Use of ICT from a young age is ‘an essential core skill’ – O’Dowd

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Thursday, November 26th, 2015
Jobs & Careers, Politics
Education Minister John O’Dowd has said the ability to use ICT confidently from a young age is an essential core skill.
Minister O'Dowd

Minister O’Dowd

The Minister was speaking at the Inspire 2015 conference to showcase the Education Network Service provided for all our grant-aided schools and the finalists of the first Education Network ICT Excellence Competition which celebrates the innovative and collaborative use of technology in our schools. Opening the conference, the Minister explained why ICT is such an important area of the curriculum. “The ability of pupils to confidently use ICT from a young age is an essential core skill and in this day and age it is as important as being able to confidently read and write. “Digital technology has a central role to play in children’s education and impacts upon virtually all areas of learning in the curriculum, making ICT a cross-curricular skill. “Digital technology provides teachers with the flexibility to personalise learning and to engage with pupils with different learning styles, particularly less confident pupils. There is also great potential for developing pupils’ literacy and communication skills,” he insisted. “Employers tell us they need young people who are literate and numerate, these skills underpin ICT expertise. Developing that expertise is vital if we are to build a world class education system and compete in the global market.” Continuing, the Minister explained why investment in technology creates an equal learning environment for all pupils. “Technology can help ensure that all pupils, regardless of age or geographical location, have access to the same high quality technology to help with teaching and learning. “The effective use of ICT can enhance social interaction and has been shown to play a key role in citizenship by linking young people from diverse backgrounds. And whilst we must all be vigilant to guard against on-line abuse and exploitation, we must also ensure we do not overlook the positive aspects of the Internet,” he added.
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