Online learning project for schools

Junior Minister Martina Anderson and, from left, Hannah Johnston, Lisneal College, Aisling Mulhern, St Mary's College, and Jack Chambers, St Columb's College, pictured at the launch of the Foyle Cloud learning project in the City Hotel. (2106PG03)
Junior Minister Martina Anderson and, from left, Hannah Johnston, Lisneal College, Aisling Mulhern, St Mary's College, and Jack Chambers, St Columb's College, pictured at the launch of the Foyle Cloud learning project in the City Hotel. (2106PG03)

Three Derry schools have signed up to a new pilot scheme to help kids develop their digital skills and learn online.

The ‘Foyle Cloud’ Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) - a virtual learning project funded by Ilex Urban Regeneration Company and in St Columb’s, Lisneal and St Mary’s Colleges - was launched on Friday by local MLA andJunior Minister Martina Anderson.

The Foyle Learning Community project allows pupils to learn anywhere, anytime, via the internet. Teachers can engage with pupils online and provide essential support and resources to pupils outside their own classroom or school. The aim of ‘Foyle Cloud’ is to help develop pupils’ on-line skills and provide the essential digital expertise needed to meet the future needs of employers and Digital Derry.

The completion of the project fits well with other investment initiatives ongoing in the city, including BT’s £3.75 million investment to provide high speed internet across the city, Project Kelvin and plans to set up a North West Regional Science Park.

Colm Long, Director of Online Operations Facebook, commended the Foyle Learning Community for its “innovative work”.

“The launch of Foyle Cloud today represents a major first step in positioning schools to take full advantage of the emergent technology that is all around us. I congratulate them on their achievement and the pupils on the production of the ‘Building Bridges’ movie.”

Foyle Cloud also encompasses the ability to develop an E-Portfolio, a type of learning record that provides actual evidence of the pupil’s achievement to date. The E-Portfolio is portable and can be transferred with the student post school as they progress to NWRC and university.

The VLE will accelerate the implementation of the Entitlement Framework which requires schools to work collaboratively to deliver 27 subjects at A Level. Schools are presently developing materials for A-level subjects which will be delivered via Foyle Cloud to different pupils in different schools. It allows pupils to access courses not available in their own school and cuts down on travel by pupils between schools.