Google has announced a new partnership with Trinity College Dublin which it says will "radically change" the way computers are taught in Irish schools.
It will provide 1,000 teachers with miniature coding computers which Google says will help students learn the skills needed in the digital economy.
The internet giant is undertaking the partnership to mark 10 years in Ireland and will provide €1.5 million in funding to the project. It aims to affect a significant long-term change through "innovative educational interventions focused on the second-level system".
The development - described as multi-faceted - will also include targeted efforts to improve computer science and STEM capacity within Deis Schools and specific supports will be developed in order to drive educational and social change through these schools.
The university says providing teachers with access to the professional development course will "assist second level schools in Ireland to increase the number of students involved in and excited about computer science".
The Education Minister says the curriculum has been slow to adapt to technology and that teachers now need to catch up with their students.
Welcoming the initiative, Minister Ruairi Quinn said "I particularly welcome initiatives which can further enhance student outcomes...I am sure that this project can contribute to that positive change. Interventions such as this are most effective when they are consistent with national policy and I look forward to the project leaders liaising with my Department and the Teaching Council in this regard".
solution: 'flash, html'
Provost of Trinity College Dr. Patrick Prendergast added "We are delighted to announce this educational partnership with Google, which builds on their broad-ranging support for Trinity College Dublin in scaling innovative concepts...This sponsorship enables Trinity make an evidence-based contribution to changing the education system, so that our teachers and students develop strong 21st century STEM skills".
Google established in Dublin in 2003 with its Europe, Middle East and Africa Headquarters. The firm employs over 2,500 at its campus in the city.