Anderson tells delegates to ‘Future Classrooms’ event:
“The Creative Learning Centres, through their use of Creativity and technology – and their mission to make these powerful tools available to all learners at all levels across the north, have worked in strong partnership with DCAL and NI Screen in driving the STEAM agenda in schools and harnessing our inherent creativity as a tool to drive learning and build real skills in our young people.”
Full Text Of Address to Delegates on ‘Future Classrooms’
Good Morning to those of you who have traveled from afar – from the United States, from Europe and from across Ireland.
A big welcome also to those of you who are lucky enough to call this place home. Welcome to Derry and to our city hall the Guildhall.
As we enter 2014 the Legacy of our year as City of Culture is already impacting.
The last year has shown the world what we here already knew – that this City is a centre of innovation, of energy and of creativity.
Derry has always been a City of Culture. But this has not happened by accident.
Our culture and creativity has been nurtured over generations through music, literature and song being embedded within our communities, our schools and in the very fabric of the place.
This deep seated tradition of cultural learning which has helped to define Derry has been central to the development of the Creative Learning Centres and their work in Digital Creativity which brings us here today.
The Nerve Centre has been a cultural beacon across these islands for youth, for technology and for innovation for a quarter of a century.
Its work in schools and community based education, in partnership with the AMMA Centre in Armagh and Nerve Belfast as the Creative Learning Centres – has helped to develop a curriculum here which filmmaker Paul Greengrass described on a recent visit to this very City as ‘the most creative in Britain and Ireland’.
The approach of the Creative Learning Centres, under the direction of DCAL & Northern Ireland Screen – in bringing arts and digital creativity together inside the curriculum and mapping creative skills across the whole range of subjects offered in schools, has been proven over the years to make learning more engaging and more enjoyable for learners and teachers, of all ages.
By making learning more enjoyable in this way, learning performance is improved at all ability levels.
In addition to this, and equally importantly, this approach removes barriers to learning and fosters inclusivity and equality in education and learning in schools and communities.
Creating films, music, computer games, digital stories, comic strips and the wealth of other projects offered across the Creative Learning Centres allows learners to play to a range of strengths in their learning and become “active” participants and creators of knowledge, instead of just – consumers of it.
Over the last decade the Creative Learning Centres have developed huge expertise in this work.
In the last year over 5 thousand teachers received training in digital skills which are mapped directly into the curriculum and the classrooms that you all teach in.
However, as technology moves on apace, so have the Creative Learning Centres.
In the last twelve months it was my pleasure as an MEP to invite both the Nerve Centre and the Ashton Centre to Brussels to speak about their groundbreaking work in hosting Ireland’s first FabLabs state of the art digital fabrication facilities – that are delivered at community level in Belfast and Derry.
The work of the FabLabs in using technology to build inclusion, to develop skills and knowledge and to empower communities is revolutionary and I was proud to offer a European Showcase to their work.
It came as no surprise to me, or to anyone that knows the Nerve Centre, to see that one of their first plans with the FabLab was to extend it to schools and develop a programme of work that enhances and builds upon work of the Creative Learning Centres.
We are here in part to share in that today.
In addition the Nerve Centre is working with local community representatives to assist in the development of creative industry courses within community structures – which will signpost a lot of our younger residents towards the Nerve Centre and other STEAM educational providers.
This work is vital in harnessing the talents of young people who have been disengaged from traditional learning methods but who can now be encouraged to develop a career in our burgeoning creative industries, which have come on in leaps and bounds as a result of City of Culture and other initiatives.
The notion of STEAM, adding the Arts to the STEM subjects, is the very essence of what the Creative Learning Centres are about.
Using the fun and enjoyment that we all get out of unlocking our imaginations and our creativity to make learning around the STEM subjects more relevant, more interesting and more enjoyable, offers the real opportunity to make learning in these crucial areas more accessible and more inclusive for more of our young people across all of our traditions.
The Creative Learning Centres, through their use of Creativity and technology – and their mission to make these powerful tools available to all learners at all levels across the north, have worked in strong partnership with DCAL and Northern Ireland Screen in driving the STEAM agenda in schools and harnessing our inherent creativity as a tool to drive learning and build real skills in our young people.
I am delighted to have been involved in this in to date and look forward to supporting future initiatives from the Creative Learning Centres.
There is absolutely no better place than Derry for us to come together in a celebration of learning, culture, innovation, inclusion and creativity and I wish you all well for a stimulating day here in the Guildhall.