Saturday 10 December 2016

Students learn by laptop in pilot scheme

Edel Kennedy

Published 04/09/2010 | 05:00

A SECONDARY school taking part in an e-learning pilot programme believes its students will be among the country's most employable when they finish their education.

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Yesterday saw the launch of the new programme for first-year students in St Bricin's in Belturbet, Co Cavan, with each student given a brand new laptop. Most of their learning during their five years at the secondary school will be done via the computers.

Acting principal Niall McGee said they hoped to give laptops to new students each year from now on -- and to have 90pc of learning online within five years.

He believes their new method of learning will boost exam results.

"We'll have laptop pens instead of pens, and mousepads instead of writing pads," he said.

"Our thinking is that technology and learning has moved on, but our methods haven't.

"Our aim is to bridge that gap and engage them with visual and interactive learning.

"They get most of their information from the internet now and we're very foolish to think that we can engage them with chalk and a blackboard."

The funding for the programme was supplied by the local VEC and he said the students are "over the moon" with their new laptops.

"We want to teach them transferable skills, teach them how to search, organise and analyse. It's very important that they can present information that is useful to other people.

"It boils down to basics," he said. "Not everyone can do honours maths, but can you help others to solve their problems?"

Irish Independent

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