Detailed Project Description
1. IntroductionBroadcom Eireann Research Ltd. (a telecommunications R+D company jointly owned by Eircom, TCD and Ericsson) have promoted a project titled “Classroom of the Future”, which attempted to indicate how emerging technologies in the fields of telecommunications and computing might lend themselves to learning activities in primary and secondary schools. This project, which effectively ran from start 1996 to mid 1997, provided three schools in the Dublin area with ISDN and 486 PCs to evaluate how the technology might be used by teachers. Some limited videoconferencing over ISDN was used, but primarily the technology was used for Internet / WWW access. The project was comprehensively described in the booklet “Classroom of the Future - A guide to using the Internet in Irish schools”. A resource site was also provided and maintained by the project participants at URL http://classroom.broadcom.ie/.
The work done in this project will be incorporated into and built
on as part of a pilot project within the Eircom “Information Age Schools”
and Government / Department of Education “Schools IT 2000” initiatives.
Schools will undertake a wide variety of activities that will exploit
information and communication technologies to further the learning
process. These will be based at student, class, school, community,
regional, national, European and international levels.This document
represents a description and plan for this follow on project.
2. Project participantsThe project participants are categorised as “Technology partners” or “Educational partners” and “School partners”, with each of the partners contributing to the project. The consortium also recognise the strong contribution made by Microsoft Ireland in the preparation of this document, and look forward to further collaboration throughout the project.
2.1 Technology partners
2.2 Educational partners:
2.3 School partners
It proposed that schools from the core group would work closely in
pairs or small groups on collaborative project activities in Year
1 of the new project. In Year 2, this could be extended so that schools
from the core group would twin with an associated school or small
group to continue to develop the activities of the project.
3. Aims of the projectThe aims of the project are:
4. ObjectivesThe following objectives will be specified and documented through participation by students and staff in predetermined activities and tasks -
5. Needs of participants in the projectThe technology partners believe that every school must adopt information and communications technologies over the coming years, to ensure that the educational sector avail of the opportunities provided by the information age. By supporting this project, the technology partners are creating an “incubator site” to foster widespread use of advanced telecommunications services by the educational sector. The core group will act as “guinea pigs”, deploying and using the technologies, developing applications and managing the infrastructure to minimise costs. The deliverables, in terms of documentation of the results and experiences, should provide a valuable blueprint for the deployment of ICT in all schools around year 2000.
To make the project viable, the technology partners require -
6. Project ManagementIt is crucial to the success of the project that a project manager be appointed. This person will act as liaison and support for the participants and will undertake the following:
The project manager will report to a Project Board, formed of representatives
of each of the sectors participating in the project. An interim Project
Board has been formed to steer the project until the appointment of
a formal project manager.
7. TrainingThis aspect of the project is considered most important. For many of the activities considered, there is a need to involve either a whole staff or a target group of a number of teachers. All schools participating are hopeful that sufficient teachers will be willing to give additional time outside school-time to be available for training. In the same vein, it is considered important that such training initiatives from the project should be supported financially by the Department of Education In-Career Development Unit. A model of 10 weeks x 2 hours per core school is suggested. The training needs of each school will differ. Some will be at introductory computer user level while others will need help with more advanced topics. Similarly, individuals from each school will have training needs not appropriate to every teacher participant such as network management.
This role will be carried out by the Blackrock Education Centre
whose experience and stature is acknowledged in this area.
8. Monitoring, assessment, reporting. For the project to demonstrate and disseminate examples and models of good practice for both the educational and business community, monitoring and assessment of processes and outcomes will be necessary. Participants will have a strong input into the form this will take but there will also be a need for an independent party to design, co-ordinate, collate and report on progress in terms of achievement of objectives, technology and usability. This role will be carried out by the Educational Research Centre whose experience and stature is acknowledged in this area. All participating will be expected to be actively involved in this evaluation process. Back to Top