1032, or almost one in three Irish primary schools, have signed up to become ‘Digital Schools of Distinction’, in the first full year of the programme.

Almost 150 schools have been validated through the registration process, with the remaining schools at various stages of the validation process, which is proceeding well.

The highest number of registrations came from counties Dublin (190 schools), Cork (100 schools), Galway (50 schools) and Meath (40 schools).

HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft have confirmed their support for the programme.

In a survey of 300 Irish primary schools who have registered to take part in the programme, access to high speed broadband, IT maintenance, support and funding were identified as the major obstacles to integrating ICT in the classroom. Other findings from the research included:

  • Primary school teachers were virtually unanimous (98%)  that ICT used in teaching is necessary to help prepare students to live and work in the 21st century
  • 80% strongly agreed that ICT used in teaching has a positive impact on student motivation
  • The response to the Digital Schools of Distinction programme from primary schools has been extremely positive with 75% of teachers agreeing that the programme has created momentum in innovative and effective use of ICT tools by teachers
  • 84% said that the programme has helped their school to focus more on ICT usage to support curriculum objectives

Launched by the Minster for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D. in September last year, ‘Digital Schools of Distinction’ is a flagship award programme which promotes, recognises and encourages best practice use of technology in primary schools.

Supported by HP Ireland and Microsoft Ireland, the Digital Schools of Distinction Award aims to help schools to further integrate technology into the classroom. HP Ireland