2009 Programme

On Thursday, 30th April 2009, ICS Skills hosted the 12th National IT Training Conference at the Crowne Plaza Dublin-Northwood. More than 220 delegates from across Ireland came to the conference for the country’s only conference dedicated to IT Training.

Opening the conference, Mary Cleary, Professional Development Manager of ICS Skills, provided insight into the new developments at ICS Skills. More specifically, Mary introduced an exciting development for ECDL in Ireland: the introduction of the ICS Skills ATS (Automated Testing System). Later in the day Tom O’Sullivan from the Irish Computer Society and Tony Hammell from Enlight Knowledge Solutions demonstrated how the ICS Skills ATS integrates with the current ICS Skills .Net administration system.  For more information about the ICS ATS see the next article in this email.

Dazzling the record-capacity audience, this year’s guest speakers were training guru Donald Taylor, Irish authority on new media and technology Professor Theo Lynn and Data Protection expert Hugh Jones.

Keynote Donald Taylor delivered an interactive, humorous and inspiring talk on how the training industry has become more important than ever. Taylor encouraged the training professional audience to think outside the box when it comes to training and to be proactive rather than reactive.

Dr. Theo Lynn from Dublin City University began his presentation with a wake up call to all educators to bring the technology that their students use in their everyday lives to the classroom. Dr Lynn then went on to present the Global Grid for Learning, an online resource for educators to search and download educational resources across media formats from thousands of sources throughout the world.

Data Protection expert Hugh Jones provided the audience with the background of data protection laws in Ireland as well as practical tips for training professionals. Jones also covered the essential definitions and penalties involved in privacy legislation.

This year’s conference also featured the Irish Training Excellence Awards, which were presented by the Minister for Lifelong Learning, Seán Haughey TD. During his address to the audience, Mr Haughey said, “IT skills are an increasingly central component of the skills set of workers across many sectors of our economy, and this conference provides an ideal opportunity for the network of more than 1,000 IT training centres to share best practice and to stay motivated.” Haughey continued:  “Participation in lifelong learning can bring enormous benefits including the development of additional skills and competencies, the creation of new opportunities and access to better employment and an improved quality of life.”

The ICS Skills Test Centre of the Year 2009 award went to St. Macartan’s College. Anne Sharratt, an exceptional ECDL graduate, was recognised as the ICS Skills Candidate of the Year 2009. Ashbourne Community School was named Green ICT Centre of the Year 2009. The remaining awards were given to centres for best practices. Those receiving ICS Skills Best Practice Awards 2009 were: Castlerea Prison, Eden Computer Training, Nagle Centre, NUI Maynooth, Ozanam Computer Centre and Computer Training Centre, University College Cork and Déise Training Congratulations to all the award winners!

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