GMIT to host free digital skills events as part of Learning Week

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology is inviting the public to attend a series of free digital learning events in its Mayo and Galway campuses as part of the national All Aboard 2017 initiative. GMIT is one of 16 higher education institutions hosting the initiative in partnership with Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, including primary and secondary schools, businesses, and community groups.

GMIT’s wide-ranging All Aboard 2017 events programme caters for almost every digital skills level, from Augmented Reality Tools (April 5, 2pm and 3pm ) and Creating Digital Skills Badges (April 4, all day ) in Galway to Creating Animations (April 5, 1.30m ) and Mapping with Phones and Tablets Workshop (April 6, 4pm ) in Mayo. In the last workshop participants will use their own phone or tablet to learn how to build a simple map of an area on the GMIT grounds before being encouraged to start making their own maps or recording their own routes around town.

For those who prefer outdoor learning, the Digital Technology for Learning Outside workshop takes plwace in the Mayo campus on Friday April 7 at 12 noon. Based in the outdoor classroom, a living structure in the grounds of GMIT Mayo campus, this workshop takes place on foot of recently published research findings that show that learning in nature is important when it comes to boosting people’s mental wellbeing.

Schools are invited to take part in a number of digital skills events in the Mayo campus from April 3 to 7, such as how-to sessions on Website Building (April 4, 11am ) and Creating an Animation (April 5, 1.30pm ).

The session on Augmented Reality in Galway on April 5 (2pm to 4pm ) allows the building of layers on real world objects to enhance the user experience. This promises to be an interesting learning experience, whether you are in the classroom to learn the anatomy of the human body or walking around the surface of Mars with a guide. The possibilities open to users of augmented reality are only just beginning and should be of strong interest to school students. Web Analytics for Businesses in Mayo (April 3, 4pm to 6pm ) and Social Media for Developing Agri-Businesses in Galway on Wednesday April 5 and Thursday April 6 (9.30am to 5.30pm ) are among the business programme sessions.

As well as practical hands-on workshops, GMIT is also offering community groups and members of the public an opportunity to attend more thought-provoking, reflective, evening time sessions such as Don’t Be Evil and Google Almighty: Living in a World Where Everything is Recorded by Information Gold Diggers (April 3, 6.30pm to 8pm ). Participants can explore what is next for consumers who may not even be aware that even the most minor coffee shop loyalty app wants to have access to their location, phone book, messages, pictures, and other records. Consumers are not informed what it does with this information and consent is sketchy at best. With the suspicion that Google Now could constantly listen to our conversations and Google glasses for augmented reality possibly recording everything globally, what is ahead? The GMIT programme’s timely inclusion of Imagining new Dreamtimes: Techno V Eco on Friday April 7 at 2pm, in Mayo, asks us to question what the future holds as rapid technological development and growing ecological crises both develop apace.

Dr Carina Ginty, GMIT teaching and learning officer, said: “GMIT encourages students, businesses, community groups from Galway and Mayo to view the full programme of events at www.allaboard2017.ie or www.gmit.ie, to find the event that best helps build confidence in your digital skills for learning. Places are limited, so we encourage you to register online by March 30 to secure your place. Some sessions will be streamed live and may be recorded. Early booking is advised.”

All Aboard 2017 is based on The National Forum’s report Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: A Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World 2015:2017. The initiative aims to build on the All Aboard Digital Skills Framework funded under the Government’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement fund 2014. For more information see allaboardhe.org

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