The EXCITED Learning Festival (http://www.excited.ie) will take place next Friday and Saturday (May 30th and 31st) in Dublin Castle. This significant event marks the first important step in a movement to unite students, teachers, industry, parents, academics, technology enthusiasts, policy makers and others in shaping the future of the digital landscape for teaching and learning in Ireland. The EXCITED event will bring together digital learning trailblazers from Ireland and abroad to celebrate and learn from past achievements, as well as to collaborate and work towards future ones.
The key objectives of the EXCITED Learning Festival are as follows.
- Ireland is fortunate to have some trailblazing teachers who are powerful users of technology in the classroom. They are fostering in their students a new love of creativity and learning and are setting the example for others, not alone in Ireland but across the globe. EXCITED will celebrate and learn from the work of these teachers.
- Ireland has the potential to lead the global revolution in digital learning by forming powerful collaborative partnerships between educators, young people, academics, policy makers and industry. EXCITED will be the platform upon which those partnerships will be established and will flourish.
- As Ireland moves towards publication of a National Digital Strategy for Schools, EXCITED will provide a forum for young people to play their part in shaping that strategy. Direct engagement will take place with these young people to determine what excites and inspires them in the use of technology in education. Our young people must have a role to play in designing their own learning environments.
- Ireland has real potential to become one of the world’s epicentres of innovation in technology. There is so much expertise across education, academia, enterprise and industry that has yet to be exploited, so many conversations yet to be had. EXCITED will open up lines of communication between everyone who is involved in building Ireland’s digital ecosystem. Teachers who inspire, students who are learning like never before and entrepreneurs who are at the cutting edge of innovation in ICT, all will be encouraged to talk about and plan for Ireland’s future.
On Friday the Festival will facilitate (as part of the development of the Digital Strategy for Schools) a day long engagement with young people to seek their views on how we can best provide for their education. This is a significant part of the Festival and aims to give students a strong voice in shaping their future. The finals of the Young Edtech Innovators award will also take place on Friday. On Friday evening the Festival changes gears and moves into high profile keynote presentations and panel discussions, after the formal opening of the event by Minister Ciaran Cannon, Minister for Training & Skills at the Department of Education & Skills and the man responsible for conceptualising and driving the Excited movement. Friday evening will also see Ireland’s first #techteachmeet take place, where leaders in Irish and global ICT enterprises will mingle with Ireland’s trailblazing teachers in a relaxed setting.
Saturday will continue with the strong lineup of speakers and panel sessions. In addition, the entrance foyer of Dublin Castle will be transformed into an exhibition of the work of some of the best Irish Digital Schools today, with 20 primary and second level schools sharing their work. Among the areas highlighted will be coding, app development, digital media production and other aspects of ICT. These young people will also share the stage with international speakers as they feedback into the conference on the outcomes of their facilitation day on Friday. Time will also be given over for breakout and brainstorming sessions regarding a Digital Strategy for Ireland’s Schools and for networking. The full schedule of events can be viewed at http://www.excited.ie/get-involved/.
There is an incredibly strong lineup of speakers that includes high profile international figures, teachers, students, industry experts, academics and others. The full list of speakers can be viewed at http://www.excited.ie/speakers/ (check back regularly as the list of speakers continues to grow each day). CESI is delighted to be part of this important event and to have four members of the National Executive participating in the various panels and activities across the two days.
Admission to the festival is €25 for the weekend and student admission is free (tickets can be purchased from the festival website).
Check out the EXCITED Learning Festival at http://www.excited.ie for full details, follow the Twitter account at @weareexcited and hashtag at #excitedirl (this promises to be really busy over the two days of the Festival!).