DIT Digital Community "Student of the Year" Announced

150 students presented with certificates in IT Skills

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Digital Community 'Student of the Year' who was presented with a laptop by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Gerry Breen, pictured with the Lord Mayor and Pat Carey, TD, Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs

16th November 2010

At the presentation of certificates for participants in the DIT Digital Community Programme today, Minister Pat Carey presented awards to more than sixty students who attended the ceremony.  In total more than 150 people completed qualifications through the programme this year.  Minister Carey was joined on the platform by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Gerry Breen who presented a laptop to the Student of the Year, Gerard Devereux of the Bosco Community Centre in Drimnagh.  Gerard, who came through the Digital Community ‘train the trainers’ programme, won the award in recognition of his personal achievement in developing his ICT skills to a very high level, and for his great work in sharing his knowledge by teaching others in the Bosco Digital Community Centre. 

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Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT, with Digital Community Student of the Year, Gerard Devereux and fellow students from the Bosco Community Centre in Drimnagh who were presented with their certificates

The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, welcoming the Lord Mayor and the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey TD, said DIT was proud to be involved with the many communities now participating in the Digital Community Programme.  He said “This programme not only offers participants the chance to acquire practical IT skills, it provides a route back to education for people who for personal or economic reasons didn’t get the opportunity before.  This year alone, 150 people have been awarded certificates at a range of levels and based on previous experience, many will go on to the next level.  The programme is both practical and inspiring, and I commend my colleagues, led by Professor Tommy Cooke, and all the participants for what they have achieved.”

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Minister Pat Carey with Cathy Byrne, Philomena Sweeny and Catherine McSweeney at the presentation of certificates for the Digital Community.

The Digital Community Programme was established in 2003 by the DIT Community Links Programme and has 25 centres located mainly in Dublin City Council flat complexes around the city.  The centres are equipped with high quality ICT hardware and software, which have been provided by project partners, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.  According to Professor Tommy Cooke, head of community links in DIT, “This programme trains residents in basic computer courses and, through our ‘train the trainer course’, also gives participants the skills to pass their new learning on to their neighbours and friends. Courses include Comic Creation, Clay Animation Digital Literacy Digital Photography, and a range of formal courses which are accredited through DIT CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses and Microsoft. Microsoft accreditation is provided by Certiport USA and delivered through Prodigy Ireland to our communities.“

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Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Gerry Breen, addressing the recipients of certificates at the presentation for participants in the Digital Community Programme

The Digital Community programme also provides high quality technical support for hardware and software in all the centres.  It aims to be inclusive of people with disabilities and also actively encourages participation of ethnic groups within the community, including Victims of Persecution and Torture (Spirazi) Separated Children, Refugees and Asylum seekers.   Other projects vary from centre to centre, but include Summer Projects for Children, Clay Animation and a variety of activities which engage young people in an informal but fun way.

The DIT Digital Community Project is made possible with the support of project partners, Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs; Dublin City Council; Microsoft; Hewlett Packard; and Eircom.

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