2012 Conference Write Up

Over 200 IT Trainers from both public and private training centres across the country recently attended the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin, for the 15th National IT Training Conference.

Distinguished guest speakers presented on the latest in cutting edge learning technologies and training delivery methods. Speaking at the conference, ICS Skills CEO Jim Friars said Ireland was “facing a difficult time as far as employability is concerned” and that the ECDL represented an opportunity to address that issue.”

Deputy CEO Mary Cleary discussed the progress ICS Skills has made since its formation in 1997, specifically the milestone of awarding its 500,000th ECDL cert last year. Cleary also noted increased numbers in ECDL course registrations, ECDL certificates issued and registrations in additional programmes like ChooseIT, F1 in Schools and Scratch. The continuous up-dating of ECDL to reflect changing needs of IT users keeps it fresh and relevant and Version 6, with several new modules will be available later this year. ICS skills, in conjunction with the Dept of Communications, Energy and Natural resources is offering heavily subsidised training to   people with no previous experience of using a computer through their Get Ireland Online programme.

The role of IT in the classroom at third level was presented by Eoin McDonnell of Queen Mary University, London in his discussion called “Podcast everything! Tackling mass education by attacking the classroom”; and Gwen Noone of ICS Skills and Mark Melia of Enovation on ICS Grid, a virtual learning environment and repository of educational material for secondary schools which is now live in schools across the country.

Developments in social media were discussed by Conor Lynch of Socialmedia.ie, while Andrew Keogh of Aristo.ie spoke on the topic of business pitching skills.

A presentation recognising 8 centres as part of the ICS Skills Test Centre awards also took place at the conference. These annual awards acknowledge those centres who are putting in place best practices.  Details of all award winners can be found here.


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