Camara Education, the Irish NGO which recently announced ambitious plans to positively impact the lives of 3 million disadvantaged students, has announced a new partnership with Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google.

Camara Education’s mission is to transform education using technology,  empowering disadvantaged students in both Ireland and Kenya.  A €560,000 grant from Google.org will see Camara delivering technology planning, teacher professional development and computers to 44  schools in Ireland and 26 schools in Kenya, impacting the lives of 29,000 students in these schools.

In Ireland, Camara’s work will support the implementation of the Digital Strategy for Schools and help to address specific goals in the 2017 Action Plan released by Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton last week.  The in-depth engagement with the schools includes the development of a whole school technology plan, provision of computers, and a suite of innovative professional learning experiences for teachers and principals.  Education bodies like Educate Together, Trinity Access 21, the NAPD (National Association for Principals and Deputy Principals), and the JMB (Joint Managerial Body) will be involved in the programme.

Commenting on the partnership, Richard Bruton, TD,Minister for Education and Skills said, “It is great to see organisations like Camara and Google.org working together to support schools in embedding the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning, complementing the measures that will be implemented through my Department’s Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020.”

In partnership with the national network of Education Centres, Camara will also be making an ‘Introduction to  Computer Science’ course available to all teachers across the country. Teachers will be introduced to CS First, Google’s online programme for Computer Science education for 9-14 year olds that aims to increase student confidence when using computers and grow their perseverance to tackle difficult problems.

John Fitzsimons, Camara Education CEO said; “Our vision is to deliver real impact through technology and to inspire and empower a young generation to improve their life opportunities.  Working with educational institutions to support them in the integration of technology to deliver better educational outcomes, better grades and 21stCentury Skills is the core of our work.  This partnership with Google.org is hugely significant and will help us reach our ambitious target of impacting an additional 3 million learners over the next three years”.

Shane Nolan, Director at Google Ireland said; “At Google, we’re passionate about how new technologies can transform the way we learn.  Camara Education shares our belief in the power of technology and education to inspire and empower young people to develop critical skills for their futures.  We are pleased to partner with Camara in its work in Ireland and Kenya.    In particular, we are excited that Camara will help Irish teachers develop the confidence and skills to introduce Computer Science (CS) in the primary school classroom. Embedding CS as a fundamental and rigorous subject throughout the entire school curriculum – including the introduction of CS as a Leaving Certificate subject from 2018 – will support and encourage the next generation of technology leaders and problem solvers who will help drive a new wave of innovation in Ireland”.

As part of the partnership with  Camara, Google employees are also volunteering in Camara’s Dublin office, sharing their knowledge and skills with the Camara team.

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