Getting EXCITED: digital learning festival launches today

30 May 2014

Dublin Castle image via Wikimedia Commons

The inaugural EXCITED digital learning festival will open its doors for the first part of the event; ‘Young People at EXCITED’ as over 250 students from all over the country arrive for a day of fun and some challenging questions about what excites them in education.

Some of the gathered students will take part in a pre-organised Dragon’s Den-type competition where they will work on their pitch for the EXCITED Young EdTech Innovators Award with mentors and advisors from NDRC and RTÉ Digital.

They will then pitch to the ‘Dragons’, made up of a panel of experts from across all sectors who are also taking part in the festival.

The other students will be producing important feedback which will be carried directly into the Saturday event for inclusion in the National Digital Strategy for Schools.

Following an opening speech tonight by Minister Cannon, Lord David Puttnam will take to the stage as key note speaker, beginning the festival by talking about “Computers and Creativity, Leading the Revolution”.

His talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the inventor of the mobile phone, Marty Cooper, Rene Tristan Lidiksen, Managing Director of LEGO Education Europe and a number of teachers who are working in Ireland today.


Tomorrow will see a full day of talks, panel discussions and breakout sessions for all involved from early in the morning to late afternoon.

Among the highlights will be a presentation by Marty Cooper on “The future of education” and a closing presentation by Sal Khan via the web talking about his connection with the Irish revolution in education through Mathletes and The Khan Academy.

 The audience of over 300 will be invited to ask questions and take part in this opening discussion, the first of many over the weekend.

Speaking about EXCITED, Minister Cannon said; “I am convinced that Ireland can lead the global revolution in digital learning. We have the creative talent, the teachers and the industry leaders who are willing to work to make that happen and many of them are with us at EXCITED this weekend.

“The challenge now is to build strong collaborative partnerships across all sectors, to pool our wisdom and experience and work together in the best interest of our young people.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic