A HANDFUL of nursery schools have become the first in Scotland to complete a pioneering education initiative developed to encourage digital learning amongst children.
Pre-schools from across Scotland were officially recognised by Education Scotland today (Tuesday 17 September) for their commitment to promoting digital skills in the classroom.
They were joined by more than 70 secondary and primary schools at the largest ever Digital Schools Awards, held at St Mungo’s High School, Falkirk, where a total of 114 schools were officially recognised.
To better equip the next generation, awarded nursery schools provide access to the latest hi-tech equipment, including green screens and stop-motion animation technology.
Independent learning is also encouraged on SMART boards and tablets, and classes are prepared to teach pupils about safety online.
The extension of the Digital Schools programme to pre-schools follows the successful roll out of the initiative across secondary and primary levels and signals the growing importance for young people to develop digital skills.
To date more than half Scottish schools (51%) have signed up to the Digital Schools Awards – a nationally recognised programme developed in collaboration with Education Scotland and industry titans HP and Microsoft.
Stephen Phee, head teacher at St Mungo’s High School said: “We are delighted to be recognised as a Digital School. It is a testament to the hard work of our teaching staff, who have been instrumental to developing and implementing our digital learning strategies.
Digital Economy Minister, Kate Forbes, said: “The Scottish Government recognises the knowledge, skills and attributes that children and young people need to acquire to thrive in our interconnected, digital and rapidly changing world.
“The Digital Schools Awards are a great way to encourage schools to develop new and innovative ways in which to achieve that aim, as well as to recognise excellence.
“My congratulations to this year’s award winners, who are being rightly celebrated for their dedication and enthusiasm for digital.”
Paul Morrison from Microsoft said: “Technology is an incredible tool – one which encourages connectivity, creativity and independent exploration. Opening our young people to the possibilities of the digital world and providing them with the skills needed to prosper within it is an important task – and one we are committed to supporting. “
Schools are encouraged to register for the programme through the www.digitalschoolsawards.co.uk website where they can undergo a self-evaluation of current practices and standards.