On Thursday, 28 January 2016 the UCD Student Digital Ambassador Initiative was officially launched in association with the All Aboard Project and UCD Teaching & Learning. Professor Bairbre Redmond in her role as Dean of Undergraduate Students and Deputy Registrar of Teaching & Learning outlined the value and importance of this initiative in her welcome address to the cohort of twenty-seven students (across various disciplines in their first, second and third year of study at UCD) who are participating in the year-long initiative.
Professor Redmond outlined the context and background of this initiative explaining that the challenge of enhancing our digital capacity has been taken up by the All Aboard project. Funded by the National Forum, the All Aboard project aims to enhance the digital skills of all parties involved in Higher Education - students, faculty and staff equally. This has resulted in the national digital skills framework for higher education, which envisions digital skills as a metro system, made up of individual stations representing particular skills. The map is an important visual metaphor - one that speaks to the fact that each individual’s journey through the digital skills framework will vary depending on what skills they need to stop at, while giving us a holistic view of the range of different skills that the sector needs to support.
One of the key priorities of the All Aboard is the inclusion of students in the project, each of the partner institutions (NUI Galway, UL, MIC & UCD) have been challenged to respond with an initiative that empowers students to not only learn more, but to share that learning with their fellow students and staff in their institutions. The UCD Student Digital Ambassador initiative is our institution's response to this challenge.
During the initiative ambassadors will be prompted to reflect on their own digital skills, and how the application of these digital skills may vary in personal, professional and social contexts. In the development of this initiative a student partnership approach has been employed and the voice of the student themselves is key and has indeed informed some of the themes and ambassadorial activities that they will have the opportunity to participate in. Informed by the National Digital Skills Framework the initial focus this semester will be on digital identity/well-being and the use of social media while participants will also be offered content creation sessions to enhance their digital skills. A wide range of activities are being offered to students in partnership with collaborators in UCD; Student’s Union, the Access & Lifelong Learning Centre, the Library, IT Services & Teaching and Learning. It is envisaged this will enable the participants to develop their own digital skills while also carrying out their ambassadorial role in sharing what they have learned with the wider UCD community and beyond.
To date the initiative has been enthusiastically received by both students and staff at UCD. A number of partners across the University have collaborated with the coordinators to support this initiative by providing ambassadorial activities and avenues for the digital ambassadors to make a real contribution and impact in raising awareness of the importance of digital skills, and the importance of growing our collective digital capacity across UCD and within the wider higher education sector. If you are interested in getting involved or collaborating with us on this initiative please contact the coordinators:
For more information visit Student Digital Ambassador project page.
Follow the SDA Initiative on Twitter: @UCD_SDA
>> Back to news