Coláiste Bríde help pilot €500m digital mapping software system
By Maurice Garvey
COLÁISTE Bríde, Clondalkin, helped pilot a national project, which will see €500 million worth of digital mapping software available to every primary and secondary school in the country.
The announcement was made this week by geographic information systems (GIS) provider Esri Ireland.
More than 900,000 students in 4,000 schools will have access to Esri’s digital mapping platform, ArcGIS Online.
The platform allows students to collect, analyse and visualise data on a wide range of topics, including climate change, urban design and demographic trends.
Coláiste Bríde are among a group of 12 pilot schools who signed up for the project, which will teach the skills and techniques required for working with GIS.
Every school that signs up for the programme will have free access to the online platform and will receive continued support from the Esri Ireland team, including trouble-shooting and lesson plans.
The cloud-based application is accessible through any device connected to the internet, allowing pupils to collect their own data in the field.
Interactive project-based experience with GIS supports STEM learning for students, and ties in well with the recent announcement of computer science as a Leaving Certificate subject.
The initiative has been rolled out by Esri in other countries across the world, including the UK, Canada, the US and Germany.
Recently, an Australian school mapped and developed solutions to alleviate local school traffic congestion.
Joanne McLaughlin, ArcGIS for Schools Sponsor, Esri Ireland, said: “Through our work with the pilot schools we’re really encouraged by the reaction of both teachers and their students.
“Key to the successful adoption of the programme is the provision of support for teachers through workshops, lesson plans aligned to the curriculum, and a huge variety of online training resources.
“We believe this initiative can help address the evident STEM skills shortage in this country, by developing key spatial analysis, and critical thinking skills at a grassroots level.”