Supporting Teenage Digital Creativity
Young people today are often referred to as Digital Natives or having grown up digital. However all too often many Irish teenagers don’t have sufficient opportunities to develop their digital media skills in school. Yet teenagers today use digital technology regularly outside of school mainly to consume media and to communicate using a range of social media tools. Such activity tends to be quite passive and many young people never get to use digital tools to create their own content or products.
One programme that is trying to change this is Future Creators. Earlier this week the programme hosted its third annual showcase where this year’s learners put their work on show to the public down in the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin. The programme is run by the Digital Hub Development Agency in partnership with NCAD and the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) fund the initiative.
This year the young people showcased the Apps they developed and their films along with a range of other smaller projects they completed throughout the year. The keynote speaker at the event was Harry McCann, a 15 year old entrepreneur, from Clane Co. Kildare. Harry shares his views with his fellow digital creators…
“that no idea is too big or too small, and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and think a bit differently. Never give up if something doesn’t work for you at first, just try going about it another way”.
Wise words from one so young.
Implications for Schools
The Future Creators Programme is one example of an out-of-school initiative that is giving young people a chance to engage in deep learning around their interests – in this case digital media. Unfortunately all too often most teenagers don’t get a chance to develop their digital literacy skills in school and so therefore there is a need to develop these outside of school. The new Junior Cycle Programme offers home too in the form of the new short courses and in particular programmes such as Digital Literacy and Programming and Coding. Schools are also starting to design their own short courses and programmes such as Future Creators can certainly inform what works, both in terms of curriculum content but also approach. Let’s hope we see many new programmes and courses in this area developed over the coming years so more and more Irish teenagers will a chance to develop their .