Fibre broadband: enabling rural businesses to grow
Themathstutor.ie is an innovative support system for Project Maths that uses the latest technology to make learning as effective as possible for students. Founder and Managing Director, Eamonn Toland, explains how high-speed broadband has enabled the company to grow and succeed.
Teaching students through video lessons, interactive exercises and online support, themathstutor.ie is used by more than 8,000 students across Ireland – from Junior Cert Ordinary Level through to Leaving Cert Higher Level – to brush up on their numerical skills.
With a team of 600 teachers across Ireland, founder and managing director Eamonn Toland says internet connection is vital to the website’s success. “High speed broadband is really important to us because we operate as a distributed team,” says Eamonn. “We have people in Sligo, Donegal, Galway, Dublin, Wicklow, etc., so in terms of communication for our team, it’s really important for us to have high-speed broadband. It’s something that allows us to keep our costs down and offer our service at a really competitive price.”
Much of themathstutor.ie’s system relies on bespoke video content, which involves constant sharing of large files with students and teachers. The presence of high-speed broadband is therefore crucial to the smooth running of the business.
WORKING WITH IRISH SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The company’s reliance on high-speed broadband will continue to grow as themathstutor.ie expands its customer base. “We’re now licensing themathstutor.ie to Irish secondary schools and this means that the students can actually use the system inside the school, and more importantly they can use it externally as well,” says Eamonn.
Cormac Flynn, Deputy Principal, St. Mogue’s College, Cavan, says the support system has made a huge impact on his students and their engagement levels. “ICT to St. Mogue’s is an integral part of the curriculum,” he says. “We have taken information technology and put it at the core of the curriculum.
“Teachers will set work for students in the evening – such as watching a certain video at home – and when the student comes in the next day, the teacher will set work pertaining to the video they watched the night before.”
This opens up a unique opportunity for students to have additional support from teachers after the school gates close. Rather than doing all of their homework without any backup from a teacher, children can grow their knowledge at home and then complete assignments in class with the help, influence and guidance of their teacher.
ENABLING RURAL BUSINESSES
Eamonn Toland runs themathstutor.ie from Ballina, Co. Mayo. The luxury of being able to run his business from rural, picturesque surroundings is only possible because of the high-speed broadband available to Eamonn through open eir. “The fact that we’re able to run this business from the West of Ireland is a big plus for me and my family,” he says. “Because of high-speed broadband, we don’t need to be located in a major city and it enables the lifestyle that we have.”