Using ICT to promote Google CS First/Digital Storytelling in an Irish Primary School


Using ICT to promote Google CS First/Digital Storytelling in an Irish Primary School


Mary O’Keeffe

Name of school

Scoil Thomáis, Laurel Lodge, Castleknock Dublin 15


Scoil Thomáis is a Catholic, mixed gender primary school based in the West Dublin suburb of Castleknock. Our school was established 35 years ago and we have approximately 700 pupils, all between 4 and 13 years of age, currently enrolled in Scoil Thomáis. We have 40 teaching staff who are dedicated to the holistic learning and development of pupils in the school. We have a large computer room which every class attends once a week, as well as a range of other ICT equipment which is used to great effect by staff and pupils


Goal: That the pupils will be enabled to create a wide variety of Digital Storytelling projects using Google CS First Materials and Scratch programming.


Method: One of the 6th classes in the school was chosen because of the dynamic in the classroom – there were a wide variety of special educational needs present in one of the particular 6th Classes so in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the project amongst the widest variety of pupils’ needs, Room 18 was chosen. Pupils had some prior knowledge of computer skills, however most were unfamiliar with Scratch programming.


Materials: Google CS First Storytelling Pack, 30 computers, microphones and digital cameras; the pupils used one 40 minute time slot in the computer room. An interactive whiteboard as well as tutor control software was used to demonstrate project ideas, as well as to highlight and share pupils’ excellent work with peers.


Assessment: Online surveys as well as rubrics used to assess the projects rubric taken from


ICT was used creatively to allow the pupils create their own sprites which enabled them in turn to make projects that were more meaningful and engaging – e.g. pupils took photographs of themselves using school digital cameras, they then imported the image into MS Word, then removed the background, creating .png vector images which could easily be imported into the Scratch interface. Depending on pupils’ ability, they were encouraged to further complicate and elaborate on their digital storytelling projects.



Pupils were actively engaged in distributing materials, sharing project ideas, problem solving and troubleshooting for each other when necessary.


Parental volunteers were not sought for this particular project, however we have a large and active Parents Association who would willingly volunteer when needed.


This was a successful project based on feedback from pupils and their class teacher. The enthusiasm shown by pupils was, I felt, an appropriate way to evaluate the project’s success!


“This project stimulated pupils’ creativity and helped to foster their problem solving skills – these skills can easily be applied by pupils across the curriculum and beyond.” M. McGarry, school principal


“For me as a teacher, it’s fantastic to see the pupils so actively engaged and enthused about a project” N. Gurhy, class teacher


“I like how you can expand the storyline to whatever you want it to be and make it more complicated by adding more blocks or scripts.” K. Murphy, pupil form 6th Class


Video of pupil’s feedback on project


Sample Video of a pupil’s project




Cross curricular


12, 13