Ireland’s Digital Champion David Puttnam Delivers All Aboard 2017’s Keynote Address & Suggests Technology- enhanced Learning Needs to Aim for STEMpathy
Digital Skills for Learning Week Unveils Exceptional Level of Co-operation Across Ireland’s Education Sector with 300-plus Events Nationwide
“Globally, on learning skills, unless Ireland is doing at least very well then we are falling behind” Ireland’s Digital Champion, David Puttnam today (Wednesday 5 April 2017, The Royal Irish Academy) told the audience at his keynote address for All Aboard 2017, a week (3-7 April) to build confidence in Ireland’s digital skills for learning.
When it comes to teaching and learning “we haven’t moved fast enough on technology and its uses… and there are many challenges that lie ahead… but there is also huge potential” said Puttnam. He added “in terms of digital skills the use of technology without empathy brings sterility, while the use of technology that enhances empathy can be life-changing – we need to aim for STEMpathy”.
Six digital champions representing Ireland’s higher education, primary school, secondary school, adult literacy, cultural and business sectors also spoke at today’s keynote event. Micheal O Muircheartaigh representing the digital champion for communities said:
“It is enthusiasm and curiosity that will drive digital skills for learning. Everybody should be involved in digital skills. Every part of society needs to be included in digital skills for learning. It is the back-up support that is given by schools and teachers – is what will define the success of digital skills. People can be cynical about technology but we need to embrace it and we need to use what’s new and coming to us all the time.”.
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 which made a key recommendation for ‘A co-ordinated, multi-level approach to foster digital literacy, skills and confidence among students at all levels of education. The initiative will build on the All Aboard Digital Skills Framework funded under the government’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement fund 2014 (http://allaboardhe.org/).
The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education was announced by the Minister for Education and Skills in 2012. The role of the Forum is to enhance the teaching and learning for all students in higher education. Engaging with leaders, managers, teachers and students, the Forum will mobilise expertise and inputs from across the entire sector to extend and shape best practice in all institutes of higher education in Ireland.