DkIT Launches New Virtual Computing Skills Workshops for Secondary Schools

26 November 2020

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has launched a new online computing skills programme for secondary schools aimed at encouraging pupils to explore areas of computer science by learning key skills such as coding, web design and robotics.



More than 300 transition year students have participated in the new pilot scheme this semester which has initially been rolled out to three local schools including Dundalk Grammar School, Ardee Community School and St Louis Secondary School, Dundalk. DkIT has plans to expand the programme to other schools next year.

The new virtual programme is funded via the Higher Education Authority and comprises five interactive workshops including coding through Micro:bit, Website Design, Music through Python, Vex Robotics and Cyber Security & Encryption.

Speaking today, Head of Department of Computing Science and Mathematics, Dr Fiona Lawless said,

“Our new virtual outreach programme is designed to spark an interest among young people in the exciting world of computing. There is a misconception out there that computing is only open to a certain type of student. However, we are keen to break this barrier down and prove that computing is open to everyone and the challenge of learning key computing skills is fun, rewarding and most importantly accessible to all.”

“There is a major skills deficit in Ireland in the area of computing and employers are increasingly looking for skilled graduates in this area to help bring new knowledge, aptitudes and talent into their businesses. The career opportunities in computing are truly endless and graduates today are both handsomely rewarded and in high demand. Many DkIT computing graduates now work with some of the largest companies in the world or are contributing to Ireland’s reputation as a global tech leader by developing their own companies or working in our burgeoning IT SME sector. An important part of our school workshops is focussed on shining a spotlight on these opportunities with the aim of hopefully encouraging more young people, particularly girls, to consider a career in this computing.”

Dr Philip Scanlon, Computing Recruitment and Retention Officer at DkIT is a lead coordinator of the online workshops, he added,

“The workshops are aimed at introducing students to several different technologies and demystifying computer coding. It is led by tutors from our IT Learning Centre who are experienced in supporting our current students to tackle problems in creative and innovative ways. Feedback from participating schools to date has been fantastic and we really hope to expand our programme to other schools in the near future.”

This year, DkIT expanded its extensive computing offering at undergraduate level with the launch of a brand new Level 8 programme, BSc (Hons) in Mathematic and Data Science. The institute now offers level 7 and 8 degree opportunities in areas such as Computing, Software Development, Augmented & Virtual Reality and Games Development. For further information, please visit www.dkit.ie/courses/computing.

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