'Digital DNA' I.C.T. Conference 2013

Congratulations to Grosvenor pupils Matthew Carson and Jordan Earle, both Lower 6th, who recently showcased their innovative ‘Thinkspace’ project at the prestigious ‘Digital DNA’ conference, held at the Titanic Building on Wednesday 4th September.

The conference, which was attended by representatives from the likes of Google and Facebook, provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase ‘Thinkspace’ to the wider ICT community and both Matthew and Jordan were delighted with the level of support they received from some of the most important companies in technology, with a senior Google employee even inviting them to Dublin to tour his company’s European HQ.

Jordan and Matthew’s invitation to ‘Digital DNA’ came courtesy of Judith Cochrane MLA after she attended the ‘Thinkspace’ launch event which was held in the Great Hall, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, earlier in the year.

‘Thinkspace’ is a project that aims to get more young people into computer coding by creating a room in a school or youth organisation full of the latest equipment - Macs, PCs, iPods, Androids. Such rooms are designed to resemble a Twitter or Google office with a relaxed, informal atmosphere so that young people can come and teach themselves how to code apps and websites in a non-classroom environment with their friends; using equipment they may not have at home. The project has the backing of some notable individuals within the technology industry, including Stephen Fry, Richard Branson and Steve Wozniak (Co-Founder, ‘Apple’).

The company was set up by three English teenagers who realised that secondary school aged young people weren’t learning coding skills early enough. Soon after this both Matthew and Jordan got involved as they aimed to roll the idea out to Northern Ireland.

Jordan and Matthew’s involvement has already led to funding being secured from the Youth Council of Northern Ireland to develop a ‘Thinkspace’ in Belfast City centre, in partnership with ‘Public Achievement’, a youth focused charity.  The aim of the company is now for further ‘Thinkspaces’ to spring up across Northern Ireland, the UK, and even across the world. These ‘Thinkspaces’ will be connected by a social network that the boys built themselves, where people will be able to share ideas, access resources, and solve problems collaboratively.

Currently Jordan and Matthew are working together with teachers and other I.T. professionals to ensure ‘Thinkspace Social’ is a safe, secure environment that schools will be able to trust.

Well done to Matthew and Jordan on their achievements to date and we wish them the best of luck with their future ‘Thinkspace’-related endeavours.

 

Grosvenor pupils Jordan Earle (centre) and Matthew Carson (right), pictured alongside Basil McCrea MLA at the 'Digital DNA' Conference, held at the beginning of September.