Dundalk IT promoting digital skills with 'All Aboard' initiative

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Dundalk IT promoting digital skills with 'All Aboard' initiative (PIC: Ryan Duffy)

Pictured are the students involved in presenting the workshops in the All Aboard initiative. From L-R: Ciaran Curran, Jack Sadlier, Julie Walsh, Emma Nicholl & Stephanie Hayes (Credit - Ryan Duffy)

Beginning on Monday 3rd April, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) will celebrate “All Aboard 2017”, a week-long (3-7 April 2017) programme of national and regional events designed to help build confidence in Ireland’s digital skills for learning.

DkIT’s School of Informatics and Creative Arts will once again lead the initiative in the North East with a jam-packed series of events for Primary and Secondary students from across counties Louth, Down and North Dublin.

The All Aboard events aim to help students enhance their digital skills and based on the National Digital Skills Roadmap, DkIT has focussed on themes of confidence building, creativity and innovation and Internet Safety and Privacy. A full programme of events can be seen here:


Speaking at the launch of the initiative Dr Adele Commins, Head of Department of Creative Arts Media and Music said: “In today’s hyper-connected world, it is more important than ever that young people feel confident and creative when learning, working and exploring the digital world. DkIT is delighted to support the All Aboard 2017 initiative and a team of passionate lecturers from the School of Informatics and Creative Arts have been working hard to create a unique, relevant and exciting range of events for students across the North East”.

We also hope that participation in some of the workshops will give our students of the future an opportunity to experience what is available in DkIT.

Under the theme of confidence building, DkIT have developed two events (Creative Technology Workshops and screening of CODE- Debugging the Gender Gap) which will empower young women to embrace more technical roles.  Dr Caroline O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Media at DkIT one of the organisers of the events said: “There is an increasing recognition of the need for diversity within the many branches of the Tech sector including the Creative Industries such as Film and Music. Many of our programmes in the School of Informatics and Creative Arts have a much higher ratio of male to female students and we want to shift this balance. We hope that the events as part of All Aboard will be the beginning of a number of interventions, which will promote diversity and equality.”

Also on Monday, 3rd of April DkIT will host a Creative Design Thinking workshop. This workshop is aimed at senior cycle secondary students and will offer an introduction into the industrial practices of ‘creative thinking’ pathways, ‘user experience’ (UX) design, as well as rapid prototyping principles. Terri Smith, lecturer in the Department of Creative Arts Media and Music will deliver the workshops. Speaking today she said “These processes are the preferred way of working for many of the top companies in the world such as Apple and Google and this workshop will give the participants a valuable insight into professional digital practice”.

On Thursday the 6th of April DkIT’s All Aboard events will centre on Internet Safety. There will be a public lecture at 2pm in P1084 in the PJ Carroll building in DkIT entitled "You are what you post" Representing yourself online”. This Lecture is mainly aimed at 16-20 year olds and will look at how young people communicate and are communicated to online and will give practical non-judgmental advice on how you can protect your online privacy and reputation.

Finally, applications are invited for an exciting Poster competition. Building on the themes outlined in the You are what you post" Representing yourself online lecture, DKIT are inviting submissions of Posters that could be used to create awareness of Internet privacy issues amongst 16-20 year olds.  All entries should be emailed to DKITAllaboard@gmail.com by the 19th of April. The best entries will be showcased online and the winning entry will win a smartphone.

For more information about any of DkIT’s scheduled All Aboard Events please contact Adele.Commins@dkit.ie or visit http://allaboard2017.ie/