Bord na Gàidhlig funds unique digital Gaelic education project hailed as ‘Netflix for Reading’
The organisation has backed Giglets Gàidhlig, which provides online learning for students in Gaelic schools throughout Scotland using a cloud-based system, to the tune of £147,000 over three years.
Already more than 90% of Gaelic Medium Education (GME) schools are using or are trained on Giglets Gàidhlig’s system, with 600 teachers and 4,500 pupils registered.
Jim Whannel, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Director of Education, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted that Giglets Gàidhlig is proving such a success story.
“We believe Giglets Gàidhlig is a perfect fit for the ultimate aim of Bòrd na Gàidhlig – to help Gaelic flourish in Scotland through people learning the language in an enterprising, fun yet academically challenging way.
“Its aim is to give children a love for reading and provide teachers with a rich collection of texts and resources. It supports multiple media, such as graphics, pictures, animations at key moments of the story, so every child and teacher can use it in Gaelic.
“We believe Giglets Gàidhlig will continue to help pupils, teachers, schools and the Gaelic community in Scotland as a whole to work towards our goal.”
Headquartered in Kilmarnock, Giglets Gàidhlig is a K-12 company involved in early years, primary and early secondary education. The project is supported by several hundred Gaelic resources aligned with Curriculum for Excellence, with 45 Gaelic voiceovers professionally recorded and published.
It also provides a library of hundreds of texts and thousands of curriculum-aligned resources, and provides educational training and support services. It also partners with Stòrlann Nàiseanta, the organisation which is the main producer of Gaelic educational resources.
It is the brainchild of Dr Karsten Karcher, chairman and founder of Giglets Education. He says Giglets Gàidhlig provides a low cost, scalable, cloud-based learning platform and software-as-a-service (SaaS) that improves learning experiences for teachers and pupils.
Also vital to the edtech system’s success is it is education first and technology second.
He said: “Its content consists of a library of online titles, both fiction and non-fiction. They are delivered in a totally accessible way according to the abilities of the student reading them – be it novel, newspaper or cartoon style.”
Aimed at those aged between three to 14, Giglets Gàidhlig is accessible on tablet, computer, and mobiles. Dr Karcher says texts also have full voiceovers.
He added: “Giglets Gàidhlig is unique in terms of the number of schools engaged – thanks to its aim to reverse a fall in reading standards. It also helps reduce teachers’ workloads by reducing preparation and marking time, and provides data and analytics to teachers, schools, local authorities and governments.
“Ultimately Giglets Gàidhlig helps teachers raise standards and supports them in engaging pupils and involving parents while providing valuable information to reinforce their judgements about a learner’s progress.”
Giglets Gàidhlig is supported by the Gaelic Local Authority Network (GLAN) as well as all 14 Scottish local authorities involved in GME. They are Highland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Argyll and Bute, Glasgow, Perth and Kinross, Aberdeen City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh City, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, Angus and Inverclyde Councils.
Giglets Gàidhlig is also supported by Gaelic teaching organisations, University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde, University of the Highlands and Islands, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian.
Media Contact: Elaine Fee on 07540 124245 or Philip Gates on 07525 645350