Youth Media Team at Excited 2014

The Excited Festival of Digital learning gave the Youth Media Team a chance to go on tour again.  The Festival was held over the Friday and Saturday of the June bank holiday.  We landed in Dublin Castle at 11am on the Friday with our gazebo in tow and promptly got caught up in the excitement that was Excited!  The plan was that we would work with RTE Digital on the Friday, the most amazing opportunity for our red shirts! We had four of the Tipperary contingent and another four from St Wolstan’s in Celbridge in Kildare as part of the Friday team.  St. Wolstan’s had set up a Radio TY group as part of their Transition Year programme based on the YMT so it was a fantastic opportunity to get both groups working together. Team Excited small While we got settled with RTE, our gazebo specialist with help from his son got to work constructing our home for the next few days 🙂 Conor Prep smallThe brief with RTE was to create a behind the scenes look at the students Dragon’s Den that was a feature of the day.  We had to choose people for the various roles – producers, directors, presenters, camera assistant and editor.  Once the team had sorted that out between themselves it was time to get to work.

Over the course of Friday night and Saturday, the team got on with their ‘day’ jobs of interviewing, blogging and tweeting. They interviewed Lord Puttnam, Marty Cooper (inventor of the mobile phone) and Dr. Rene Lydiksen (Managing Director of Lego Education Europe) among others. IMG_1634[1] IMG_1638[1]

We also got a chance to be part of the highlights from the Festival on both sides of the camera 🙂

All in all it was a great opportunity for the team to be involved in such a central way in the inaugural Excited Digital Learning Festival.  You can check out their work from the event at ymt.fm.

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What a backdrop!

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ICT in Education conference 2014

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The 10th ICT in Education conference took place on Saturday 10th May.  As in previous years CESI hosted a TeachMeet on the previous evening, and, as always, it provided attendees with a relaxing evening of catching up with old friends and new.  The sharing began on the Thurles campus and continued later in the Anner Hotel.  It was great to see new faces begin to share what is working for them in their classrooms.  All in all, a great kickstarter for the conference to come.

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Saturday saw the busiest conference we’ve had with a vibrant exhibitor presence as well as an increased student presence.  LIT President, Maria Hinfelaar, welcomed attendees to the ‘Global Voices’ themed conference before handing over to Minister for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon.  We are very fortunate, to have a Junior Minister who is so interested and engaged in making progress in the integration of technology across all levels of our education system.  Next up was former Teacher of the Year, Evelyn O’Connor.  Evelyn’s heartfelt sharing of her experiences rang true for so many in the room.  Too often, people gloss over the difficulties when sharing their experiences.  It’s good to hear the a balanced view of the rough with the smooth to enable us to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it all seems to be going wrong!

Next came the experimental part of the day.  We decided, with some prompting from Conor Galvin and Bernie Goldbach, to try an open workshop format for a portion of the day.  This section was titled ‘The W@lk’ and our aim was to showcase some of the work that is going on in classrooms across the country allowing attendees to observe rather than participate.  We had six stations on the W@lk.

  1. Bridge 21 – an education programme based in Trinity which can be adapted for use in secondary schools. The model is team based, technology mediated, project based and cross curricular.  On the day Kevin Sullivan worked with a group of local secondary school students to produce video clips on what students should learn in school and also a more frivolous clip 

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  2. MissionV – a creative, immersive games based learning environment for schools and industry.  On the day John Jennings and Esther Lambe provided attendees with an opportunity to try out the Oculus Rift as well as sharing the experience of Esther’s school while using Mission V.DSC_6837
  3. CoderDojo Thurles – a free coding club for young people.  Jacqueline Humphries along with the team of mentors and Dojo ninjas showcased some of the projects the Dojo has been working on throughout the year including HMTL, App Development, electronics and so much moreDSC_6929
  4. Radio TY from St. Wolstan’s in Celbridge – a youth media team based on our own YMTfm.  Noeleen Leahy brought a group of students who shared their experiences of setting up a media team in a school.  They managed to squeeze in an interview or two along the way as well as take some selfies 🙂DSC_6999
  5. Makey Makey workshop – Bianca Ní Ghrógáin assisted by Hassan Dabbagh led a workshop with some local primary school children in the use of the Makey Makey kit in conjunction with Scratch.DSC_6914
  6. Project Spark – Stephen Howell from Microsoft demonstrated the Project Spark applicationDSC_6965

While the W@lk was a new departure for us, and there are definitely areas which need a little polishing, the initiative was very well received by both participants and attendees alike, with many commenting that it was a timely reminder placing students at the centre of what we as educators do.

In his own inimitable way Stephen Howell pulled many of the mornings strands together in his plenary session, before attendees got to choose from a wide variety of workshops led by educators across the levels.  The hum of conversation at lunch time was an indicator of the level of engagement and enthusiasm from the teachers who came from far and wide on a Saturday to keep themselves up to date on the use of technology in the classroom.

After lunch saw a continuation of the parallel workshops before the closing session with Julie Cullen and Helen Keegan.  Julie is the Young Advisor to Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, and she shared her experiences of EU Code Week which saw Ireland punch far above our weight with the most events.  Helen Keegangave the closing presentation of the day, sharing her global collaborations which she undertook with her third level students.

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The Youth Media Team returned to their ‘home’ conference after a hugely successful year and under the guidance of Joe Dale, Conor Galvin and Catherine Cronin they produced an eBook of the days’s proceedings.  We’re currently in the process of getting it published.

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It was a jam packed day of sharing, chatting and being happy 🙂


 

 

 

Young Innovators 2014

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As part of the ITLG Silicon Valley Global Technical Forum in Limerick this week an event aimed specifically at second level students took place in Shannon airport on Monday.  More than 600 students descended on the airport to look at how we might be living, working, playing, shopping, travelling and learning in the future.  We took an ICT in Education Conference Youth Media Team (YMT) to the event to capture the day.

The event was MC’d by RTE DJ Ruth Scott and was kicked off in style by Music Generation Limerick City.

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Next up were Rose Hynes from Shannon Airport, Maria Hinfelaar from LIT, Colm O’Neill from BT, Craig Barrett from Intel

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and Ingrid Vanderveldt, Entrepreneur in Residence in Dell

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We then heard from some Young Entrepreneurs before the competition was deemed to be underway.  At this stage the Youth Media Team had identified some of the speakers and exhibitors that they would like to interview so it was time to get to work…

They started by interviewing some of the exhibitors like Grasp Wearable Technologies, Lero, CoderDojo and the Connecting Women in Technology Group.  They wanted to interview Mission V but the queues to try out the Oculus Rift were relentless all day so it was nearly the end of the day before they got their chance to do the interview!  They also interviewed Eamon Dalton, one of the judges, Pat Donohue, mentor of the winning team and three of the teams involved in the competition including the winning team from Castletroy College.

Over the course of the day we were delighted to also get the opportunity to interview Ingrid Vanderveldt, Minister of State for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon as well as three of the Dragons from the Dragon’s Den: Sean O’Sullivan, Gavin Duffy and Peter Casey.   Not a bad day’s work 🙂

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This the third outing for the team and my second time working with them and they continue to be a pleasure to work with 🙂

Check out their interviews here.