Junior Golden Spiders to inspire the net generation

27 May 2009

The first-ever Eircom Junior Spider Awards are set to take place this December, pitting primary and secondary-school students – Ireland’s digital natives – against one another in a bid to gain recognition for brilliant website creation.

The competition will be open to school students in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will serve as a benchmark for best practice in the use of the internet for education in Irish schools.

“It is wonderful to know that teachers’ representative groups are fully supportive of this initiative,” said the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD.

“Teachers are key to facilitating and guiding students in entering this award scheme. We are all very much aware of how adept our young people are in the use of modern technology. They instinctively personalise its use and are capable of bringing added functionality in ingenious and creative ways.

“The Eircom Junior Spider Awards provide a timely way of recognising Irish students’ creativity and inventiveness in their use of the web in a learning context.”

There are two levels to the competition, one for Primary and one for Post-Primary. Primary-school students will compete across five categories including: Best Educational Website and Best Website Design (including blogs, podcasts and social networks), while there are seven categories at Post-Primary level including:  Best Web Application, Best Concept and a ‘Watch Your Space’ category.

Teachers will also be awarded at the Eircom Junior Spider Awards, as students can nominate a teacher for their contribution to the use of the internet in their school. The award for Best Teacher Contribution will be given to one teacher from a primary and a post-primary school.

The awards ceremony will take place on 18 December next.

By John Kennedy