Jan 18, 2017

Digital Pathways conference focuses on empowering young people

The ‘Creating Digital Pathways for Young People’ Conference, was held today (18.01.17) at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin, and focused on the sharing of best practise for developing the digital skills of young people and empowering them to be digital entrepreneurs.

The Digital Hub Development Agency, H2 Learning, Krzyzowa Foundation (Poland) and MFG Baden-Württemberg (Germany), alongside NCAD, have partnered to deliver today’s conference. The conference shared the outputs of the Erasmus+ funded project, ‘Digital Skills Pathways for Youth across Europe’ which was inspired by The Digital Hub Future Creators Programme, developed by H2 Learning and NCAD.


The collaborative project has developed an out-of-school digital media programme for young people, ‘Digital Pathways’, which was officially launched at today’s conference. The programme includes a package of resources for organisations and individuals working with young people all over Europe.


The project aims to provide teenagers with opportunities to develop a range of digital literacy skills including 2D animation, social media, sound, film, digital image editing and game making. It aims to inform young people of the wide range of possible careers in this evolving sector and to identify pathways they can follow into further education and future employment in the field of digital media. NCAD partnered with several local schools through their third level Access Programme to recruit participants for Digital Pathways.

Speaking at today’s conference, Bernard Hanratty, Acting Director of NCAD said: “The area of digital literacy is becoming increasingly important within society. As a third-level institution that prides itself on fostering creativity and innovation, we are aware of the need for students to have a good cross-section of skills. Programmes like Digital Pathways help young people to build skills that are hugely important at third level and also in the working world. 

“We are delighted to collaborate once again with our neighbours from the Digital Hub Development Agency and H2 Learning, along with partners in Germany and Poland, in designing and delivering the Digital Pathways for Youth Across Europe Programme.  This programme has allowed NCAD to extend the reach of our Access Programme and I am confident that both the programme and resulting CPD materials for Digital Mentors will provide an invaluable blueprint for youth service providers and educators, enabling them to support young people across Europe to develop these essential skills.’’

Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency said: “It’s great to see this exciting digital learning project, now come to fruition. Building on the success of our Future Creators Programme, I believe ‘Digital Pathways’ is well positioned in supporting our goal of empowering young people in navigating their digital lives.”

Dr. Michael Hallissy, co-founder of H2 learning said: ‘‘Digital Pathways provides a wonderful opportunity for young people to develop a wide range of digital skills through engaging in creative activities outside of the formal school curriculum and setting.  It gives them a chance to collaborate and to develop digital artefacts that are meaningful to them in a supported environment.’’

Petra Newrly, Head of Project Team Technology Enhanced Learning / Digital Culture, at MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg, said: “Digital Pathways was a great chance for MFG to pursue a key goal, calling young people’s attention to possible jobs in the creative industry and developing their digital skills.”

Today’s conference heard from digital mentors from Ireland, Poland and Germany on their experiences with the Digital Pathways Programme and their work with young people. Speakers include: Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency; Bernard Hanratty, Acting Director of NCAD; Dr. Michael Hallissy, co-founder of H2 Learning; Sinead McDonald and David Cotter, NCAD Digital Mentors; Darek Horbaczyk, Krzyzowa Foundation, Poland; Sabrina Maroni, MFG, Germany; and Denise Shannon, project officer, Léargas. The conference will also hear from Jonathan Joyce, a participant on the Digital Pathways Programme. Further information about Digital Pathways is available at: http://digitalpathways.eu/ and the conference programme is available here.

The Digital Pathways for Youth across Europe is a project funded by Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission through Léargas, the Irish National Agency.


Contact: Sarah Harte / Laura Harmon, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-9858259/ 086-1738455

Notes to Editors


About the National College of Art and Design

The National College of Art and Design occupies a unique position in art and design education in Ireland. It offers the largest range of Art and Design degrees in the State at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and is the only Irish university institution specialising in Art and Design. NCAD has over 1,100 full-time students and a further 450 students who take award and non-award bearing part-time classes. Further information is available at www.ncad.ie. Follow NCAD on Twitter: @NCAD_Dublin, Instagram @ncad_dublin, or Facebook www.facebook.com/NCAD.Dublin.

About The Digital Hub

Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies.  Almost 100 established businesses operate in The Digital Hub. Together these businesses employ just over 700 people. The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Adaptive International, Bizimply, Maithú IT Solutions, Software Design and Sonru to scale and grow. Major global companies like Eventbrite, Lonely Planet, Optimal Workshop and Software AG are also based in The Digital Hub along with industry organisations such as the Irish Internet Association, NDRC and Silicon Republic. Since the project’s inception, over 200 companies have progressed through the enterprise cluster at The Digital Hub, generating thousands of skilled jobs. Some well-established alumni include Amazon, Athena Media, Boomerang Pharmaceutical Communications, Distilled Media Group (Daft.ie), eMaint, Etsy, Havok, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Riverdeep), Kavaleer, Lincor, MTT, Slack and Stripe. The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency that manages The Digital Hub. The Agency was established by the Irish Government under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment and plays a key part in supporting the implementation of the National Digital Strategy. Further information is available at: www.thedigitalhub.com or on Twitter: @TheDigitalHub.

About H2 Learning

H2 Learning is a professional services organisation, providing a range of services in the areas of e-Learning and ICT in education. Over our 10 years in business, H2 Learning has developed experience in developing high-quality and interactive resources for the education market, on behalf of a range of public and private sector clients. H2 Learning works with schools, colleges and learning organisations to use ICT and e-Learning more effectively to enhance teaching, learning and assessment. H2 Learning also specialises in integrating technology and digital media into educational programmes in effective and appropriate ways. Further information is available at www.h2.ie