Scoilnet – the Department of Education’s portal for Ireland
This is an Education portal which includes a subject specific website French.ie, German.ie, scienceunleashed.ie. This started in May 2014 and is ongoing. It includes a Professional Development Service for Teachers PDST and Irish Teachers.
The role of the site is the provision of curriculum relevant digital resources to assist teaching and learning for Primary and Post-Primary School teachers in Ireland.
All the resources on the site have been either reviewed by teachers for their relevance to the Irish curriculum or used by them in the classroom.
Scoilnet is managed on a day-to-day basis by the PDST Technology in Education Unit. Specialist sites for French, German, Geography and History provide pedagogical online resource for teachers.
The new interface has implemented features of a dashboard, my shared resources, favourites and news. The biggest innovation on the new site is the facility for teachers to upload their own resources and share them with the wider education community.
Resources finding is now easier with the implementation of a search box, which facilitates filtering resources to specific sections of the curriculum. Theme pages that support a thematic approach to teaching are also available. The Learning Path feature enables teachers to select and organise resources into their own collection and share it with their peers or pupils. The search also finds federated results from Britannica School, the Ask About Ireland website and images from the ImageBank project.
As part of a wider Scoilnet initiative, the website has many portal sites specialising in specialist areas. These specialist sites provide a rich curated set of learning objects for teachers.
The redevelopment of the site to include efficient search, dashboard and the teacher upload functionality has enhanced the teacher experience and facilitated easy collaboration of resources.
The new addition of specialist subject Web sites, for example French.ie http://www.french.ie/ extend the use of ICT in language teaching. The site http://maps.scoilnet.ie/ provides tools to support learning across a wide variety of subjects, including Geography, History and Mathematics. The collaborations with the National Broadcaster RTE and Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), the French Embassy, The Department of Education (Inspectorate), Teachers' Association and the Austrian Embassy enhance knowledge base of expertise that contribute to the learning objects.