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A Critical Evaluation of the Department of Education and Science's Initiatives to Integrate ICT into the Republic of Ireland's Primary School Curriculum.

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This study examines recent initiatives in the Irish Republic to integrate ICT into the primary school system. The study includes an analysis of the social, political and educational background to past initiatives, both government and teacher-led, to make more use of ICT in the general school system over the past 30 years. The government's programme to train thousands of teachers in ICT skills is discussed, in terms of both the logistics of training so many people and in terms of what assumptions about ICT use lay behind what the teachers were taught. The structures put in place to support schools in making the most of computer and communications technology are analysed. The Scoilnet website is assessed and suggestions offered on possible ways to improve it. In addition, a national ICT pilot project is discussed in detail. There can be no doubt that tremendous progress has been made both at the level of planning and implementation and of government policy with regard to ICT in education. However, it is argued here that a recurring flaw in various initiatives was that too little consideration was given to the pedagogical implications of ICT use. In addition, progress to date has been endangered by a failure to measure the effectiveness of ICT initiatives, insufficient qualitative research and pressures on the education budget nationally.

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Author:Murray, John
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Mar 19, 2004
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