Students and coders urged to be creative, safe and savvy

4 Apr 2014

Pictured: (l-r) James Whelton, Coderdojo founder, Avril Ronan Trend Micro, Sophie Halligan, Scoil Mhuire GNS Lucan

Cloud security firm Trend Micro is calling on students and coders from primary and secondary schools to tell their digital success stories and promote online privacy in this year’s ‘What’s Your Story’ competition.

Now it’s in third year, the competition is open to school goers in Ireland aged eight years and older, and seeks to give young people a voice on the topic of cybersafety, online privacy and the great success that the internet offers.

Trend Micro has teamed up with CoderDojo founder and tech entrepreneur James Whelton to encourage students to get creative, have fun online and promote digital privacy to their peers through a video message, poster, they can even submit a video of an app they have created.

“We’re asking individuals, groups of friends, classmates and entire schools to enter this competition with a unique two-minute video or poster that is focused on promoting online success combined with digital safety,” Avril Ronan, global programme manager for Internet Safety at Trend Micro explained.

“We want young people, parents and teachers to be safe, savvy and responsible in their approach to the internet and smart devices.”

Last year’s What’s Your Story winners, Judith and Tessy Ehiguese of St Joseph’s College in Lucan won the overall prize of €3,000 for their school for their video entitled Internet Sensation for which they recorded a backing track, a snappy theme song with super lyrics and a music video fit for MTV.

Hack technology to its full potential

Whelton expressed his support for the What’s Your Story competition.

“Creating using technology is the most wonderful and awesome thing ever – whether its coding apps, sites or games, video production or even digital art, this competition gives kids a voice to express how they feel about the internet and the tech world.

“We need young people to embrace technology, hack it to it’s full potential and know how to be safe in that adventure”, said Whelton.

Winners of the overall prize category will receive €3,000 for their school, with the individual prize winner receiving a cheque for €1,500.  Category winners for film will receive €500 each and poster winners will receive €250. There are two categories split by ages 8-12 years or 13+ years. The ‘What’s Your Story’ site is live now and will be open for competition entries until 22 April 2014.

Public voting will continue until 6 May 2014 when those with the highest views and ratings are shortlisted for judging by an independent panel.

UPDATE Friday 18 April, 10.46am: Trend Micro has extended the deadline for ‘What’s Your Story’ competition entries from 22 April to 30 April.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years