Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (73)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire


73. 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. [47493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Considerable work has 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, the new primary mathematics curriculum in particular, 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. 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.

The principles underpinning the Digital Strategy for Schools requires schools to embed digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment practices. This will help to further develop digital literacy skills for pupils and students in primary and post primary schools. The Digital Learning Framework for Schools, which commenced dissemination to all schools from September 2018provides guidance to schools on how best to embed digital technologies in their teaching and learning practices.  It is accompanied by an extensive professional development programme.

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.