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Digital ‘Wriggle room’ for students at Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh

Christina Clarkin and Donncha O Treasaigh at the launch of Wriggle 'digital' school bags. Picture: Dave Gaynor
It’s out with the old and with the new for Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh as transition year students use their new ‘digital’ school bags.

It’s out with the old and with the new for Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh as transition year students use their new ‘digital’ school bags.

The traditional school bag is a thing of the past for the transition year students, with their learning resources now on iPads as part of the Wriggle 1:1 mobile learning programme.

The school has 560 students and currently 240 of them use mobile technology in their daily learning. Fifth and sixth year students use a mix of e-books and conventional textbooks.

Principal, Donncha Ó Treasaigh, said the use of mobile technology had improved some students’ academic performances, but a certain amount of work must still be done with pen and paper as that remains the exam format.

“In the Leaving Cert results this year, we would have noticed that children who may have struggled with text books and conventional teaching methods through junior cycle, achieved excellent results in their Leaving Cert results and I believe that mobile technology helped them,” he explained.

“Senior cycle take their notes in normal copies, they use iPads for recording experiments and as an aid for oral work, but they do all their homework in written format, because that is what they are preparing for in terms of the exams,” he said.

The principal added the school is considering the roll out of iPads at junior cycle, as they recognise the importance of keeping up with new student learning methods.

“Pupils are learning in a completely different way now compared to when we went to school ourselves and they are living in a mobile and a technological world where they get information at the touch of a screen, so we have to keep up to pace with their ways of learning,” he said.

The George’s Quay-based school was one of the first to switch to the new techniques and is one of the leading institutions in the country in ICT learning, said Mr Ó Treasaigh.

“Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh was one of the first schools in Ireland to adopt the use of iPad, commencing in 2010. The college is recognised nationally as one of the leaders in quality ICT integration and enrichment of teaching and learning,” he said.

Wriggle is currently working with 7,000 students in 80 schools across the country and the response continues to be very positive said Beryl Furlong, Director of Education at Wriggle.

“The advantages are numerous, interactive up to date content to engage students and increase attainment, the ability to cater to different learning styles and rates of progression, it allows for greater collaboration, instant feedback and fosters important life skills,” she said.

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