Sean Lyons and Mark Williamson from the mCommunity team at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunication Software and Systems Group (TSSG) were recently invited to Government Buildings in Leinster House, Dublin by the then Minister for Training & Skills, Ciaran Cannon, TD.
The mCommunity project aims to use technology to engage with disenfranchised individuals, those not in education, training or employment (NEET’s) and integrate them back into appropriate schemes. The project identifies effective means to engage students using learning mentors and mobile technology. We also use the impact of ‘positive social networks’ in terms of providing the right social framework around students to facilitate re-engagement using social media.
Goverment became aware of the mCommunity project that is being developed by TSSG, when he attended the “Keeping Young People in Employment, Education and/or Training” international conference in Bucharest and invited the team to present the technology at Leinster House. Personnel from the Department of Education were also present with a view to assessing how this technology could be used in an Irish context.
The response was very positive and a number of follow up meetings with interested Irish stakeholders in the educational sector have followed. The mTransition project, which is a sister project to mCommunity involved in rolling out the technology for Learner Mobility in Europe, was also discussed and one of the project partners, Stefano Tirati from CSCS in Italy was also present at the meeting. Through further discussion possibilities for this technology to be used within the Irish Context, are endless.
mCommunity is an Interreg IV funded project under the Ireland Wales Program.