iPads for all: The future is now for one school in Fermoy
A primary school in Fermoy, Co. Cork has been the recipient of a generous donation from an unknown benefactor. The €50,000 came from a philanthropic businessman who wishes to remain anonymous and is to be used to issue the entire school with iPads for educational purposes.
The sight of young students struggling under the weight of school bags – often heavier than they are themselves – was obviously disturbing this generous donator. His contribution will help usher Bishop Murphy Memorial School in Fermoy into the digital age.
Tablets are already in use in a number of schools around the country. Yesterday, the delivery of personal tablets for all 102 students and six teachers made Bishop Murphy Memorial School the first instance of an entire school using them.
Principal James O’Donoghue said the donation will revolutionise the way children are taught.
“Technology is something we have tried to embrace over the years, and we firmly believe that the use of these tablets will enhance the learning experience for children, help deliver on their potential and also make work more satisfying for our staff,” he said.
The school has had to make provisions for charging and also the increased demand on the WiFi network. The school has also given due consideration to the safety ramifications of each student having this device at their disposal. They have allotted funds to manage the iPad's functions, ensuring that only approved apps and websites can be accessed.
While the children are not permitted to bring their tablet home, all homework and projects can be communicated by email, so that they can be completed on the family computer.
It is certainly a huge leap in the evolution of our national education system and was undoubtedly the next logical step in integrated technology, but O'Donoghue maintains that "traditional skills" like reading and writing will remain a focus.