Researchers at the University of Ulster are set to co-ordinate an event that will give new meaning to the term ‘shared education’.
Young people and their teachers from 200 schools across the island of Ireland will be using technology to celebrate ‘Dissolving Boundaries Day’ on Thursday 16 May.
The annual event celebrates the work done throughout the past year in the primary, secondary and special schools involved in the Dissolving Boundaries programme.
Funded by the Department of Education since 1999, the programme involves schools from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland forming and maintaining friendships through the use of ICT and face to face meetings.
Ten of the schools, in five partnerships, are meeting at the Dundalk Institute of Technology, County Louth, and the pupils will present a summary of what they have learned about their chosen curricular topic, how they have used technology and what it’s been like working in a cross border team using the latest communications technology.
For the first time, these presentations will be broadcast live to all the other Dissolving Boundaries schools on both sides of the border via the Internet.
With the help of C2k, providers of educational technology for schools in Northern Ireland and an outside TV broadcast team from the North East Education and Library Board, a 60 minute programme will be beamed by satellite to anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection.
Teachers and pupils in Canada and Israel, as well as those on both sides of the border in Ireland will be part of the audience and will be able to send in questions and comments to the pupils in Dundalk.
Professor Roger Austin, co-Director of the Dissolving Boundaries programme at the University of Ulster said: “Each year, we try to innovate in the ways that we use technology to link schools together and we are delighted to have been able to forge this partnership with ESAGS TV and with C2K to connect the pupils’ showcase event to the wider ‘family’ of Dissolving Boundaries schools and our friends overseas.’
He added: “The term ‘shared education’ has been used until now about partnerships between schools within Northern Ireland; but dealing with the legacies of the past also requires us to continue to work on north-south links and Dissolving Boundaries is one of the best examples of how technology can be used to support cost-effective long-term links.”
Further information about the programme is available at dissolvingboundaries.org