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National Digital Skills Week

Thursday, 8 October 2009

This week in National Digital Skills Week.

On Tuesday 6th October 2009, the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment , Mary Coughlan T.D. introduced the National Digital Skills Week by launching a new Digital Skills Programme from Irish company, ICANDO.ie.

The National Digital Skills Week was the brainchild of the Digital Media Forum, a network of over 900 Digital Media companies in Ireland. Together with eircom, Skillnets, The Digital Hub and ICANDO.ie, they are promoting awareness of the need for digital skills throughout the week. The ICANDO.ie Digital Skills programme will be the main feature of the week with trainers nationwide showcasing the programme to the general public.

Sheena Clohessy from Clare is the CEO of ICANDO.ie., Sheena herself is not a techie - she set up the company by realizing that she like everyone else is going to have to learn these skills if she is to operate in society and not feel left behind.


What is National Digital Skills Week?

The National Digital Skills Week was the brainchild of the Digital Media Forum, a network of over 900 Digital Media companies in Ireland. Together with eircom, Skillnets, The Digital Hub and ICANDO.ie, they are promoting awareness of the need for digital skills throughout the week. The ICANDO.ie Digital Skills programme will be the main feature of the week with trainers nationwide showcasing the programme to the general public.

ICANDO.ie, a Digital Hub based company, has been developing the Digital Skills programme for the last two years. They have liaised with industry, government, educationalists and the general public to create a flexible, easy to use and comprehensive course that teaches people the skills needed to get the most from everyday technology as it relates to music, photos, videos and living online. The course is for everyone - from 8 to 88 - who wish to brush up on their digital skills.

With over 60 hours of guided training time, the course can be done online at ICANDO.ie for 49 euro per module or all seven modules for 249 euro. Alternatively, it can be done as part of a longer blended learning programme in the classroom. ICANDO.ie have already signed up a number of trainers nationwide and are actively looking for more trainers to come on board. On successful completion of the course, learners will be given the I-CANDO Digital Skills Award which is endorsed by the Digital Media Forum.

Sheena Clohessy CEO of ICANDO:

The reason behind National Digital Skills week is too show people how life-enabling these skills are and how easy it is to learn them. We want to help people over come their fears of this new digital media.

If an unemployed person wants to get back into the labour market now, they need basic digital skills - to create and insert their photograph on a CV and upload it online, to be able to post their details up on LinkedIn. And once in employment, they need to be able to use things like Powerpoint, to create and manipulate audio and video for presentations, to use blogs and Voice-Over IP applications like Skype. This is increasingly what employers expect. If we are to have a Smart Economy, these are the fundamental building blocks.

The "I-CANDO Digital Skills programme" aims to help people learn all the skills needed to get the most from everyday technology as it relates to music, photos, videos and living online. Through the course, learners will understand how to use computers, music players, digital stills and video cameras as well as online applications such as Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

It's a company that helps you learn new things. We have created a Digital Skills Programme, 7 modules: Computer Getting Started, Computer Getting Online, Music, Photo, Video, Social Surfing and Webshare.


ICANDO can help people overcome their fear of technology through a simple online programme - which is guided and very easy to use.

We are all aware of the digital divide - between those who are online and those who are not. But there is a second digital divide emerging - and that is the one between people who go online and use only basic search tools such as Google and those people who use more sophisticated online applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype. And it is not just the elderly. Our research shows that the divide starts at 30 years of age. People over that age seem to have difficulties with the new technologies although many don't readily admit it. ICANDO.ie wants to help them overcome that.

Simply said: How to get a life online. How to get the most out of all the new technology that surrounds you. It simple, its fun and it makes your life better. We will help you learn the easy way; give you the basic skills and confidence to get the most out of these new things. For example; if you live far away from people you love; you can talk to them and see them using Skype and Webcam.... That is much better than just a phone call. You can join social networks and have access to people all over the world. You can take photos and share them with friends instantly, you can "touch up" your photos, bit of airbrushing, take out the red eye. Store them really safely with no danger of fading, etc. etc.

This is simple. If you used any of the "old" technologies of course you can learn to use the new. We all have used a camera, record player, CD player, walkmans. We have all used a phone. The only real difference is that this technology is even better and once you get the basics its so easy to develop your skills.


Where did the idea come from: I worked with Digital media companies and saw that they were creating brilliant new things but people were not keeping pace with them. This was a conversation that grew into a business. I could not use the new technology to its max. Yes I had a digital camera and I took photos but the best parts I have learnt from I-CANDO.

Where or How to you contact us? www.icando.ie. You can be an independent learner, do the course in your own time and at your own pace. Lots of people don't want others to know that they need this!!! If you want to go to a training course then we have trainers signing up every day. We realise that some people are not comfortable on line so we have Local number: 1850 88 58 58. Real people answer the phone!!

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