IBM announces Reinventing Education partnership with Ireland

$1 million grant to fuel best practices in Irish education

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Irel - 20 Aug 1998: . . Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister for Education and Science, and IBM Chairman and CEO Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. today announced a special education partnership and a $1 million investment in Ireland's school system from IBM as part of its global Reinventing Education programme.

Ireland is the first European country to be selected as an IBM Reinventing Education partner. Its education system will benefit from a host of IBM research, development, equipment and new technology solutions that are helping students in the U.S., Latin America and Asia achieve academic excellence.

The first schools in Ireland to benefit from the grant will be Scoil Mhuire Junior and Senior Primary Schools in Blakestown, and Blakestown Community School in Dublin.

IBM Reinventing Education, a multi-million dollar global initiative launched by IBM in 1994 to refocus school systems on high academic standards, will play an important role in driving Mr. Martin's vision of a developing education partnership between students, parents and teachers at different schools, across many communities and public and private sector organisations. The IBM programme has been praised in the U.S.A., by both Harvard Business School and the Center for Children and Technology.

The Minister said "The technology solutions that will be designed and implemented by IBM and our local educators, students and parents will help us get closer to achieving our schools IT 2000 objectives and enable us to develop and share global best practices in education. I want to acknowledge the pioneering commitment of IBM in this area and say how much the Irish Government appreciates this investment in this partnership."

The backbone of Reinventing Education is a core of innovative technology solutions, housed in a framework called Wired for Learning, and developed by IBM and educators in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia. These technologies will be tailored specifically to address the local needs of Irish students.

"Schools are the essence of any thriving, successful community," said Mr Gerstner. "As a member of IBM's global Reinventing Education network, Ireland's primary and secondary school students will not be alone in reaping the rewards of reaching world class academic standards. All of us will benefit."

IBM works with each Reinventing Education site using the same strategy it employs with its large business customers. All grant sites receive the services of a project manager, consultants and researchers. Together they create customised solutions designed to break down specific barriers to higher academic achievement.

Each Reinventing Education site in Ireland will adapt a technology framework designed by IBM called Wired for Learning, a secure network solution that has been customised for the school systems in six U.S. states and in three countries internationally to strengthen the links between school, home and community. Today, Wired for Learning is linking schools, districts, states and countries around the world, building a global networked community that serves as a single source for a host of easy to access, secure resources and applications that:

In the future, IBM hopes to involve Irish schools throughout Ireland in the Reinventing Education grant programme.

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