Encyclopedic knowledge

Every primary and secondary school in County Clare is to get free access to online versions of the popular Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book as part of a nationwide e-Learning initiative announced by the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Education and Science.

The online encyclopedias use text, video clips, three-dimensional simulations, research aids and other new media in presenting information to students. The Department pays an annual licence fee of €450,000 to Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book to authorise schools to use the online resources.

Minister of State Tony Killeen said he strongly supported efforts by the government to integrate information communications technology into teaching and learning. He added that the government is committed to building schools’ ICT capacity in today’s increasingly knowledge-based society.

Tony said: “The government is making enormous strides in developing our schools ICT capacity. For example in 2009, it launched a €150million euro plan for ‘smart schools’, which will give every classroom in the country a teaching laptop, software and digital projector over the next three years.

“The provision of these online learning tools marks the next phase in the government’s ambition to develop our schools into centres of e-learning and to make technology an integral part of the learning process. The range of information available to Clare schools through these encyclopedias will enrich students’ learning experience and deepen their knowledge of the sciences, humanities, arts and other areas. Furthermore, the schools broadband network enables us to deliver targeted digital resources directly to teachers and students through the scoilnet.ie website.”

Picture: Minister of State Tony Killeen