Getting EXCITED for digital learning and innovation event

13 May 2014

Ciarán Cannon, Minister for Training and Skills

Educators and students from across Ireland will be expressing their passion for all things digital at EXCITED, a digital learning festival scheduled to take place in Dublin Castle on 30-31 May.

As part of the festival, the students will be able to come face-to-face with some of the world’s biggest and most influential people in the world of all things digital, including Lord David Puttnam, chair of Atticus Education; Marty Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone; Rene Tristan Lydiksen, managing director of LEGO Education Europe; and Tricia Kelleher, head of the Stephen Perse Foundation in the UK and columnist with The Guardian newspaper.

The idea to host EXCITED came from Minister for Training and Skills Ciarán Cannon. The aim is to create greater links with teachers who are working to develop new and exciting ways to enhance teaching and learning using technology with their students.

In terms of what will be happening over the two days, the students will spend day one taking part in an intensive debate and discussion focusing on the Irish Government’s Digital Strategy for Schools.

The results of these sessions will then be fed back into the festival at large on day two, and the overall findings of EXCITED will in turn be fed into the national strategy. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, PhD researcher with the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, will facilitate the event. There will also be feature panel discussions and breakout sessions for all attendees with the speakers. 

The team behind EXCITED has also announced that Mike Feerick of and Peter Hamilton of Intel will take part in an open conversation. is a portal for free online certified learning that has 3m users. Hamilton is Intel’s education content and SW eco-system development manager and lead developer of, one of the largest online databases for interactive education.

Even before the event has started, the organisers hope EXCITED will become an annual event for the benefit of future young learners.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic