Two Loreto students, Katie Mitchell and Jonathan Tang, attended this prestigious event at Manchester Town Hall, sitting on a panel before an audience of over a hundred industry experts and educators. Katie Mitchell takes up the story:

“Manchester Digital Skills Festival is an annual event held in Manchester Town Hall, which includes a conference that looks at industry involvement with education and how the next generation of digital talent is being educated. MDigital_panelI attended the conference with Jonathan Tang and we spoke on the ‘Beyond the Curriculum’ panel with Tom Cull, Steven Flower, Paul Woodhead and Ravinderpal Gehlon. The focus of this panel was digital education that happens outside the classroom and how this compares with traditional school teaching. As Jonathan and I had recently attended the Manchester Junior Hackathon in October 2015, we were able to discuss our opinions on these matters from experience.”

“The audience for our panel varied from teachers to industry experts; therefore, it was important to highlight the issues that could be influenced by changes from both of these sectors. Skills such as teamwork, flexibility and communication are increasingly becoming a main focus for employers, both in the digital sector and outside it. In my experience, these abilities are developed at activities and events held outside the classroom as the current curriculum lacks industrial application of knowledge. Furthermore, extra-curricular events such as CoderDojo and the hackathon need to happen more frequently and be well advertised for students of all ages; this, along with industry involvement in the curriculum, will increase digital skills for the next generation.”