Recently, the 2nd annual EXCITED Digital Learning Festival was held from 21st to 23rd May in Dublin Castle and featured a range of reputed Irish as well as international speakers. EXCITED launched the event officially with the theme titled ‘Growing our Network – Recruiting Revolutionaries.’ The event continued for 2 consecutive evenings and included panel discussions and keynote addresses. However, in actuality the event started with early sessions that were not available to public. It was targeted at the Digital Youth Council. Regarding the significance of EXCITED, Caitlin Donnelly, a member of the Digital Youth Council, said “[It gives] students a voice in education. We are the future and we need to be heard.”
EXCITED for Irish education
RTÉ Digital organised a workshop about content creation driven by smartphones. In another session held later, Niall McCormick and Mags Amond demonstrated littleBits that focused on how you can use the helpful lits to teach about electronics in schools. Amond believes that it can offer learners an excellent opportunity to “unleash their creativity”. Throughout the workshop, Niall McCormick spoke about how littleBits and EXCITED are working together to improve the scenario.
He said “I think [EXCITED] is something that’s badly needed and it’s great that Ireland has the opportunity to become the world leader in digital education and digital technologies. I think it’s a fantastic thing to be a part of and I think it’s great that we can showcase products like [littleBits] that can really, really make a massive difference to the Irish education system.”
The pre-launch events saw learners taking part in a competition named Dragon’s Den challenge. Students from four 2 primary schools and 2 secondary schools were required to come up with business ideas about innovations related to technology in classrooms. They also had to present their to a panel of 3 judges known as ‘Dragon’ judges.
A great platform for discussions
During the event, a panel discussion and breakfast briefing was also held by Accenture. It was moderated by Eithne Harley, Director of Marketing at Accenture. The discussion was targeted at industry leaders and focused on how policy makers, students, parents, educators and industry leaders can assemble and work with one another to increase the network of supporters for innovation in education in Ireland with the best use of technology. The event also hosted other panel discussions, presentations and student exhibitions.
EXCITED Digital Learning Festival and EXCITED created a platform and provided an opportunity for individuals, interested developing in Irish education, to interact with each other. Stake holders in Irish education system received a great opportunity to talk about worldwide innovations and specifically what we can do to help Ireland lead the digital learning revolution.
Bernard Kirk, co-founder of the event, said “What we’re trying to do is get engaged with, specifically, young people, and provide an opportunity for the voice of young people to be heard in digital. We think that will have a huge influence on policy makers, but also it will influence the teachers who are really, really enthusiastic to go along with what’s happening in digital in the future.”
What are your thoughts on this event? Want to add your own views? Then feel free to comment below and add to the discussion.
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