Speaking on Monday morning at the launch of Age Action Ireland’s new computer training facility in Lower Abbey Street Minister Rabbitte said “I have decided to increase the resources originally earmarked for this scheme. I believe in investing in what works. Research by my Department has shown that the investment we have made in similar schemes – working with the community & voluntary sector to deliver the training – delivers effectively on our objectives.
“This scheme will enable thousands of people throughout Ireland – people otherwise likely to be left behind in the knowledge society – to acquire the basic practical know-how to improve their digital skills. In particular this will help older people, those with disabilities, the unemployed and other key target groups. They will learn to use the internet, email and how to conduct simple on-line transactions.
“Previous schemes show that learning such basic skills helps people in many ways – giving them new communication options, new opportunities to save money, as well as better access to a wide range of on-line services. We have also seen how such new skills and the opportunities that result from them improve people’s confidence and wellbeing. More widespread participation in the knowledge society is a win-win outcome – with advantages for citizens, government and the wider economy.”
There are a range of initiatives operating in Ireland which are helping to achieve more widespread digital inclusion. Amongst these are basic skills measures such as Age Action Ireland’s Getting Started programme, the Log on Learninitiative, BT’s Connected communities initiative, Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) Digitise the Nation as well as other initiatives currently being developed. Some approaches focus on particular sectors (e.g. the work being done by ENCLUDE to transform the operations of charity organisations). Digital inclusion is also relevant to small businesses. A number of initiatives are currently focusing on developing the potential of SMEs to improve their on-line capabilities. These include the Getting Irish Business On-line initiative from Google as well as a pilot initiative – WebActivate.
Details of the scheme are available at www.eInclusion.ie
I’ve just published this week’s Events Alert which naturally lists our upcoming events (namely Twitter & Facebook for Business on April 12th, Open for Business: the IIA Annual Conference on May 12th and Digitise the Nation May 9th – 13th).
I also included a poll about possible Diploma Courses the Irish Internet Association might run in the future to help you with your professional development.
Our Diploma in Digital Marketing has proved very successful in the last 6 months and we thought that you might be interested in other diploma courses on other topics run one evening a week over 6 – 12 weeks. We might also consider running them as bootcamps i.e. intensive week-long full-day training courses.
I thought it was no harm to throw the net wider and replicate that poll here on the blog.
We have a few suggestions below but we have also added a field to allow you to make suggestions too. We’d love to hear what would interest you but if there is anything else you would like to say on the topic please have at ye in the comments below!
Your membership will afford the very best value for money for your company. For example:
- Professional Services: Support on specific legal queries could save you €300 per query;
- As an IIA Member, you can approach our working groups for advice relating to a range of issues from legal queries to web development;
Training and Education
- You can save up to €1,035 on training costs this year as an IIA Member. With an average satisfaction rating of 85% for IIA training events, they are well worth it;
- You have access to course materials and Case Studies valued at €4,200;
Research and Consultancy
- Development guides and White Papers valued at €3,600 are at your disposal. This ever growing range of business intelligence resources is developed for the Irish market and includes "Cloud Business: Assessment of the risks versus the benefits" and many others;
- All members have an opportunity to raise their company profile by participating as a speaker, in a working group, as a guest blogger or simply by adding company news or company feeds to IIA.ie;
- You can avail of or make special offers that will help grow and expand your business.
How to join:
It couldn’t be easier. Click here to join online by credit card, EFT or invoice and start making the most of your membership today.
It’s nearly 2011. If you haven’t renewed your company’s IIA membership for 2011 we really hope you will. In fact for your sake we really hope you do before 31st January 2011 because we are giving every company who renews before then 25% off one training event in 2011. You will also be included in a draw for a pair of tickets to the 2011 Annual Conference which will take place in May.
All of this applies to companies who join before the end of January too.
It’s not like you even needed this extra nudge with all the value and benefits that come with membership but we like to help you renew early so that we can concentrate on maximising that membership for you during the rest of the year.
Benefit from being associated with the IIA brand and reach over 550 organisations and more than 6,000 IIA followers. Further to the survey of our members, the IIA is now inviting tenders for its training partners 2010. Download the Tender Document from the Resources section and submit your tender by Friday 27th November 2009. Training partners will be selected by 11th December and all tender applicants will be notified directly of the outcome thereafter. All those tendering must be fully paid up members of the IIA.
As well as hands-on courses, the IIA is constantly seeking speakers for our seminars, breakfast and evening events around the country. If you would like to be added to our speaker panel, please fill in the Call for Speakers 2010 form and email it to Irene (email@example.com) by 27 November 2009.
Anonymised results of our events survey will be released to members in November. Thanks to all who participated!
And finally the lucky winner of 2 tickets for both Congress and the Net Visionary Awards 2010 is Facundo Villaveiran of Channelship Ltd.
Last month App School was mentioned here on the IIA blog and since then it has had its first run. There was a really great cross-section of students from all over the industry, which included professional developers, a CEO, a third level student and a staff member from an Institute of Technology. Most had never programmed on any Apple system before, and a few did not even own one, but by the end of the week everyone had made a lot of progress. A few days in a couple of students managed to get a 2D physics simulation going, with a button rolling around the screen and bouncing off the edges! On the last day we had a couple of Twitter clients working (and that’s including profile picture support!)
Some of the students were developing their own personal or business applications during the course, and now there are four apps (that I know about at least) on their way to the App Store from App School students. Some of these apps will display information to users that they would normally access through a website, but what can an iPhone app do that a website can’t? Well, there are few obvious ways that the user experience can be enhanced for your customers with iPhone-specific features.
Looking at the very tip top of the iceberg:
- The iPhone can store data to be made available offline. This has worked out very well for Patrick Collison‘s Encyclopedia app, which gives users access to Wikipedia when they do not have internet connectivity.
- Apps can use the iPhone’s GPS location to find information local to your customer. This is core to many travel apps, restaurant review apps, hotel reservation apps, and social networking apps.
- The user can take photos and upload them to you. Yelp‘s app allows users take photos of restaurants and upload these for other users to see. Just about any Flickr app will let you do this too.
- With a bit of effort, the multi-touch screen and the 3D graphics support can be leveraged to allow customers interact with your business in a way not possible on a desktop computer.
While on the topic of interaction, people enjoy using their iPhones and this can really help if you rely on user-submitted data for you service (“Web 2.0”, if you like to call it that). Above, I mentioned getting the phone’s GPS location, and getting access to the phone’s camera. You can go beyond GPS co-ordinates, photos, bits of user-entered text, email address/phone numbers selected from the address book though, and upload data-types specific to your service. Ocarina is one of my favourite apps and allows users play music by blowing into the microphone while pressing “holes” on the screen. This lets the iPhone work as an ocarina, a wind instrument. Music played by the user is uploaded to some server, along with the user’s location. Users than then explore a 3D earth and hear songs played by users from all around the world.
If you allow customers upload this information to you, what could you do with it? Can you think of how that could add value to your service?
There are so many exciting possibilities with this platform. If you don’t have access to an iPhone or iPod touch to try out some apps for yourself, there are plenty of video demonstrations online. There is definitely something there for everyone… after all, the App Store really does have an app for everything!
Oh I wish I had paid more attention in the classes where they were doing the really hard core programming stuff back when I was in college. I often wish this but I wished it even more when SQT Training recently joined the IIA and I had a chat with the charming Lily Collison on the phone and she told me about App School.
I asked Lily to tell me more about App School.
There is a business opportunity for those who can develop iPhone applications. We here at SQT Training in conjunction with Patrick Collison and Mulley Communications will present a new 5 day training course in the development of applications for the iPhone. The course termed App School teaches people how to create iPhone applications for release on Apple’s App Store.
There is interest from all manner of people and Patrick will be giving a talk at the Irish Computer Society on Tuesday 14th July.
If you think you have what it takes to make a killer iPhone App, can you please bottle it and give some to me? Details of the course can be found at www.appschool.ie. Sign up and when you’re rich maybe you can set up a funding programme for wannabe coders like me…?
Handknit iPhone from daddytypes.com. Click image to find out how to make your own!
A guest post from Randall Snare of iQContent
Good websites are great business. That doesn’t mean that offices everywhere will soon be human-less and we’ll all have to bow to the mightly computer as it tells us, “I cannot do that, Dave.”
iQ Content knows good websites
The theme of this year’s iQ Content Boot Camp is ‘make money, save money.’ Better websites do improve your bottom line, not because one computer can do the work of five people, but because a good website increases productivity, sales, services and publicity; freeing up your staff to do the work a website can’t do.
And more. We have over 20 courses from 9th – 11th June at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel. IIA members and readers can get a 20% discount if they book online. Use the code ‘IIA’ to receive this special offer.
We’re giving away one full 3 day ticket to Boot Camp. To enter, go to www.iqcontent.com/bootcamp and answer this question:
Who is presenting Information Architecture that Works?
Email your answer and contact information to Cory-Ann Joseph, at firstname.lastname@example.org by end of business day Friday 5th June.
Get hands-on experience in a fun team-collaboration building a website for two chosen charities/not-for-profits. Meet Addison Berry, head of the Drupal Documentation team.
· Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th April 10am to 5pm both days
· DERI building at NUI, Galway
· The event is free, registration is essential
· Full description of the event and more information: http://groups.drupal.org/node/20113
This Online Marketing Training course is being delivered by the Digital Marketing Institute and has been created FOR the digital marketing community BY the digital marketing community.
The Irish Internet Association and SureSkills today announced that they have teamed up to provide an Executive Education Program in Online & Digital Marketing. This 12 week course is being delivered by some of Ireland’s leading Online Marketing professionals and is designed to meet the rapidly growing demands for up-skilling digital marketing experts. Further information is available at www.DigitalMarketingInstitute.ie
"The demand from our members for professional training in this fast-moving sector is immense", explains Fergal O’Byrne, CEO of the Irish Internet Association (IIA). "A recent survey of Ireland’s marketing decision-makers by IIA member company Amas found that 56% of marketing professionals spend over 10% of their budget online. Respondents to this survey cited value for money and measurement as the key factors in choosing to spend their budget online. (See State of the Net Issue 10)
"In challenging times, marketing professionals need to be able to offer their clients a full range of services." O’Byrne continues, "They must be aware of the marketing their clients are being exposed to and will therefore seek to emulate. This training program will provide marketers with access to the latest thinking and techniques in online and digital marketing. Delivered by Ireland’s leading practitioners in digital marketing, this program will provide the highest quality knowledge to attendees."
Steven Long of SureSkills adds: "As leaders in the provision of high level management and technical training, we have been actively searching for partners in this area. The IIA is the logical fit. Our initial feedback is that there is a huge demand for this course."
About the Course
This course is delivered in 24 separate modules, including Search Engine Optimisation, Pay per Click Advertising, Blogging, Site Analytics, Banner Advertising and Email Marketing. This course commences on Thursday 22nd January 2009. To suit busy timetables, delegates can elect to attend the course by day or as an evening course. More details and registration available at www.DigitalMarketingInstitute.ie
The SureSkills training division provides the most comprehensive training schedule available in Ireland. SureSkills also provides a fully managed training service and has extensive experience developing and implementing bespoke training solutions for its larger corporate clients. More information available at www.SureSkills.com