Digital Schools of Distinction
The Digital Schools of Distinction Award is an initiative which recognises excellence in a school’s approach to the integration of ICT in learning and teaching. This award aims to build on the excellent progress already made by schools in ICT integration and to encourage them to strive for further progression and improvement.
- Leadership & Vision
- ICT in the Curriculum
- School ICT Culture
- Professional Development
- Resources & Infrastructure
Inspired by an Irish Concept – Digital Schools of Distinction – where schools in Ireland have the possibility to carry out self-assessment and evaluation of progress in integration of digital technologies in teaching and learning to achieve an award of “Digital School of Distinction”. Erasmus+ project “Digital Schools of Europe” will examine wheter it is possible to implement a similar program at a European level.
The project is coordinated by the Dublin West Education Centre in Ireland. Other partners are:
- Ireland: Irish National Teachers Organisation
- Finland: Oulu Municipality
- Sweden: Malmo Municipality
- Denmark: University College Lillebælt, Center for Educational, Odense
- Universite de Limoges, Limoges
- Spain: CPR Region of Murcia
- Portugal: Nucleo Interactivo de Astronomia, Lisbon
- Italy: Pisa Municipality
Digital Schools of Europe
The project is a so-called strategic partnership “school education”. The main partners are connected to several schools in their area, which will have a limited amount for mobilities. In Denmark Vissenbjerg school and Hjallese School in Odense partners and Holluf Pile School has just signed up for the project and will participate in meetings at their own expense.
A number of “intellectual outputs” will be produced during the project, and CFU in Odense is responsible for “Social Media” – including getting as many schools as possible in the process of eTwinning projects.
The Digital Schools of Europe project is being set up with a two-fold approach:
- To seek out best practice in the use of ICT in Schools throughout the partnership regions, to assess and share this best practice with each other and to disseminate this best practice to other countries.
- To analyse accreditation systems in the partnership countries, to assess the feasibility of introducing a nationally accredited award system in each country, similar to the Irish Digital Schools of Distinction Award, leading to the feasibility or possibility of an international EU accredited system.
With eight partner countries, plus the involvement of a minimum of a number of schools in each, and through our transnational project meetings and outputs, we are perfectly placed to achieve our objectives.
Our project also meets many of the elements recommended for strategic partnerships:
- Develop, test, adapt and adopt/implement innovative practices relating to:
o learning and teaching methodologies and pedagogical approaches, especially those delivering key competences and basic skills, language skills, and focusing on the use of ICT;
o new forms of learning and providing education and training, notably strategic use of open and flexible learning, virtual mobility, open educational resources and better exploitation of the ICT potential;
- Carry out joint research, surveys, studies and analyses;
- Facilitate recognition/certification of skills and competences at national level by referencing them to European and national Qualification Frameworks and using EU validation instruments.
Open Discovery Space
Open Discovery Space: A socially-powered and multilingual open learning infrastructure to boost the adoption of eLearning resources. Funded by the European Commission under CIP-ICT-PSP-2011-5.
Introducing a ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ approach in the modernisation of school education!
The Open Discovery Space project is bringing innovation to three key areas:
1. Proposing innovative ways to encourage educational communities to use eLearning resources and exchange their experience and views on ease of use and quality of those resources.
2. Proposing an innovative educational design and an educational metadata organisation scheme. These measures will seek to exploit the elements of the learning context in eLearning resources (i.e., educational objectives, pedagogical models, learners’ personal characteristics and needs, etc), as well as the teachers’ competence profiles (knowledge, skills and attitudes) making it possible to measure and assess the impact of eLearning resources ON schools both in terms of learning outcomes and learning activities.
3. Proposing innovative solutions that could remove linguistic and cultural barriers, improving the ease of use in existing repositories in order to deliver relevant Learning Resources to teachers, students and parents more effectively.
Innovate Together are very excited to be working with Universal Learning Systems (ULS) in the Open Discovery Space project (ODS) around key activities and inputs. This part of the project’s key focus is on schools and covers the following general objectives:
- Implementing the ODS model in participating schools and allied bodies
- Undertaking initial research
- Diagnosing issues and key challenges
- Driving change
- Stakeholder engagement
- Developing working models and demonstrations
- Defining best practice alternatives and approaches for stakeholders
- Providing requisite training.
Innovate Together and ULS are National Coordinator for Ireland for the Open Discovery Space (ODS) Project. A uniquely innovate feature of our activities in ODS is the collaborative linkages developed with partners and schools in both Finland and The Netherlands.
(2) Training for teachers in order to:
Kerry Schools Project
The Kerry Primary Schools project was an innovative project coordinated and facilitated by Innovate Together in collaboration with Lee Strand Dairies and Tralee Education Centre.
Aims and objectives of the Project
The aim of the project was to cultivate innovative thinking skills and practices among children at school in the greater Kerry area.
- Produce an innovative project or artefact
- Engage in innovative thinking and problem solving
- Use 21st Century Skills with ICT
- Actively collaborate to achieve results