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Makers in Schools: The Schools Excellence Fund

Setting up a Makerspace

The Schools Excellence Fund - Digital Learning Clusters, is a national programme, funded by the department of Education and Skills, which aims to implement the Digital Strategy for Schools (2015 – 2020) Enhance Teaching Learning and Assessment as set out by the Department of Education and Skills.

Make Create Innovate have been invited by a cluster of four schools; Cork Educate Together, Firhouse Educate Together, Clonturk Community College and Malahide and Portmarnock Educate Together, to work together to set up a Makerspace in each school.

The role of Make Create Innovate in this three year initiative is to support the development of educational training and artistic innovation using technology for each of the schools in our cluster. We aim to assist in the establishment of a community of learning that will have a positive impact on the national network of Schools in Ireland.

This project will ultimately encourage the meaningful integration of digital technologies across the curriculum being offered in the schools. It will also give both students and teachers greater confidence in working with technology. Each of the schools is keen to have a dynamic digital presence that fosters the junior cycle key skills and 21st Century skills necessary for teachers and students to flourish in their world.

We believe that this project will be a springboard for creativity and innovation in STEAM and support students to see and understand the transferability of their knowledge, understanding, skills and values to projects that are cross-curricular with real world application.

A culture of collaboration within and between schools is essential in realising this project and is ultimately key in bringing about meaningful change in the context of junior cycle reform and effective practice in Ireland. The sharing of methodologies, content and assessment practices has the potential to be transformative. Using technology to support assessment through written and audio feedback, questioning and reflection will help everybody to see the potential for application in all subjects.

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