PRIMARY schools are being encouraged to apply for a new award that rewards the use of technology in the classroom.
The Digital Schools of Distinction was launched today and hopes to have 500 signed by next September
The public-private partnership programme promotes, recognises and encourages best practice use of technology in primary schools.
It is supported by HP Ireland and Microsoft Ireland, whose sponsorship includes a financial commitment of €300,000 in the first year as well as the provision of practical support and resources.
Schools are encouraged to register for the programme through the www.digitalschools.ie website where they can perform a self evaluation of current practices and standards.
A school that meets the set criteria will be awarded Digital Schools of Distinction status by the Department of Education and will receive computer hardware and software.
Schools that do not initially meet the criteria will have access to tools, support, and examples of best practice on the website. They will also be able to speak to an advisor via a hotline and in some cases, a technology expert will be available to visit schools.
If successful, Digital Schools of Distinction will be rolled out in other European countries by HP and Microsoft.