19/6/14 Minister Quinn launches the new Scoilnet.ie website

An Foras Pátrúnachta / News / 19/6/14 Minister Quinn launches the new Scoilnet.ie website

Scoilnet logo

The Department of Education and Skills’ education portal, Scoilnet.ie, has been revamped to allow teachers to share and upload their own teaching and learning resources.

Up until now, Scoilnet has been a consumption only website, directing users to other material online but without an interactive facility.

Now any registered primary or post-primary teacher can add their own teaching and learning resources and map them to the Irish curriculum.

Launching the updated Scoilnet, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. encouraged teachers to share and contribute to the site through the “Resource Finder” tool.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Irish primary and secondary school teachers to create and share teaching resources. We know there is an appetite among Irish teachers to use and share digital resources and this is evidenced by the number of Irish teachers visiting resources such as the Times Education Supplement website,” said Minister Quinn.

“While this is an excellent resource for teachers, Scoilnet has the added advantage of containing content specific to the Irish curriculum. I also welcome the inclusion of resources for our Gaelscoileanna and Scoileanna sa Ghaeltacht. I would encourage teachers to share resources among their peers.”

In addition the website has adopted the use of Creative Commons licensing so that, where possible, uploaded resources can be made available as Open Educational Resources (OER).

The main features of the new website include:

  • The new site supports and encourages teachers to add and share their own educational resources on the website.
  • All the resources in Scoilnet are mapped directly to the Irish curriculum, a significant plus for teachers in Ireland who often find themselves having to work out the curricula of other jurisdictions such as the UK or US as they search online for materials.
  • There is an enhanced keyword search facility to find resources and refine the results by level or subject or curriculum strand.
  • Teachers and support services can add useful qualitative information such as “suggestions for use” to the uploaded resources.
  • Teachers can add “quality” data to resources using tools such as star rating, favourites, number of shares, etc. essentially giving teachers the tools to quality assess resources themselves.
  • Scoilnet supports the uploading of multi-lingual resources and particularly welcomes resources from teachers working in Gaelscoileanna agus scoileanna sa Gaeltacht.
  • The use of Creative Common licences on uploaded resources is encouraged to ensure that the options for use (and reuse) of resources is clear.
  • Only teachers can add resources to the new Scoilnet website. This is an important quality control mechanism as Irish teachers know best what works in Irish classrooms.
  • Scoilnet.ie contains a database of more than 11,000 online resources including websites, quizzes, lesson plans, notes, video/audio, games and other multimedia.

    Scoilnet.ie is actively used by Irish primary and post-primary teachers. In 2013 1.66m visits were recorded. Generally speaking, primary teachers have tended to use the website more than post-primary teachers by a ratio of 2:1.

    Scoilnet will be turning its attention in 2014 to liaise with other Government departments and public sector organisations that produce educational resources for teachers and schools to ensure that all their materials are referenced or included within the site. It is important to ensure that all publicly funded educational learning objects are easy to find and easy to view in the context of the curriculum.

    The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) Technology in Education will provide opportunities for teachers to learn how to use all aspects of Scoilnet. This will be done in every PDST Technology in Education 2014 summer course. All term time courses and workshops designed and delivered by PDST Technology in Education through the Education Centre network will also have a core Scoilnet module as well as dedicated workshops for Scoilnet use.