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Northern Ireland pushes open data in education


Competition takes Open Data Strategy into development of teaching resources

Northern Ireland’s Departments of Finance and the Economy have got behind an effort to exploit open data in education, giving their support to a competition to use it in new teaching resources.

The departments are providing the funding for the OpenDataNI Challenge, organised by the Northern Ireland Digital Catapult, which involves two prizes of £20,000 towards developing the winning idea.

Announcing the competition, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “We need to look beyond traditional ways of delivering services and Open Data is a valuable resource which can help stimulate the development of new products, goods and services.

“This competition will provide an opportunity to engage with the local software development community to develop innovative ways to use open data for teaching.”

Entrants can use the OpenDataNI portal, which was launched in November of last year, for access to public sector data in developing resources for primary or secondary schools. The competition is open for applications until 28 September.

The move is part of Northern Ireland’s Open Data Strategy, which is aimed at embedding a culture of ‘open by default’ in the public sector.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “The sharing and reuse of data are central to the role of the new Northern Ireland Digital Catapult and key elements of the Executive’s Innovation Strategy.

“Our knowledge economy has a strong cluster of data analytics and creative digital companies and I look forward to seeing how the results of this competition will encourage innovative educational resources.”

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