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Paddy Maguire

Service Delivery Manager, C2k, Northern Ireland
Patrick J. Maguire B.A., Dip Ed., D.I.C.E., a graduate of Queens University, Belfast has 38 years experience in education in N. Ireland. He was a secondary school teacher for 22 years, for 15 of which he was Deputy Head. He has worked in curriculum development and as a Department of Education inspector. In 1994 he became Support Manager for the Computerised Local Administration System for Schools (CLASS) project, in one of N. Ireland’s five Education and Library Board (ELB) areas. When CLASS was subsumed into C2k in 2000, he was appointed Services Delivery Manager. In this role, he has responsibility for C2k support and training across N. Ireland’s schools and is one of the six members of the Management Board.

(C2k is responsible for the provision of an information and communications technology (ICT) managed service to all schools in Northern Ireland.)
  • Northern Ireland: Empowering Schools for eLearning   |   Kongres ITAPA 2006

    Over the past six years Northern Ireland has taken a brave step forward with significant public expenditure on private sector partnerships to deliver ICT managed services to all its schools. An educational network has been established whereby every child has equitable access to relevant and exciting educational content using the latest technology, both within and outside school; where school managers no longer have to worry about making ICT purchasing decisions and where teachers can be sure of the availability and reliability of ICT in the classroom. The stage is set for a radical implementation of elearning, using the managed learning environment (MLE), LearningNI, to facilitate collaborative online learning in the education community.

    Today, every school in Northern Ireland has a local area network (LAN). Workstations, distributed across the classrooms, give access to a wide range of appropriate curricular software. Printers, projectors and other peripheral devices are commonplace. All are part of a managed service, whereby maintenance and problem-solving are the responsibility of the private sector. The platform is consistent across all schools, irrespective of location or type.

    All users of the 45,000 computers have safe and secure Internet access through a wide area network (WAN), with 2mb broadband links. All teachers have filtered email accounts and these are also available to pupils, at the discretion of their schools’ principals. Every teacher and pupil has a unique username which gives access to LAN and WAN resources from any Internet connection outside school. After several months of innovative pilot work, which suggests that the rich functionality has great potential for elearning and online collaborative working, the implementation of a MLE, LearningNI, is now underway. Over the coming years we expect this technology to provide real collegiality, with schools working together in partnership, not just with other schools, but with other kinds of institutions; not only within Northern Ireland but across Europe and the wider world. Significant progress has already been made, in a relatively short time.
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