Digital Schools of Distinction Booster Programme – Diary Entry 1

Scoil Cliodhna CNS – Our Digital Journey As it Happens – Part 1

Our school is a developing school and at present we only have 100 children ranging from Junior Infants to 1st class.  The teachers in our school have a keen interest in finding ways to incorporate ICT meaningfully so that the learning experiences of our children are more active and engaging.  Whilst using ICT is definitely of huge interest to our teachers the challenge facing us over the past few months, was how to find programs and apps which would allow our children at the younger class levels to create ICT content, rather than just playing and using drill and practice apps.  Luckily, we found something that has got us started – and we are feeling very optimistic about! This blog post looks at step 1 of our journey.

We initially started our digital journey after the October mid-term break by tapping into the skills and knowledge of our existing staff.  Building on these, all children were introduced to basic internet safety rules, they learned how to use tablets correctly and then we introduced the children to some initial apps for coding and also to some apps for very basic content creation.

We explored the idea of applying for our Digital Flag through the Digital Schools of Distinction program early on in the academic year, but we knew that we would need some further help to really focus our teachers on the Digital Flag process and also to help us find ways of ensuring that ICT could become embedded seamlessly into everyday school life.

So……..we knew we wanted to apply for our Digital Flag, and we knew we had great support and enthusiasm from our principal, teachers and parents alike with regards to embedding ICT into school life, but we really needed resources, ideas, support and suggestions to get us moving in the right direction.

We came across an online teaching, planning and assessment tool called Cocoon; it was offered as a resource through schools support service Edanu. When we explored Cocoon as a school and looked at the offerings for each class level, we knew it was the way to go!  Cocoon provided us with a personalised plan for our school. Each program/app listed is accompanied by very cohesive lesson plans which takes teachers and children through using each resource in a step by step manner.  The content is clear and concise and easy to follow. We are excited to delve into these lessons in greater detail as we work towards achieving our Digital Flag.

Find out how our teachers got on with the lesson plans in our next blog post!

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