CIT Teams with it@cork to Launch e3 Initiative for Students
Published on: Tuesday, 22 March 2011
CIT has teamed with it@cork to launch its e3 initiative, designed to excite, engage and educate primary and secondary school students in information technology (IT). Through the efforts of Michael Loftus, Gerard Culley, Dan Kelleher, Liam Good and the Institute’s IT support staff, a significant number of used computers have been reconfigured and distributed to local schools.
“IT offers students exciting possibilities in which their creativity, talent and curiosity can be fully exercised”, says Michael Loftus, CIT, Head of it@cork’s Education Subcommittee. “In addition, students who enjoy exploring technology can gain insights which will help them when choosing appropriate higher education courses and career options in later life.”
According to Denis Collins, IBM and Chairman of it@cork, “It is vital that Ireland Inc. is prepared to exploit the vast economic growth available from the IT industry. The economies that invest and prepare talent to lead and create new technology-based solutions will be the ones that succeed and assume global leadership positions. In an increasingly competitive global economy, we must foster the right environment and leadership to nurture this model. The it@cork e3 initiative will make a significant contribution to the future of our youth and competitiveness of Ireland Inc."
The e3 initiative is based on a three-pronged approach.
- The excite aspect will focus on providing students with insights that will help them take their first steps in developing new IT applications based on their own creativity.
- it@cork will engage with students and schools by providing guest speakers from industry at career guidance events and by hosting company visits from schools.
- As part of the educate option, third-level students from participating colleges will be available to show classes and student groups what is involved in their studies.
The e3 initiative will take full advantage of the increasingly popular cloud computing options now available. Schools, classes and individual students will be encouraged, with support from local it@cork members, to complete software development projects using the cloud-based MIT Scratch programming language, an on-line resource available free-of-charge. Scratch makes it easy to create interactive stories, animations, games, music and art, and to share creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational concepts, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively. In excess of 1.6 million projects have already been completed around the world using this system and all are available on-line.
Schools and those with an interest in participating in this initiative may contact it@cork by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support from organisations and individuals is also most welcome, through donation of time, equipment or other resources. Full details of it@cork may be found at www.itcork.ie.
Pictured above: Mella Weber and Norah O'Brien (Rang 6) work at Scoil Chlochair Mhuire's technology hub at Carrigtwohill; with Gerard Culley, CIT, and Michael Loftus, CIT, and it@cork, Norah Moran, Principal, and Denis Collins, IBM and Chairman of it@Cork, at the launch of it@cork's e3 initiative for schools.