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Free access to Encyclopaedia Britannica for school-going children

Schoolchildren throughout Ireland can now access the online version of the encyclopaedia from their home.

Image: Reference books via Shutterstock

THE ONLINE EDITION of the world renowned Encyclopaedia Britannica can now be accessed by schoolchildren throughout Ireland, the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, has announced.

The ‘school edition’ of the volume is available via the Irish education portal scoilnet.ie.

The site, which acts as a central resource for teachers, pupils and parents, receives approximately 160,000 visits each month.

‘Britannica online’ boasts over 129,000 articles, 46,000 graphics, and 4,000 videos, in addition to audio clips, interactive games and quizzes.

Announcing the news, Quinn said that he was committed to “providing digital content to students that enhances their learning through the use of technology.”

“Our children and young people will now have access to Britannica Online in their own homes and this means that whatever their ability, they can learn at their own pace,” he said.

Online access to the encyclopaedia came as the result of a public procurement process during the summer of 2012, which resulted in the Department of Education agreeing an annual license fee of €450,000 to Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book for access.

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Paul Hyland

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