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:
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.