From education to employment

Northern Ireland embeds digital literacy across all state schools

Damian Harvey, Interim Head of C2k

Northern Ireland is nurturing young people’s creative skills and setting its workforce of the future up to be digitally savvy. Paving the way for education reform and following in the footsteps of Wales, digital literacy is now taught as a core subject alongside numeracy and literacy.

This is to better reflect today’s digital world and equip young people with the crucial skills needed in today’s workplace.

This is particularly significant as a recent study by the Learning and Work Institute found that less than half of British employers believe students are leaving full-time education with the advanced digital skills needed to enter the workplace. 

As part of these efforts, the NI government have just announced it will be teaming up with leading tech company Adobe to roll out Adobe Spark for Education across the entire state primary and secondary education system. 

With Adobe as its technology partner, Adobe Spark will complement Northern Ireland’s digital transformation strategy by allowing users the means to create graphics, web pages and short videos in their lessons and at home.

This development comes following a hugely successful roll out in Wales last year, whereby Adobe Spark was deployed on a national scale in 2020, to make it easy to embed creative and digital learning practices into lesson plans across all subjects. It proved a big success, supporting 550,000 students and teachers in need of simple-to-use but effective online tools during the pandemic.

Damian Harvey, Interim Head of C2k, the EA service network responsible for providing all schools in Northern Ireland with the internet and managed ICT services to support the curriculum says:

“The gap between the rising demand for digital skills and the supply of sufficiently trained people will widen over time without urgent action. It’s crucial that kids have access to effective resources, both inside and outside school, to support the development of their digital skills. Adobe Spark is a valuable tool that encourages children to handle and communicate information and will help advance their digital literacy from a young age.” 

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