Sunday 24 August 2014

Leaving Cert Students At CCT - A Look Inside The Summer Taster Courses At CCT (With Some Pictures!)

Three quick weeks have gone by here at the College of Computer Training, and for most it was a little too soon! Just as the Leaving Cert students were getting to grips with the college experience, in a flash it was over. Thankfully, during this time we managed to get a few quick pictures of the action that was going on.

A Change of Pace

Making the change from the world of leaving certificate can be a big experience when you have been geared up for a wide range of subjects for so many years. Learning to focus your energy on a single topic and really having the time to expand your mind on the areas which interest you can be new to many students. This change is what many of the students who attend the taster course found most exciting. The taster course served as their first introduction to the college world, where they can speed up or slow down their learning process to suit their needs.

Hard at work with Microsoft Visual Studio

Meeting New People On A  Similar Wavelength

One of the great aspects of a taster course is meeting students of a similar age, who are all interested in the subjects that you are, each from different backgrounds with different levels of experience. At the CCT taster course, students from all around Dublin and the surrounding areas had a chance to meet those people. These students worked together very well and showed a keen interest in group work, one of the fundamentals of succeeding in any job today. Working well in a group encourages the sharing of ideas and the discussion of how they feel a job should be done. 

Heads down working away.
A Different Environment

Although classrooms have changed over the last 40 years, using laptops and looking out the window to a bustling Westmoreland Street is certainly a change of scenery for many. Despite all of these distractions, students kept engaging with the staff during classes, essential to get the most out of their experience.

Dr. Brett Becker doing what he does best!
During the development life cycle, students where encouraged to stand up and present their concepts and discuss with the class how they designed their initial wireframes of their applications. To make this all a little easier, the staff of course lead by example! No idea is ever too far fetched for trying.

Wireframes are an important part of the development cycle. Graham dropped in to give us a few extra tips.

Questions always welcome of course!

Learning New Real World Skills

The skills learned by the students during their time here at CCT go beyond the technical aspects. Group work, sharing of ideas and seeing a project through to the very end. These valuable skills will remain with the students and transfer to the college degrees and into the working world.

Kyle explaining C# and the concept of Web Development.

Ricardo and his gang for the summer

Showing Up To Class Because You Want To

Instead of the usual motions associated with going to secondary school, college has a completely different vibe. Students show up because they want to learn and not because they are being told to attend! This was exactly the case for the taster courses. Attendance rates where great and each and every student was willing to get the maximum out of the taster course experience that they could. Here at CCT we are more than happy to facilitate this attitude to learning.

A Few Final Remarks From The Staff

To keep a nice balance, we wanted to hear what the staff here at CCT had to say about their experiences with the Leaving Cert students who opted to give a taster course a try:

Great group of students! They were all very interested in understanding the fundamentals of mobile development, and they also showed engagement throughout the course, during lectures, practical and discussion sessions. Most of them are planning to study Computer Science, thus the course served to give them a taste of what to expect in college. - Ricardo Iwashima

I taught the Networking taster course along with Graham. I was impressed with the students in the class and I felt that they showed incredible motivation and maturity. Graham administered the FETAC exam to them and I administered the Microsoft Technology Associate exam to them. All of the students who took the Networking MTA exam passed that test and this proved to be a very positive experience for myself and the students. - Michael Weiss

Good Luck!
All in all, we can consider this year of taster courses here at the College of Computer Training a success. We wish all our students all the best in their futures and hope what they have learned will stand to them, as we not doubt know it will.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Leaving Cert Summer Taster At CCT - How They Are Doing!

The sun has been shining here in Dublin, no better time to be inside... well, at least our students seem to think so!

Over the last two weeks we asked Leaving Cert students (some from transition year also) how they are doing with the taster course here at CCT and what attracted them to the course. For some students, it is love at first site (web site, get it?), for other students it is a love that progresses over time. We are happy to facilitate both types of people here at CCT.

A few faces have become familiar here at CCT, as some of the students have returned to finish of some unfinished business from the Taster Courses last year. We are glad to see them back for more. To try and gauge what kind of student we are attracting for the Taster Course  we asked, "What made you come try a Taster Course", here is what the students had to say...

"I did a taster course last year on game development and I want to learn how to make my own programs and learn other programming languages to help me to create games and software."

"I think I want to study Computer Science in college and I thought it would be good to try it out first to make sure."

"I've an interest in computers and web design but have never had the chance to develop that interest before."

Everyone has different reasons for trying a Taster Course here at CCT, but the most encouraging aspect of what the students have to say is that they are all here to try it out and see what it is all about. This inquisitive attitude is exactly what works well and helps students during their college learning experience.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

A Look Inside The Web Development Taster Course at CCT

One of the hot topics in the IT world is with out a doubt, creating a web site. The Web Development Taster Course at CCT is designed to give third level students in Ireland an insight to what web development is by giving them a chance to get to grips with developing their own site. Students often think that the learning curve will be a little steep if they have not had any experience with web development, but that is never really the case.

A Little look at what we have been up to!

Starting from the ground up is one of the most important aspects of learning any new subject. The web development taster is no different. A really simple view of the web development cycle is outlined with some traditional HTML (seen above projected on screen!) to get the senior cycle students familiar with how the very fundamentals of web development work.

Some leaving cert students quickly get to grips with this however, waiting eagerly for what is coming next. Within a day or two, it does become time to move on to something a little different and students are introduced to the software available from Microsoft for developing their own web application.

In a world of infinite choice when it comes to web development, some decisions need to be made to get the students thinking about practical web development that can be used in everyday business. Students are introduced to ASP, C# and JavaScript to get the maximum out of their time. The development software provided by Microsoft, Visual Studio provides a quick and fun way to develop and deploy their own web applications.

For students who are more inclined towards making their website look great and not just function well, the fundamentals of style and design when creating a website are covered later in the taster. The Web Development Taster Course at CCT is designed to encourage students to get to grips with the industry standards of technology available to them.

Monday 14 July 2014

And We Have Started The ICT Taster Courses!

Today marked the launch of the 2014 Summer Taster Courses here at the College of Computer Training, and what a great start it was.

To give an idea where they are from and what their current Information Communications Technology (ICT) background is, the day started off with a quick set of introductions from the students from a wide variety of different secondary school across Dublin.

Some students have just graduated from secondary school, some just entering 6th year getting ready for the Leaving Cert and even some transition year students taking an early look. There really is no better time to take a peek and see what the ICT world has to offer.

A large amount of the students have had no exposure to ICT at all, which is perfect as these courses are aimed for those who want to get involved and have no prior knowledge. Some others however have have had the chance to dabble a bit through self-tuition and help from friends, giving them an extra great start.

Getting started with ICT can be a bit of a leap for those who have never had a chance to get into the inner workings of a web site, setting up a network or the concepts behind making a game. Each of the students however were very eager to get to grips with their sample of the ICT world.

Each of the students is now on a path to equip them with the skills to achieve a CCT Skills / QQI-FETAC certification. Good luck to each of them!

Now that each student has started off on their free taster journey, we will be keeping this blog up to date with the progress of the students and making note of exceptional work that will no doubt follow over the next three weeks.

Welcome to CCT!

A nice break in the weather is a great way to get started for the summer taster courses here at the College of Computer Training!

For those who are just in the door, we got Simon at the front desk telling you which of the rooms you are in for the next three weeks!

What Courses Are Running This Summer?

  • Programming - Dr. Brett Becker
  • Networking - Michael Weiss
  • Web Development - Kyle Goslin
  • Mobile Development - Ricardo Iwashima
  • Game Development starting tomorrow (Tuesday 15th)

Keeping You Updated!

Over the next three weeks we will be keeping track of the highlights from the summer courses. We hope you enjoy your stay here at CCT. If you have any questions or comments feel free to talk to your lecturer.

What Are The Summer Taster Courses?

The courses are designed for secondary school students in Dublin.

For students who have just finished the Leaving Cert and are interested in taking a look into what IT has to offer, now is the chance!  With a wide range of tasters to choose from, you can put your foot in the water with whichever part of IT you are most interested in!

These courses are designed for students who have no experience at all with IT, so there is no such thing as a silly question.

Get ready to start developing!