Apple technologies will be applied at 3,500 primary schools across Ireland by the end of 2006.

The Irish Government has launched its FíS film project across the country. This project aims to encourage the use of video in schools in order to nurture better communication, teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking skills among pupils.

Apple's products are central to the plans, a report on Apple's UK website explains.

"The three watch words for FÍS are simplicity, connectivity and creativity," said creative director Ciarán McCormack. "Apple gets ticks in all three boxes. The hardware and the software are so intuitive that teachers and children can just get on with what the project is all about - making and using films to learn".

The decision to extend the scheme follows a highly successful pilot at 31 schools in Dublin and Cork six years ago, which was ramped up to cover over 100 primary schools.

Schools are all using the technologies differently, the report explains. While some assemble local history shows, others make movies about books.

Anne White, National Coordinator of the NCTE said: "When we show a range of films to other children it's extraordinary how a group of seven or eight-year-olds will sit quietly, clearly critiquing the other children's work and thinking 'what would we have done with that subject?'."