The Dean of the College of Education, Dr. John O’Brien said the College had approached Telecom Éireann immediately upon the announcement of the awarding of the Information Age Project to Ennis to make the Company aware that the education and training requirements of the Ennis teaching community could be serviced efficiently and immediately by the University of Limerick.
“This manner of training will serve to exploit the fullest potential of the information Age opportunity”, said Dr. O’Brien.
He said that following discussions with Telecom Éireann it had now been agreed that the University will provide training programmes in hardware and software applications, word processing, databasing, spreadsheet management and the Internet to teachers in all Ennis schools. He said the range of programmes will ultimately be further broadened to cover desktop publishing, Powerpoint and Local Area Network (LAN) Management. He said each of the programmes will be provided on a modular basis and participating teachers will receive full University of Limerick recognition for their participation in each module of the programme.
It is of vital importance he said that Ennis children should benefit to the very fullest from the very large capital expenditure which Telecom Éireann have incurred in providing the most modern computer laboratory facilities in each of the town’s schools. He said the combination of computer facilities, local area networking and ISDN access, which is being provided by Telecom to the schools, will make the town’s schools among the best equipped and most modern schools in the computer age.
He announced that the University of Limerick has already commissioned the preparation of teaching material which will be used as a resource base in assisting the schools in achieving the maximum potential from these facilities and he said the first of the formal training courses will commence within the next two weeks. In all he said it is intended to provide training to 286 teachers with immediate consequent benefits for 5,300 pupils.
Dr. O’Brien further announced that the University of Limerick is currently examining ways in which advanced video conferencing facilities will be used as soon as the Information Age equipment is fully integrated into the schools in order to provide Ennis schools with a constant link to resource material and other teaching assistance facilities within the University of Limerick. Dr. O’Brien said that ultimately Ennis schools will have unlimited access to a world-wide virtual library and simultaneous developments in Ennis and on the University of Limerick campus provide an exciting opportunity for future development.
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