The Digital Wealth Project led by Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, ALL Institute Maynooth University and Microsoft Education Ireland, offers a new framework to reconsider the supports that schools need to move out of digital poverty. The project aims to ensure that 1000+ students, 300+ teachers and 135 schools nationwide have the digital commodities, capabilities, technology and infrastructure to ensure access to the digital world.
Using a holistic approach working with school staff, students and the wider community the project aims to empower schools to understand their needs in a 21st century teaching and learning environment and identify the supports required to meet their needs. This will be achieved by addressing the four key pillars which underpin the project:
- Digital skills-these are the key skills needed to engage in education, to deliver education effectively and to ensure that students are suitably skilled to engaged in the modern workforce,
- Technology/hardware- this refers to schools, educators and students having access to the hardware needed to stay digitally connected, to teach and learn effectively, this also refers to the technology to code and to develop technology solutions
- Digital infrastructure- this refers to having access to the digital network through broadband/Wi-Fi which allows people to work ‘online’ and stay connected. This refers also to having a working digital network within the school system
- Supports and Policies- this refers to knowledge and awareness of the policies in place to support digital wealth, wellbeing, and inclusion. Knowledge of industry supports within the system also forms part of this driver.
The project will employ specialised Digital Education Leaders who will support 45 schools per year.