Portlaoise College driving Digital Literacy best practice

Portlaoise College driving Digital Literacy best practice

Portlaoise College at the forefront in Educational Change in Digital Literacy and Key Skills


This month saw the coming together of teachers from all around Europe, in what was the culmination of three years of hard work, at a conference in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels. On Friday the 2nd of February select schools involved in the European Pilot Programme, ATS2020, were invited to showcase their innovative classroom practice and listen to presentations from leading experts in the field of education in the 21st century.The Irish ATS2020 project partners are e-learning services and consultancy organisation, H2 Learning and JCT (Junior Cycle for Teachers). JCT is a support service for teachers and is part of the Irish Department of Education and Skills reform of Junior Cycle reform. With 29 schools from Ireland taking part, the programme was aimed at providing a comprehensive learning model, supporting the development and assessment of students’ 21st century skills and introducing innovative teaching and learning practices within schools.

Dr. Pádraig Kirk, Director of CPD for Junior Cycle, Pauraic Kenny, Woodwork Teacher, Portlaoise College, Jane Doherty, Metalwork Teacher, Portlaoise College, Seamus Knox, Senior Inspector from the Department of Education and Skills at the schools showcase in Brussels.


Representing the progress made within Ireland were Pauraic Kenny and Jane Doherty, teachers from Portlaoise College who had been heavily involved in the programme. Mr. Kenny and Ms. Doherty have been incorporating the ATS2020 learning model into their lessons for the past two years, developing and fostering their students transversal skills through digital technologies enhanced learning. These transversal skills, also known as 21st century skills, refer to a set of key competencies that are linked to achieving success in school, further education and work. They include the ability to think critically, make initiative and creative decisions, use digital tools, solve problems and work collaboratively. Skills like these cover a lot of ground when it comes to arming learners with the aptitude to succeed in the future. This programme is part of the very proactive approach of the school in dealing with Junior Cycle Reform and the future for their students is looking very bright indeed.