NCAD Awards Certificates to Future Creators
At today’s event, the 17 students that participated in this year’s programme received special certificates of recognition from the National College of Art and Design.
The Future Creators programme, developed by the Digital Hub in partnership with NCAD – targets secondary-school students from the Liberties in inner-city Dublin. It helps participants to develop digital media skills and ultimately aims to encourage them to consider a career in digital media or technology. It has been running for the past two years, with participants voluntarily attending two after-school sessions each week, where they learn digital skills – such as coding, app development, film-making and photography – in a creative learning environment.
Speaking at the event, 13-year-old Melissa Comerford, one of the participants in Future Creators, said: “What’s great about this programme is that we get to use smartphones, iPads, digital cameras and high-tech recording equipment, and to learn really useful new skills through using these. That’s something we never really get a chance to do in school.
“I was always interested in creativity and digital, but now I know that I’d love to work in this area. I’m hoping that, when I finish school, I’ll go on to study digital at third level.”
Professor Gary Granville, Head of the Faculty of Education at the NCAD, also spoke at today’s event. “As a third-level institution that prides itself on fostering creativity and innovation, we have long been conscious of the need for students to have a good cross-section of skills,” he said. “Programmes like Future Creators help young people to build skills that are hugely important at third level and also in the working world. Alongside their academic achievements, such programmes allow students to develop collaboration, problem-solving and interpersonal skills – not to mention cutting-edge digital skills, which are sorely needed in Ireland today.”
Speaking at today’s event, Dr. Brennan said Irish educators face a number of obstacles in promoting innovation and creativity in the classroom. “It has been well documented that the existing curricula for the Junior and Leaving Cert allow little scope or motivation for teachers to veer off course and to introduce new and exciting teaching methods or tools,” he said. “The emphasis is on rote learning, which is the main requirement for success in the state examinations, rather than encouraging individual students to develop their specific interests and skills. The structure of the state exams in their current form is one major obstacle we face in fostering a more creative, enterprising and innovative mindset in our young people."
For more information on the programme see http://thefuturecreators.com/.