Digital Skills will play a critical role in the social and economic futures of our young people. Collaboration, between education and employers, is the only way to address the digital skills shortage. These are the key messages of CCEA’s ‘Educating the iGeneration’ conference, attended by major industry representatives and a European delegation of education policy advisers.
Educating the iGeneration Conference took place, last week, at the MAC in central Belfast on 5 April 2017. Hosted by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, (CCEA), the event focused on raising awareness of the need to develop digital skills within our schools, colleges, with the aim of making learners more ready to meet the economic opportunities of tomorrow.
The event brought together education policy makers from 24 countries across Europe, with school leaders and key people from the world of business. Our aim was to ensure that school leaders went away with a range of strategies and approaches to developing digital skills in their schools.
CCEA Chief Executive, Justin Edwards commented:
"Digital skills are now required in many aspects of employment and society. As a result, young people are increasingly more likely to have a functional knowledge of a range of digital devices, including how to create new software on them. They must be fluent in the use and be able to work with digital services. In fact, being able to work digitally is likely to be the basic skill required for future employment.
It is essential, that education, employers and policy makers work collaboratively to ensure our primary schools, post-primary schools and colleges are able to embed digital skills right across the curriculum. This is why CCEA has built a digital skills framework, to encourage education to explore digital skills at every opportunity.
The attendance of representatives from industry and across Europe is an indication that others wish to learn from what we have achieved already. We also welcome the opportunity to learn from and replicate the success that they have had in digital skills education."
Liz Williams, Director Tech Literacy, BT Group, was one of the keynote speakers and commented:
"To make sure everyone grows up with the tech know-how to step up to the jobs of the future, we have to build a culture of tech literacy. We have started by harnessing the enthusiasm of young minds at primary school and so far reached 1 million children through the Barefoot Computing Project."