Bridging the Digital Divide

by Alison O'Hanlon
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By Alison O’Hanlon

Taoiseach Micheál Martin T.D. visited St Kevins Community College, Clondalkin to launch DEIS Connect – Bridging the Digital Divide.

 St Kevin’s Community College has become the first DEIS school in the country to provide digital devices to every student.  

They have also become among the first schools in Ireland to receive the Digital Schools Award status, an EU-wide initiative, which recognises and celebrates best practice in digital education. 

Taoiseach Micheal Martin with Emily Deo

Principal Mr. Tony Barry stated,  “Both our teachers and pupils have worked incredibly hard to develop and embed digital learning into the curriculum. Ensuring that our pupils have access to the equipment, resources and support to develop their skills and literacy in this area has been top of our agenda for some time, but the European Digital Schools Award programme has given us the momentum to drive forward new strategies” 

The school has decided to give all 1st and 2nd year students an iPad for use in school and at home, and laptops for all students in 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th year. They believe this hybrid approach is the first of its kind in the country and will afford students the opportunity to upskill in the latest digital technologies available.  It will be a blended approach using devices to enhance Teaching and Learning, and continue the progress previously made with students, in terms of Teams and ClassNotebook.  It will also enhance the formative feedback capabilities of teachers. 

The DEIS Connect initiative is a clear demonstration of DDLETB’s commitment to delivering a high-quality learning experience for all of our students and school teams.  We are very proud of St. Kevin’s CC’s achievements in leading the path in embracing the best of what technology enhanced learning has to offer.  We look forward to further developing this initiative throughout the DDLETB DEIS network“  stated Mr. Adrian Flynn, Director of Schools at DDLETB. 

With the World Economic Forum estimating that 90% of all jobs in 2030 will require digital skills, and extensive research indicating that students from diverse backgrounds are least likely to enter STEM careers.  There is a clear need to ensure that every young person is given the opportunity to engage in STEM education and become a digital leader into the future. 

DEIS Connect is the first step on this journey.  

PHOTOS – ALISON O HANLON

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