DIT Community Links iFestival shows inner-city schools “streets ahead” in ICT and multimedia

Exhibition celebrates ICT projects in Dublin Inner-city Schools

iFestival, an exhibition showcasing the extraordinary ICT and multi-media projects carried out by students in primary and secondary schools in Dublin’s inner city launched  last week in the ILAC Centre by Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD.  Projects on show include Comic Making, Multimedia, Animation, Robotic Lego, Podcasting, Photo Journals and Computer Gaming.  celebrates the outstanding achievements of the teachers and pupils involved in DISC - the Dublin Inner-City Schools Computerisation programme, run by DIT Community Links. ‘iFestival’ is open to the public free of charge and runs until the end of June.

Nathan Maguire from St Paul s CBS, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7  St Paul s won first prize for overall contribution to the festival.

Pictured receiving a winning certificate from RTE presenter Nuala Carey for his school’s contribution to iFestival 2009 is Nathan Maguire from St Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 St Paul’s won first prize for r overall contribution to the festival.

The iFestival exhibition demonstrates a high level of creativity and expertise, combined with an understanding of new media technologies.  The 38 inner-city schools that participate in DISC were invited to submit projects under a number of headings, with prizes to be awarded in each category for the best entry.  The initiative encourages teachers to integrate ICT into the curriculum, to give the students an understanding and familiarity with the technologies, but also to enhance their learning experience.

Minister Ryan being interviewed by girls from St. Patrick s Girls National School

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD being interviewed by girls from St. Patrick’s Girls National School, Ringsend, Dublin 4 at iFestival 2009

Launching the exhibition, Minister Ryan said, “Our children need excellent ICT and broadband facilities in their schools in order to become the fully literate digital citizens of the future. Our economic success will be determined by our use of digital media and taking full advantage of the internet. The children of the iFestival will be the sought-after entrepreneurs, artists and employees of the future.

I want every school in Ireland to have the access to high-speed internet to enable the next generation of learning. Soon I will be announcing details of a major new broadband to schools national programme. All schools throughout the country need to have a similar learning environment to the one being showcased here today. We are making this happen in Government.

I wish to congratulate the pupils and the organisers of today’s event, showing us the potential we clearly have in the convergence between youth, education and the internet.”

According to Professor Tommy Cooke, Director DIT Community Links, “These ICT projects are engaging and enjoyable and help the pupils to develop self-esteem and confidence.  They encourage creative and logical thinking as well as the development of problem solving skills.  The feedback we get from participating schools has been very positive – teachers find that these projects improve a pupil’s concentration, behaviour and motivation to learn.”

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