Service Learning
A teaching tool connecting community and classroom

IT Project

IT Project

Course Director: Pat Byrne
Course Name: Masters in Information Technology
Subject: Information Technology Project
Year: Year 1
Number of Participants: approximately 12
Hours: Self-paced directed and on average 2 hours per week.
Credits: 5 ECTs
Length: Second semester
Community Partners: Previous partners have included: Macnas, Galway Association, Galway Centre for Independent Living, Irish Film School, Galway Civic Trust, Ballinfoyle Youth project and the GAF Youth Café.

An ‘IT Project' module on the MIT offers a service learning experience whereby students work with a community agency and build the capacity of the organisation through the Information Communication Technology development technologies they have acquired. This project acts to unite the three strands of the programme and gives the students experience of real-life IT applications which can have many constraints. It also makes them aware that IT is useful in all areas of society and that they, as technology workers, have much to offer in terms of community action.

For additional information on t his experience, please see:

Byrne, P. and McIlrath, L. (2011), "Tightrope walking: balancing IT within service-learning in Ireland", in Bowdon, M. and Carpenter, R. (Eds), Higher Education, Emerging Technologies and Communities Partnerships: Concepts, Models and Practices, pp. 77-87.

QUOTE FROM PROGRAMME DIRECTOR:

"We have things here that we can offer the community and if we can do it as a kind of side effect of the student's learning, that's a positive thing," , Dr. Pat Byrne, Lecturer in IT and Programme Director for the Masters in Information Technology.

QUOTE FROM COMMUNITY PARTNER:

"It was an identified [IT need], I'll tell you why it was an identified need....because we run a computer club in [disadvantaged community] but what was happening was young people were just coming in and playing games on computers and as far as we were concerned...yeah....it was great they were coming in and using it but they weren't actually learning anything from it. And then I thought if we wanted to bring them to a higher level we were going to need the expertise to do it. So to get the service-learning students in to do it was excellent. And their ability to teach them stuff that we would never be, we just wouldn't have the expertise background to do it at all. It was fantastic.", Community partner for an Information Technology Project.