Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

New online service for ICT skills launched

Pupils Adam McAleenan and Katie Osborne give the new online idea their the seal of approval
Pupils Adam McAleenan and Katie Osborne give the new online idea their the seal of approval

A new online community to help primary pupils in Northern Ireland improve ICT skills has been launched.

Using a hosting portal aimed at children as young as four, www.schoolpodcast.org is the brainchild of a Belfast-based engineer and mum of four.

“Many schools are finding it difficult getting children engaged with ICT and there can be a big skills gap once they get to secondary school,” explained Joan Henderson at the launch at Loughview Primary School in Castlereagh.

“But schoolpodcast.org allows children to create exciting pieces of work on any topic they wish relating to the curriculum and show their work to their peers — not just in their own school but in any school participating anywhere in the world as well as the community at large.”

The new site was launched by Joanne Stuart, chairperson of the Institute of Directors.

Ms Stuart said: “Podcasting gives them the chance to be creative while developing a greater understanding of ICT in a fun way.

“It also helps them engage with the wider world around them and to see that their opinion is important and this is one way to make themselves heard.”

Training is offered in school to the teachers.

Joan Henderson said: “We set up the school podcasting site in accordance with the school needs — for example most schools would prefer that we allocate a separate channel to each year class.

“In effect it is a mini website that enables the school to communicate more effectively with parents and display work carried out by the children to a wider audience.”

For further information on schoolpodcast.org contact Joan Henderson on 077 1420 4088 or 028 9024 7600.

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