The Department of Education launched their new Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027 on April 13th, just in time for the Easter education conferences. The strategy was developed after a comprehensive consultation process where the Department gathered the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including children and young people.

The strategy has 3 pillars:
• Pillar 1: Supporting the embedding of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment
• Pillar 2: Digital Technology Infrastructure
• Pillar 3: Looking to the future: policy, research and digital leadership

What is the new Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027 screenshot
What is the new Digital Strategy for Schools to 2027

Pillar 1 focuses on ensuring that digital technologies are embedded into teaching, learning and assessment practices in our schools and builds on the work of the previous strategy. This section of the policy is very comprehensive and has the following objectives:

Pillar 1 Objectives

The strategy notes that there is a need for a recognised role within schools for a designated member of staff to lead digital education and that this person should become the digital learning coordinator/leader. Furthermore, it recognises the need to provide “more focused professional learning supports aimed at school leaders”, which emerged from the consultation process.
The strategy discusses the need for planning and references the role of the Digital Learning Framework and other tools, such as SELFIE for Teachers and SELFIE for Schools. There is a strong focus on developing the digital competences of teachers, school leaders and of learners across primary and post-primary.

Pillar 2 has the following objectives

Pillar 2 Objectives

While Pillar 3 has the following objectives:

Pillar 2 Objectives

Final Word

The strategy aligns very closely with the European Digital Education Action Plan and other national policies in relation to digital education. It is very comprehensive and it will be accompanied by an implementation plan in due course, which will no doubt put flesh on the bones of many of the ideas contained within the plan. Finally, it has been informed by the views of those who contributed via the various consultation platforms and this is wonderful to see. While tremendous progress has been made by Irish schools in the past 7 years, since the publication of the previous digital strategies, there is still much work to be done to embed digital technologies within all our schools so that our young people are equipped to live and work in the 21ST century knowledge economy.

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