According to a survey carried out by information technology education specialists ComputerXplorers at the recent IPPN Conference held in Dublin, 89% of respondents felt the support they received could be better. Only 4% of respondents had a dedicated IT teacher with the majority of ICT delivered by the class teacher (84%).
As members of ICT Ireland, ComputerXplorers plan to share their findings with the ICT in Schools Advisory Group which includes members of the Department of Education.
Just 5% of the principals surveyed outsource IT classes. Over 87% stated that they would consider outsourcing ICT lessons if a quality, value for money solution was available.
Said Nicola Cosgrave, owner of ComputerXplorers Dublin South: “IPPN provided us with a unique opportunity to listen to the views of top educationalists throughout the country and take a snapshot of current thinking about the provision of information technology in our schools. We hope the result of our survey maybe of benefit to the Department and Steering Committee involved in the Smart School report, to ensure the continued roll out of ICT programmes in our schools.
“We were very encouraged to find out that everyone we spoke to puts ICT provision at the top of the agenda and are looking for a national strategy.”
Looking at the subject of funding the principals were divided. Whilst 33% said the current level was ‘good’, the remainder felt that it was average or below, with 8% stating it was ‘poor’ in their view.
Almost half of the schools surveyed rely entirely on Department grants. 27% fund ICT by fundraising from other sources and the remainder combine grant money with Parent Association support.
How the money is spent varies from school to school too. A third of principals surveyed spent the budget entirely on hardware, whilst another third split it between hardware and software. Just 16% include an allocation for technical support in their ICT spend.
ComputerXplorers arrived in Ireland two years ago and currently has a presence in Cork and Kerry, Dublin South, the Midlands, and South East Ireland. The organisation works in partnership with schools to deliver innovative technology-based activities for children. Their unique brands of engaging and educational programmes, which are aligned to the NCCA curriculum, deliver a fantastic blend of tangible education and technology skills to children.
Some of the schools where we have run or are currently running programmes include the following:-
- Ardfield National School, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
- Coolgreany NS, Co.Wexford
- Craanford NS, Co. Wexford
- St. Andrew’s College, Dublin
- St. Colman’s National School, Cloyne, Co. Cork
- St. Mary’s NS, Saggart, Co. Dublin
- St. Patrick’s NS, Dublin 10
- Tallaght Children’s Hospital, Dublin
- Booterstown NS, Co. Dublin
- Faha NS, Killarney, Co Kerry
- Gorey Educate Together NS, Co. Wexford
- Lissivigeen NS, Killarney, Co. Kerry
- St. Paul’s JNS, Dublin 12
- St. Thomas’ JNS, Lucan, Co. Dublin
- St. Luke’s NS, Douglas, Cork
- Cork Institute of Technology Computing and Science Department – sponsored by HEA.
For more information about ComputerXplorers or to receive a copy of the full survey findings, simply fill in the form below.