Ready for What?—Digital Readiness in Teacher Education: A Case Study of Professional Partnership in Northern Ireland.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Internationally, education systems make considerable investments in ICT resources and infrastructure to support digital learning in schools. Since 1997 Northern Ireland has undertaken an ambitious, regional partnership initiative, providing ICTs to support schools in both pedagogy and school management. Over the first decade of this roll-out, an estimated £500 million was spent in a country with a school population of around 330,000. In partnership, Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers across Northern Ireland are impacted as they prepare pre-service teachers for teaching in relatively ICT-rich schools and recommendations have been made that the online education skills of teachers should be developed. While this sounds promising for digital skills’ preparedness in the teaching workforce, the strategy was not systematically enacted. COVID-19 precipitated a move to emergency home schooling across Northern Ireland, as elsewhere, and this highlighted systemic weaknesses, including in partnerships between schools and ITE and their capability to support online learning fully. This chapter will examine the partnership between ITE in universities and the schools they work alongside highlighting some challenges to that partnership, particularly exposed during the pandemic. This particularly highlighted the need for a reset to a vision of digital readiness within education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on School-University Partnerships.
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-99-0807-3
Publication statusPublished online - 18 May 2023


  • Educational Technologies
  • Initial Teacher Education
  • Partnership
  • Northern Ireland and communities


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