07 April, 2017 - All Aboard 2017 digital skills for learning week underway

All Aboard 2017 is a new joint initiative from The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and 16 of Ireland's higher education institutions. It is a week long programme of 300 national and regional events running to 07 April to boost Ireland's digital skills for learning. All Aboard 2017 was open to schools, further education/training, adult literacy and lifelong learning centres. It also offered a business and community programme.

Mr. Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Education and Skills said “my Department’s Digital Strategy for Schools aims to realise the potential of digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning and assessment to help students become engaged thinkers, active learners, knowledge constructors and global citizens. I welcome this initiative by the National Forum which was open to learners at all levels. We need to encourage this multi-level co-operation to support collaboration within and between institutions so as to develop a consistent digital experiences for all learners.”

Dr Terry Maguire, Director of the National Forum said:  “All Aboard 2017’s 300 events are not about boosting Ireland's digital consumption. Over 70% of Irish people shop online and use social media.  However, there is a divide developing between those of us whose skills tend to be passive, lifestyle-based, and users whose skills undergo active expansion and develop into competitive workplace skills. However, regardless of your organisation’s digital skills level, All Aboard 2017 is being held this week to help any organisation with an interest in digital skills for learning.  It's about helping organisations improve their digital knowledge, skills and confidence in the context of teaching and learning excellence and best practice.

Two of the 300 week long events were from renowned film-maker and Ireland’s Digital Champion, David Puttnam and digital safety expert Wayne Denner. David Puttnam’s address on 5th April was one of the highlights of the All Aboard 2017 programme.  Appointed in 2012 as Ireland’s Digital Champion, David Puttnam provides leadership, encourages individuals to engage with the digital age, and helps to achieve Ireland’s National Digital Strategy goals. Digital Champions are ambassadors for the Digital Agenda, appointed by EU member states to help every European become digital. Wayne Denner delivered a workshop that offered useful tips on how to become “digitally wise” and bridge the so-called “digital divide” between parents and their children.

A dedicated All Aboard 2017 website www.allaboard2017.ie provides an A-Z guide on all aspects of the All Aboard 2017 programme including “Latest News” updates on events that you can participate in all around the country. You can also follow us on All Aboard 2017 on Twitter (#AllAboard2017), Facebook and YouTube.

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…”. To access copy of the report click here. 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.