Irish Heritage Trust announces dynamic new partnership with Promethean

We were delighted to attend the launch of of an exciting new partnership between the Irish Heritage Trust and Promethean today at Fota House. This will add new interactive learning technologies to the now 1 year old Fota Learning Zone which has been a huge success for Fota House at the team at The Irish Heritage Trust.

We were delighted to be asked to attend by our friends Jennifer and Kevin at the Trust and celebrate the great work they have carried at out at this wonderful Irish Historic Attraction in our hometown of Cork.
The speeches by Minister Jimmy Deenihan and especially Lord Puttnam were enjoyable and very thought provoking.

Below is the official Press Release released for this event.

Lord David Puttnam, a champion of digital education in the UK & Ireland, will be keynote speaker at Fota House. Wednesday, 24th August at 10am

Fota House, Co. Cork, August 2011: The Irish Heritage Trust is mark the first anniversary of Fota Learning Zone with the announcement of a dynamic new partnership with Promethean, a global leader in interactive learning technology. The Irish Heritage Trust will celebrate the anniversary of Fota Learning Zone during Heritage Week 2011 (August 20th-27th), with the launch of three new learning modules which tie in with the curriculum. One of these, ‘Politics or Parlour Maids’, will encourage students to analyse and decide which historical source tells us more about life in a big house: social or political. Lord David Puttnam, a champion of digital education in the UK and Ireland, will be keynote speaker on the day and the new learning module will be officially launched by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

Under the partnership, Promethean has worked with the Irish Heritage Trust to develop educational resources to increase the interactive elements of the new modules. Promethean has created tailor made classroom materials such as downloadable lesson plans, as well as access to online workshops through Promethean Planet, the world’s leading interactive teacher’s resource site with over one million members. The Fota Learning zone will benefit from having a partner site on Promethean Planet to hold these resources, allowing students and teachers to access learning materials after their visit in the classroom and at home, and enabling Fota Learning Zone to enhance its visibility to Promethean Planet’s online community.

Promethean has also donated ActivExpression Learner Response Systems, handheld devices which enable students to work remotely and answer questions while on the go. These will enable students to learn interactively throughout the different rooms of Fota House.

Fota Learning Zone is a free digital resource for teachers and students based on Fota House & Gardens in Cork ( Funded with the aid of a grant of €28,000 from The Heritage Council in 2010, it is multidisciplinary in approach and has been designed to appeal to teachers and students of Transition Year and Leaving Certificate History, History & Appreciation of Art and English.

Jennifer McCrea, Learning & Access Officer with the Irish Heritage Trust, explains its appeal: “Teachers and students can enhance classroom-based learning by collecting and analysing on-site evidence via self-directed learning and project work. It enables students to learn in context in an historic house and helps them to understand abstract concepts on the curriculum. For example, Leaving Certificate students of English require a good understanding of the concept of cultural context and social setting. One way of comprehending this is to experience the living conditions and social rituals of landlords and servants first hand at Fota House. The Irish Heritage Trust has pioneered this unique method of engaging teenagers with heritage in a way that is real, rich and relevant.”

Ian Curtis, Head of Northern Europe at Promethean, said: “We were delighted to be contacted by the Irish Heritage Trust and asked to support Fota Learning Zone. Promethean Planet has grown to over one million members including over 14,000 in Ireland and our ActivInspire software has allowed the Irish Heritage Trust to create more interactive content and reach a wider audience. Having collaboratively built three modules which tie in with the Irish curriculum, more people can learn about Fota House and its heritage through the learning zone”.

“The ActivExpression devices Promethean has donated will enrich and enhance learning for students who visit Fota House. It will enable them to learn as they are walking around and ensure each student is able to take part in interactive learning.”

For further press information, contact: Evelyn Byrne, Irish Heritage Trust,

Promethean Press enquiries: Katie Eborall, Grayling PR (UK),