Microsoft Ireland Education Team launches Digital Literacy and Office 2007 in Irish in Belfast

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while (apologies for the delay) but I’ve been waiting for the photos, so here is the launch information:

On Thursday November 12th the Irish version Microsoft Digital Literacy was officially launched in Belfast at Coláiste Feirste in West Belfast. Coláiste Feirste is the only Irish Post-Primary school in the greater Belfast area. Dr. Kevin Marshall, MS Education Lead, Tom Jackson, Education Programme Manager NI and Stephanie Conville, Education Business Manager NI worked with the Irish Medium Steering Group for Online Learning (IMSGOL) to put the event together. The IMSGOL is a programme to improve the effective use of ICT in the Irish medium educational sector in Northern Ireland and to deliver the programme to schools in Northern Ireland

Microsoft and the Localization International Programme (LIP) Team led by Louise Fitzpatrick, worked with Foras na Gaeilge and translation company, Treanslán, to develop and translate the Digital Literacy Programme and Office 2007 into Irish. The efforts of the organisations have been supported by a wide number of community groups and native Irish language speakers who have helped with vocabulary selection and testing.   

Us Minister and Students The event was attended by Minister for Education, Ms Caitriona Ruane, MLA, along with Paul Rellis, MS Ireland GM and Klaus Holse Andersen, MS Corporate VP Western Europe. In addition, students, teachers, local Community Groups and media from 5 different services attended the launch

Klaus speaking Klaus spoke at the launch, “We are thrilled to be rolling out the Digital Literacy Programme for the first time ever in Irish. Microsoft is committed to helping people realise their potential through the use of technology and one way that can be achieved is to allow people everywhere use their computers to work, learn and play in the language of their choice. Today’s launch is the result of a huge amount of work by the team at Microsoft and its partners, as well as many members of the Irish speaking community north and south of the border who contributed to the community glossary.

“We anticipate that it will be a particularly valuable tool for schools, and not just Irish speaking schools, which can now use the technology to learn and teach through Irish. Schools can, not only teach students the technology skills they need to work in the 21st Century economy, they now have the option do it through Irish.”

Dr. Kevin Marshall noted, “This launch is the result of considerable effort to build and maintain valued educational partnerships over the past years. IMSGOL and their relationship with Tom Jackson, through their work in the Belfast School Technology Innovation Centre (STIC), was instrumental in organising the event and getting the Minister to attend. It is this type of “on the ground” relationship that makes a real difference in ensuring that Students and Teachers alike have access to the latest and best ICT tools to enhance their learning and teaching”

Garaí Mac Roibeaird, Principal of Coláiste Feirste said, “This is a huge boost for us as an Irish speaking school as we are committed to teaching through technology but we had to teach digital literacy skills through English. The Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum’s availability in Irish means that we now can integrate technology into the teaching of the curriculum across the board in Irish, giving teachers and students alike a far richer learning experience.”

With Mary Kane (Paul Rellis MS, Mary Kane (C2k),Tom Jackson MS, Klaus Holse Andersen MS, Stephanie Conville MS, Dr. Kevin Marshall MS)

Along with the launch, Coláiste Feirste students entertained the invited guests to music, dance and a scene from Grease in Irish. Overall, the event was a smashing success. Congratulations and well done to all involved

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