Gaelscoil na Daróige recognised in prestigious EDTECH50 yearbook for digital innovation

Gaelscoil na Daróige has been recognised in the prestigious EDTECH50 yearbook for innovative solutions implemented to meet the needs of their pupils during the pandemic.

By Kevin Mullan
Friday, 17th December 2021, 1:33 pm

It’s another coup for the Ballymagroarty school whose information and communications technology (ICT) work has previously been showcased by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA).

“Gaelscoil na Daróige is delighted to be recognised in the EDTECH50 yearbook as an organisation shaping education technology. This is an acknowledgement of the incredible work carried out during the pandemic,” said principal, Fiachra Ó Donghaile.

“At the onset of lockdown we wanted to ensure that our immersive setting was as good online as it was offline.

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“We wanted to limit the disruption caused to the children’s learning when they were unable to attend for face to face lessons.”

Séanna Ó Coinn, ICT co-ordinator, explained some of the measures that were taken over the past two years.

“In order to reduce the impact of remote learning on language acquisition we aimed to provide continuity in learning.

“This challenge was even greater considering a considerable number of parents at the school had little or no Irish at home.”

The school provided a blend of paper based, practical and online learning and received extremely positive feedback from parents.

“Initially, when learning from home was announced, I was filled with dread,” said Diarmuid Carlin, a parent. “But it went better than I could ever have imagined.

“The packs and emails complimented perfectly the expert use of the online communication App for Rang1, and the genius of the dedicated You Tube channels for the older children.

“The fact that my youngest could upload her own work on her tablet and interact with her teacher, while the oldest two could rewind the teacher on the TV when looking to revise a part of a lesson all made remote learning, even for me as a parent, enjoyable. In fact, I could go again if necessary,” laughed Diarmuid.

Many platforms and programmes were fully utilised by teachers to maximise online learning.

“The governors and staff shared a determination to continue providing effective teaching and learning experiences during the pandemic and we are incredibly grateful to our parents who engaged enthusiastically with online learning,” said Fiachra.

Séanna said the EDTECH50 recognition is good news for Irish Medium Education in general.

“Boasting over 7,500 pupils, Irish Medium schools have demonstrated that we can continue to grow and to provide an excellent immersive experience for pupils, even during the pandemic, through effective and innovative use of technology.

“This recognition is a reflection of the stellar work carried out in Irish Medium schools during challenging times and it will further increase the attractiveness of Irish Medium education as an option for parents throughout Ireland as they prepare to apply for a school place for their children in January.”