SmartClass, a new collaborative national competition run by Intel, Steljes and The Educational Company of Ireland, gives post-primary schools the opportunity to win a complete technology package for their entire first year of students. The first SmartClass competition prize, valued at €150,000, has been won by Loreto Community School in Milford, Co. Donegal and the Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny was on hand to present the school and the 140 first year students, their prize.
The SmartClass initiative is an innovative approach to delivering the school curriculum for Junior Certificate students digitally, all on one PC, with associate IT infrastructure. The prize consists of a laptop for each student entering 1st year, with the entire Junior Cycle curriculum content pre-loaded onto it, including books and workbooks. It also includes all required technical support to facilitate the students completing the Junior Certificate at home and at school, through the mechanism of integrated computer technology. A wireless local area network will also be provided for the school and CASTeL at Dublin City University will provide on-going professional development to the teachers and will promote the integration of this technology across all Junior Cycle Science subjects.
An Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny speaking to the students of Loreto Community School in Milford, Co. Donegal, winners of SmartClass.
Intel Ireland’s Mr Brendan Cannon commented that “Intel is committed to supporting education transformation – helping students and educators move from a content-based to a skills-based learning and teaching model, which will help learners acquire 21st century skills such as critical thinking, collaborative learning, problem solving, communications and creativity. These skills will help students become the innovators and job creators of tomorrow. ICT is a key enabler of this strategy”.
Pictured at the announcement of the winners of the SmartClass competition were An Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny, Mr Patrick Barry, Digital Development Manager, The Educational Company of Ireland; Colin MacHale, Sales and Marketing Country Manager, Intel Ireland and Greg Tierney Commercial Director, Steljes Ireland Ltd.
Commenting at the prize giving today, Greg Tierney from Steljes, says “This solution provides an economic way for teachers and parents to provide a one-to-one eLearning environment for students. What we are offering here is a complete solution – a laptop designed specifically for the education market coupled with classroom control for the teacher and on-line access to the Junior Certificate curriculum”.
Julie Glennon from The Educational Company of Ireland, who are content partners in this new and exciting initiative says, “Edco is leading the way towards the digital classroom with the launch of their new e-book range. We have been working closely with developers, designers, teachers and pupils to roll out this new offering, and have been involved with a selection of pilot schemes throughout the country to classroom and technology test the new e-book offering, which is suitable for both school and home use”.
Odilla Finlayson from CASTeL at Dublin City University says “It’s important to provide ongoing support and professional development to the teachers in Loreto Community College for the three years of this award so that the full potential of one-to one learning can be realized for the benefits of both the teachers and their students”.
SmartClass is a tried and tested, innovative approach to delivering the school curriculum for Junior Certificate students digitally, where all first year students will be equipped with a Fizzbook laptop, with a full range of Edco e-books installed. This new digital learning solution, is an initiative which allows students to move away from the traditional heavy weight school bag, towards a 21st century learning tool that can be integrated as part of an entire eLearning environment, allowing students to access content digitally whenever and wherever they require it.
The delivery of this revolutionary learning solution has been made possible by collaboration between The Educational Company of Ireland, Intel and Steljes and supported by CASTeL at Dublin City University.
The Educational Company of Ireland (Edco) is leading the way in providing exciting digital content to schools in the form of e-books. The provision of this digital curriculum comes on the back of the development of the award winning teacher platform www.edcodigital.ie, which is currently in use in classrooms nationwide. The Edco e-books provide students with digital content for the Junior Certificate curriculum, with every core subject now available in an e-book format. Edco e-books have been adopted by over 4,000 students across Ireland, using over 100 e-book titles featuring 80,000 interactive resources. The e-books were developed over a five year period and, uniquely within Ireland, are interoperable across all major devices, from iPads to laptops.
Following a successful two-year pilot of the programme with selected schools, Edco has been rolling out its post-primary e-books to schools around the country over the past 18 months. The e-books were produced by Irish authors, designers and developers, and bring significant cost savings to schools and parents, as well as providing a more interactive learning system in the classroom. The system features resources such as videos, e-tests, animations and podcasts. Students can take notes, highlight and search text, create bookmarks and link to external resources using their e-books, enabling them to personalise their educational resources as they progress through the exam cycle.
Steljes, the innovative technology distributor, is offering the Intel based Fizzbook Spin with a full range of Edco e-books installed. The Fizzbook Spin laptop is the first specifically-designed PC for the Irish education system, that comes pre-installed with content for the Junior Certificate curriculum.
Based on the Intel classmate PC design architecture, Fizzbook Spin offers a total classroom solution. Specifically designed for the education sector, it provides netbook, e-reader and touch-screen functionality together with full PC capability, including word processing, spreadsheet and art software packages. It can be easily converted from a clamshell design to a laptop PC, allowing students to move effortlessly between activities and learning spaces.
The Laptop (a Fizzbook Spin) also comes pre-installed with SMART Technologies’ SMART Classroom Suite – an integrated software solution comprising four software applications that support the key stages of teaching and learning, from lesson creation and delivery, to student assessment. SMART Sync classroom management software enables a teacher to connect the computer quickly and easily to every other computer in the classroom so they can teach, monitor and collaborate with students.
CASTeL at Dublin City University are involved in research into the teaching and learning of science and mathematics across primary, second and third level. In particular its research activities focus on the development of effective approaches to teaching, learning and assessment including the effective use of technology in education and methodologies such as inquiry based learning; and the provision of professional development to science and mathematics teachers, both pre-service and in-service.
Intel is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Ireland is Intel’s centre of manufacturing excellence in Europe. Since 1989, Intel has invested more than €5 billion turning 360 acres of the Collinstown Industrial Park into the most advanced industrial campus in Europe and in addition has invested over €25m in the Irish educational system over the past 20 years. www.intel.ie
About The Educational Company of Ireland
The Educational Company of Ireland (Edco) is Ireland’s leading Educational Publisher, publishing a wide range of Primary and Post Primary textbooks, resources, and digital materials in line with the Irish Curriculum. The Company is leading the way towards the digital classroom with the launch of their new Edco e-book range. The Educational Company of Ireland, publishers of the award winning edcoDigital platform, believe that their interactive e-book solution will offer schools, pupils and parents real choice when it comes to the purchasing of educational content. www.edcoebooks.ie
Steljes Limited is an innovative technology distributor that sources products from around the world, working with manufacturers to customise and bring their solutions to the UK & Irish market through its specialised channel network. The company’s innovative solutions enable people to interact and communicate more effectively while working and learning. The company has been sourcing products from around the world for over 25 years, introducing LCD panels, projectors, plasma displays and interactive whiteboards to the UK & Ireland market. The company has consistently been the Ireland’s number one supplier of interactive whiteboards with a market share of 40% (source: Futuresouce Consulting). http://www.steljes.com/ie/
CASTeL the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Teaching and Learning – is an interdisciplinary research centre of academic staff members from across schools and faculties in Dublin City University and St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra. CASTeL’s objective is to enhance science and mathematics education at all educational levels, supported by evidence-based research and contributing to international good practice and it’s research activities focus on the development of effective approaches to teaching learning and assessment in science and mathematics; investigation of attitudes, motivation, identity and cognitive development in science and mathematics learning and the provision of professional development to science and mathematics teachers, both pre-service and in-service; across all levels of education. CASTeL currently coordinates two European FP7 projects on Inquiry based science education at second level, and the SAILS project is in partnership with Intel which focuses on development of the development and assessment of key skills and competencies. www.castel.ie
Further images available here; http://www.flickr.com/photos/55550679@N03/sets/72157629877358994/