions of the above in the whole school community are reflected in the numbers chosen in each of those categories. The level of digital literacy (based on information provided by the schools in the online application form), was also considered and schools at varying levels were selected.