Future of Technology in Education Festival Attracts Global Thinkers
- 2nd EXCITED Digital Learning Festival running from May 21st to 23rd in Dublin Castle
- Speakers from Singapore, UK and US share stage with small rural Irish schools
- Special Digital Youth Council Day added
(20.05.15) A host of Irish and international speakers will discuss, debate and help shape the future of education at the Excited Digital Learning Festival (www.excited.ie) that takes place this week from May 21st to 23rd in Dublin Castle.
Under the theme of “Growing our Network – Recruiting Revolutionaries” the
festival will kick off on Friday 22nd at 6.00pm with an evening event looking at how to grow the network of technology advocates and explore what students are looking for. Saturday will feature a full day of presentations, panel discussions and student exhibitions kicking off at 9.30am including:
- how local schools can achieve global reach
- the use of gamification
- possibilities of educational technology tools
- view of students from the Digital Youth Council
- how to shape the the digital future
- coding and creativity in schools
At the festival, UK based Gavin Dykes, Programme Director, Education World Forum and US based Keith R. Krueger, CEO, Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) will present on the ‘Dos and Don’ts to Consider as Digital Revolutionaries’ and ‘Digital Transformation’. This will cover listening to student voices, challenging conservatism, making initiatives learning centric, top trends and how to utilise international resources.
Mark Nagurski, founder and Chief Executive of CultureTECH, Northern Ireland’s innovation festival will share how they put MinecraftEdu into all post-primary schools in Northern Ireland, reaching up to 50,000 students. He will also give examples from Big Video Challenge and projects for the BBC, and plans for a new educational content company which will focus on design-led project based learning activities – and tap into games and game-style tools.
Johnny Ryan, Founder, Toolkit.ie will look back at how we got to the digital world, and how we should respond to it. He will be challenging ideas of authority, and how the nature of information has changed.
US based Mona Akmal, VP of product & engineering at Code.org, will focus on dispelling myths about computer coding i.e. that it requires a specific type of intelligence, or that it’s not a creative field. She will use counter examples to showcase the breadth of computer science and how it’s pervasive in our lives, for creative and non-creative things. Mona will also demo a simple creative exercise that’s all related to programming. She will also share a little bit about her background and journey to finding the balance between a “creative” person and computer science thinking.
Trinity College Dublin lecturer Dr. Kathy Kipp and Assistant Principal in Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Galway Lara Dabbagh will discuss the links between industry, research and schools in technology development and the process and rewards of developing educational technology. Lara will also talk about her school has, without textbooks, built a teacher created digital resource and the opportunities partnership and collaboration affords them in education
Day one of the festival on Thursday 21st will be dedicated to the Digital Youth Council and feature a content creation workshop with RTE Digital and Little Bits to prepare their year long findings at the conference and plan activities for 2015. On Friday afternoon students will also compete in a Dragons’ Den Challenge which will see four schools create a business idea for a new innovation using technology in the classroom and present it to panel of three Dragon judges.
Earlier on Friday Accenture are also hosting a breakfast briefing and panel discussion moderated by Eithne Harley, Director of Marketing, Accenture featuring:
- Mona Akbal, VP Product, Code.org
- Alastair Blair, CMD, Accenture
- Claire Conneely, Programme Manager, Education Outreach, Google
- Joe Hogan, CTO, Openet
- Fred Boss, Education Officer, NCCAA , founder #edchatie
Last year the festival was sold out with over 350 attendees experiencing a range of international speakers from mobile phone inventor, Marty Cooper to “Ireland’s Digital Champion” Lord Puttnam.
Tickets are now on sale for €49.95 via the website www.excited.ie
18:00: Registration opens
19:00: Official opening
19:20: Growing the network
- Keynote: Gavin Dykes and Keith Krueger
- Panellists: Ciaran Cannon, Múirne Laffan
20:20: What students want
- Keynote: James Crowley, Laura Karaliute and Niall Mc Cormick
- Panellists: Dr. Martyn Farrows, Ken Mc Grath, Fred Boss, Claire Conneely
21:20: Refreshments and networking
Saturday 23rd Schedule
09:30: Local school – global reach
- Keynote: Kate Murray and David Mc Mahon
- Panellists: Margie Mc Carthy, Olajide Ademola
- Keynote: Mark Nagurski
- Panellists: Hannah Leonard, Louise Butler, Natasha Kiely
11:45: Ed. tech and schools
- Keynote: Lara Dabbagh & Dr. Kathy Kipp
- Panellists: Stephen Alger, Caroline Lane
12:30: The digital youth council
14:00 : Shaping our digital future – taking control
- Keynote: Dr. Johnny Ryan
- Panellists: Fiona Farry, Stephen Byrne, Daniel Kyne
15:10: Coding and creativity
- Keynote: Mona Akmal
- Panellists: Simon Lewis, Keith Krueger, Ciaran Cannon
16:00: Conference summary
The schools will also be treated to series of workshops organised by the Science Gallery including:
- Makey Makey Workshop – Make your very own piano out of anything conductive (including your friends).
- Build and Race – Make cars and catapults against the clock and see who is first across the finish line.
- Make Your Own Map – Make a map of Dublin using recycled and repurposed goods from the Recreate Warehouse.
The Excited Digital Learning Festival is an independent and not for profit initiative. The Excited Digital Learning Festival is supported by Science Foundation Ireland through the 2014 SFI Discover Programme Funding Call, the Department of Education & Skills, the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources and SAP.
EXCITED provides a unique opportunity, the first of its kind, for those with an interest in Irish education at all levels to engage directly with teachers, student representatives, enterprise leaders, academics and policy makers at a senior level. The engagement of parties is not that of passive recipients, but rather an engagement of mutual collegiality and respect, acknowledging that such an opportunity to debate and plan the future of education in Ireland is timely and valuable. EXCITED creates an opportunity for students to clearly articulate to decision makers their opinions on learning and how they wish to see technology embedded in their educational experience. It gives trailblazing teachers and students a platform to showcase their work and to robustly engage with numerous other professionals directly involved in education; more specifically, those who see technology as an enabling and transformational tool to be used in the classroom and in the home. It gives leading academics and enterpreneurs an opportunity to speak about global innovation in education and in particular how Ireland can lead the way in the digital learning revolution. The festival lays the foundations for something profoundly beneficial to happen; it creates a willingness amongst a diverse group of attendees to work cohesively as partners for the betterment of the coming generations. It builds a deep sense of mutual trust between all stakeholders, a trust that the EXCITED Movement will now lead and act upon.
About the EXCITED Movement:
The Excited Movement began its journey in 2014 with the organising of the two-day EXCITED Digital Learning Festival in Dublin Castle. As an independent entity it has the unique ability to bring together the diverse interests of students, teachers, industry and Government in a safe, non agenda environment with the single vision of improving the role of technology in education.
The success of EXCITED the Digital Learning Festival, in unleashing the intense passion for improved learning through technology, spawned the creation of the EXCITED Movement.
The EXCITED Movement is unique in that it utilises its centralised magnetic position to add scale and delivery mechanism to new and existing programmes. As a result ideas from industry (individual and companies) can be rapidly deployed through to teachers and students while representative voices of students can be channelled back to organisations and government.
Not only can EXCITED connect these audiences but it has established channels to ensure ideas can be delivered into tangible projects and actions such as EU Code Week, The Hour of Code, The Digital Youth Council, Africa Code Week and initiatives in Robotics.
Connecting: We are building a national network of groups and individuals with a common vision for education and a desire to be powerful advocates for change.
Championing: We seek out trailblazing teachers and students across Ireland and encourage others to be inspired by their work and follow in their footsteps.
Creating: We are collaborating with education and industry leaders to create a world-class digital learning ecosystem where innovation is nurtured and facilitated.