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European Development Plan 2015 -2016
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our project focuses on developing ICT in our school. Over the past five years our school has invested heavily in ICT and IT. Each teacher has been supplied with their own laptop and every class has their own electronic whiteboard. Our school has a solid wireless network and we have access to 32 ipads which can be used by children in the classroom. Although all the physical ICT infrastructure is now in place , we now believe that as a school both management, teachers and students could be making better use of the ICT facilities available to us. It is evident from staff meetings, Department of Education Inspectorate, staff survey and a comprehensive external review that was recently completed , that many of our staff are not aware of the range of activities and abilities that ICT could present to us. It is apparent that the school needs to acquire the skills and equip our management staff and students with the know how of how to implement and improve ICT in our school. Using our ICT plan and also our E- learning Roadmap Plan ( designed by the Irish Department of Education and Professional development Service for teachers)(, we have also established that there is a poor level of ICT knowledge and development is present in our school. The Elearning roadmap evaluates ICT usage in the school under the following headings :The Leadership & Planning, ICT & the Curriculum ,Professional Development ,e-Learning Culture ,ICT Infrastructure. Each section of plan has a key performance or criteria that needs to be met. We score highly in the area of ICT infrastructure but poorly in other areas of the E learning curriculum roadmap. Our European Development plan involves developing management competences with relation to ICT - for example how to use IT to disseminate information throughout our school using an internal Intranet, Email communication with staff and parents, developing and using a whole school content management system and also developing a virtual learning environment. All teachers in our school we invited to take part in the project and those selected have a genuine interest in the use and development of ICT in our school. The teachers also represent a wide area of expertise as they have been chosen from different class levels - one from junior infants , one teacher from third class, one teacher from sixth class and another teacher from resource teaching/ learning support - SEN teacher. Our primary objective is that teachers will develop their competences in ICT . For example using IC T in the classroom to develop new teaching methods and tools and to impart and teach the curriculum in an organised and inspired manner. How can our school develop whiteboard lesson and store and share these lessons with other staff members? How can we use ICT to develop new teaching methods to enable all children to achieve particularly those with Special Education needs? How can our existing resources using Ipad tablet and laptops be used to develop assessment methods and improve children's understanding and interest? It is apparent from our investigations that this knowledge cannot be acquired from existing national bodies or agencies. We have researched various ICT courses which are available under the Erasmus plus program. These courses are very suited to our needs and objectives and we believe that the knowledge acquired will be highly relevant to helping us achieve our objectives in the short term and also forming good European relationships with teachers from other countries in the long term. On return to the school participants will present knowledge and information to other staff members. This will hopefully encourage other staff members to take part in the Erasmus plus Key action 1 staff training and also hopefully help them to develop and improve their ICT skills. Furthermore during these courses we hope to meet and develop links with teachers from other European countries. These links will help us as a school to develop and share information in an European network in tandem with the European living schools lab that we have recently signed up with ( ). We also hope to establish Etwinning networks with other schools who we may meet on the Erasmus plus courses and develop a relationship to develop a Erasmus plus key action 2 project based on the theme of technology and ICT later on. We would like to complete a project based around the use of ICT in the classroom and ICT in our local area. The Irish Department of Education also awards the "Digital School of Distinction Award" to Irish primary schools who reach a certain level of ICT and E- maturity. Having completed our project, we hope to apply for this award and use it as a measurement of the improvement we have made in relation to ICT and learning. The external examiners of this award will also give us a key indication of how much ICT usage has improved throughout the school.
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