Finalists: Digital Education

Ballymun – Online mentoring programme for marginalised youth to help them access education

This project is a formal online mentoring programme aimed at young, marginalised people who lack social capital, professional connections and role models.  Using a digital platform, the young person receives weekly one-to-one mentoring to help them reach their full potential, build self-confidence and achieve their career ambitions.  The scalable platform features include video calls, a variety of tools to support the mentors, post meeting notes and auto alerts.  Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not – the INSPIRE mentoring programme is a catalyst for positive change.

Carndonagh – Unleashing creativity using digital fabrication to bring young people’s ideas to life

Young people in rural Donegal faced educational disadvantage. Spraoi agus Spórt, a social enterprise, opened the Digital Creative Lab where young people use digital fabrication to bring their ideas and creativity to life. This shows them what digital skills, design entrepreneurship and engineering can offer for their future. It has been rolled out across national and secondary schools in the county and there are high hopes for the contribution of STEM to future job opportunities.

Clonmel – Full STEAM ahead – highlighting the opportunities of STEM and how technology can shape their world

A programme aimed at all age groups to learn to use devices, software and Apps safely and with confidence. A core goal is to show every young person the opportunities offered by STEM and how technology can shape their world. To ensure the ongoing success of the project, local volunteers were trained in how to deliver and facilitate training workshops. A micro:bit challenge is underway with the opportunity for students to pitch their digital innovation to judges at Dream Space, a STEM learning hub located at One Microsoft Way in June 2023.

Dún Laoghaire – Cyber Safe tool for schools – a free online cyber assessment for primary schools

The Cybersafe Tool for Schools is a free digital self-assessment for primary schools so principals can get a clear snapshot of where their school stands in terms of online safety. It is a fully digital initiative to ensure school communities are stronger, smarter and safer online.  It includes valuable resources to help schools continue to develop their online safety.  Schools that complete the process are awarded a badge, demonstrating their commitment to online safety.

Fingal – Weather Stations for Schools – real time local weather data

Weather stations and rainfall gauges were distributed to 100 primary schools in Fingal to allow them collect real-time weather data. This data is then uploaded to Met Éireann’s weather observation website. One of the benefits is that more accurate and local data is gathered e.g. in relation to wind speeds and flooding.  Over 1,000 pupils attended workshops showcasing the data that has been collected. The Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA in the US, host a live feed from Fingal schools on their websites. Putting technology in the hands of children helps them understand and engage with issues relating to climate change.

Skibbereen – Digital training for workforce returnees with a key focus on ICT and digital skills

This is a digital skills training programme for workforce returnees, usually women who have taken career leave for family reasons, to re-enter local and remote employment. The key focus is on ICT and digital literacy as well as networking, communications and team-building. Training is delivered in workshops and content is available through the Learning Management System (LMS).  The programme address the often unseen cohort of latent talent that can contribute to the economy with the right up-skilling.

Tallaght – Creating NFTs from original art pieces and linked to the ‘Give one, gift one’ charitable programme

The Positive Vibes Movement celebrates youth through creativity, art, poetry and music.  Once created, the original pieces are uploaded to a digital platform and sold as NFTs.  Through the ‘Give One Gift One’ programme, there is a charitable element, helping to support children and youth across a range of countries and causes. Small actions with big impact.

Wicklow – TY students share their digital skillsone-to-one with adults in their local communities

This programme allows TY students share their digital skills one-to-one with adults in their local communities. Adults bring their own devices – laptop, iphone, ipad, e-reader– and learn what they want at their own pace.  A win-win project where young digital natives share their digital skills with local adults.