Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (58)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire


58. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to establish a digital literacy education programme at both primary and secondary level in schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42544/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Considerable work has already been done in the development of curricula on digital literacy.  At both primary and post-primary levels considerable scope for building the capacity of students in the area of digital literacy is provided for through the emphasis on dispositions, competencies and skills as foundational elements of the curriculum.  Specifically, in the newly introduced Framework for Junior Cycle, digital literacy skills are promoted through the eight Key Skills (all skills have an ICT/digital component) and through the Statements of Learning. In addition, in the ongoing reviews of the Primary Curriculum and of the Senior Cycle the skills of, or skills closely related to, digital literacy, have featured strongly in all discussions on future provision. 

Currently at post-primary level, there are several programmes and courses in ICT and Digital Literacy already in place, particularly the Junior Cycle Short Course in Digital Literacy and the IT courses in the Leaving Certificate Applied programme. To a lesser extent, the recently-introduced Leaving Certificate subject in Computer Science also looks at aspects of digital literacy.

In studying the Junior Cycle Short Course in Digital Media Literacy, students learn to use digital technology, communication tools and the internet creatively, critically and safely, in support of their development, learning and capacity to participate effectively in social and community life.

The Information and Communication Technology module forms part of the core curriculum for all Leaving Certificate Applied students. It is intended to develop the students’ skills, knowledge, attitudes and understanding of Information and Communication Technology to enable them to use digital technology in both their current and future lives.

In addition, areas such as Wellbeing and its constituent programmes in Social, Personal and Health Education, Relationships and Sexuality Education and Civic, Social and Political Education also underpin skills of digital literacy in engaging with the subject material in these courses.

The Digital Learning Framework is currently being disseminated to all schools. The Framework promotes student engagement in the teaching and learning process and will help towards the development of digital literacy skills. The development and adaption of this Framework is a key objective of the Digital Strategy for Schools which is currently being implemented.