TECHNOLOGY should be used to improve teaching methods in primary school classrooms, according to the head of one of the biggest teachers' associations in the world.
Sean Cottrell, director of the Irish Primary Principals' Network, called on the Government to set targets for creating an IT-based curriculum at the annual summit of the Irish Technology Leadership Group.
Mr Cottrell told the summit, 'Education and Skills for Ireland's Tech Industry – Closing the Gap', how Ireland could become a high-tech vanguard: "The Government should set targets for the delivery of an IT-based curriculum where the teaching of each subject is mainly delivered by means of technology.
"It could start by committing to the teaching of a single subject through technology – science or maths – from junior infants through to the Junior Certificate," Mr Cottrell said.
"It may also be time to seriously consider introducing foreign languages in the primary school curriculum, not least since the absence of a second or third language is among the labour market barriers," he said.
Meanwhile, head of EMC's 'centre of excellence' Bob Savage said cloud computing and big data are transforming how we work and live, and the country needs to be aware of it.
"Big data can reveal patterns in near real time to facilitate making a quantum leap from incremental improvement to predictive business processes and even entirely new business models," he said.
"When coupled with the cloud model, which slashes organisations' capital and operating costs, big data can transform the business environ- ment," Mr Savage said. "It can uncover opportunities for growth that would otherwise remain hidden," he added.