TeachNet Ireland’s goal is to encourage Irish teachers at both primary and second levels to develop and publish quality indigenous curriculum content on the World Wide Web, by providing a supportive network, funding and teacher professional development opportunities. Established in 2001 and hosted by St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, the TeachNet portal now boasts over 300 teacher generated projects. In recent times the TeachNet team has sought to harness the potential of emerging web technologies such as Web 2.0, to inform teacher practice.These developments have included the deveopment of our Learning Blog, the creation of a series of educational podcasts and the development of a series of online professional development courses.
The TeachNet Ireland project grew out of the TeachNet US
model developed by Teachers Network, New York (www.teachersnetwork.org). Following a successful pilot by the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) during the 1999 – 2000 school year,
it was officially launched by the then Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, in St.
Patrick’s College Drumcondra in October 2001. From the outset the primary goal
was to develop a supportive environment to encourage Irish teachers to publish
quality curriculum content on the Internet and a number of key project
components were implemented to help facilitate this goal. These included:
- Identifying teachers and
other educators to serve as mentors.
- Conducting professional
development workshops focusing on using ICT in the classroom.
- Awarding grants
annually to teachers to disseminate innovative student-focused curriculum
- Developing an online
database of projects to share with teachers and students both nationally
- Creating a professional community
of practice for teachers integrating technology into the school
- The development of the TeachNet Learning Blog
- Publishing of a series of educational podcasts
- Development of a series of online professional development courses.
All of this was initially made possible by the generous
support of the Citigroup Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies. When the Atlantic
Philanthropies funding ceased Microsoft came on board as a project supporter
with Citigroup maintaining their position as lead funder.
From the outset TeachNet identified the need for indigenous digital content for primary and second-level classrooms and set about
addressing the need by developing a framework within which interested
teachers could develop relevant online content. Best described as
teacher-generated learning objects, content is developed by individual teachers
to meet the needs of their own classroom context and classroom tested to ensure
suitability. These resources are then published through the TeachNet portal to
share with other interested teachers complete with comprehensive guidelines on
how the resource can be used or adapted for use in other classrooms. Throughout
the entire process a team of experienced mentors are there to support and
encourage participants to develop their content. Teacher created resources often differ from
resources created by commercial publishers in terms of sophistication and
polish but they are typically more relevant and address gaps identified by
To learn more about the process and on how to apply for a TeachNet Grant please visit the TeachNet Grants page. Alternatively you can Contact Us by phone or email with your query.