Over 60 schools adopt new technology system

 Three is digitally enabling schools throughout Ireland with new IT solution

Education Shared Services solution Colaiste Bride Three and Microsoft-5November 12th 2014: Over 60 schools nationwide are benefiting from a new information technology network which is facilitating advanced teaching practices and preparing pupils for working and living in a digital society. The fully managed Education Shared Services (ESS) solution was initially developed by O2 and is now being enhanced and extended by Three, following its acquisition of O2 earlier this year. It allows pupils and staff to access study materials at home, facilitates distance learning and can boost language skills through international video-conferencing.

The ESS solution enables teachers to bring real life learning scenarios into the classroom, accessed through rich media which is delivered over the 100Mb broadband provided by the Government. Each school is provided with a unified ICT platform that simplifies administration, support, collaboration and learning while also reducing operational costs. The service, which was developed in partnership with educators and is being delivered by Three, is now used in over 60 schools and a large number of other schools are evaluating the service.

The system is already being used in Coláiste Bride in Clondalkin, which has 960 second level pupils. “Coláiste Bride is blazing a trail in showing how well this works”, said Nicola Mortimer, Head of Business Products, Marketing and Support, Three. Speaking at a showcase event in the school today she added “With the infrastructure delivered by Three and the guidance of progressive educators we will have the potential to ensure that ICT will play a central role in the development of the digital citizens of tomorrow. Many more schools have seen its potential and are interested in this service which is why we’re seeing such a demand for it.”

“Technology in education requires a complete solution to make it a success, with schools recognizing the positive impact mobile-first, cloud-first programs have on how students learn and the ways in which they interact with the world”, according to Dr. Kevin Marshall, Head of Education, Microsoft Ireland.  “We are committed to working with Three to help educators achieve more, providing resources needed to prepare students for their futures cost effectively. Making power management solutions available to schools across Ireland, the potential savings are substantial annually.”

“Today’s pupils are digital natives – they are surrounded by and interact with digital communications from a very young age”, said Marie-Therese Kilmartin, Principal of Coláiste Bride.  “Introducing this system reflects that.  It means children will be taught in school using the type of technology they choose to use outside school.  In addition, the short courses in the new Junior Cycle in areas such a Programming and Coding and Digital Literacy are obviously best taught in a school environment in which digital technology is embedded.”