14th December 2019

Hi,

This week has been pretty interesting for StepUp. On Thursday 12th December we attended a digital training day in Thomond Park, Limerick. Here, we were joined by many other schools from all over the country.

The aim of the event was to teach us how to improve our digital skills and included workshops on:

  1. Presentation and public speaking skills.
  2. Website design
  3. An App Inventor session
  4. Video editing
  5. Infographics
  6. Coding and QR codes

We were split into groups and were able to do two workshops each. For the first session, Leah and Aisling attended the video editing class. Over the course of two hours, we learned about the importance of setting up before filming and how to make the best use of lighting, props and sound. We also learned about shot composition and how to position the camera and ourselves, to get the shot that was the most pleasing to the eye. The instructors also showed us how pattern affected a picture or video. They also showed us how to use the grid system and how to create contrast between the subject and the background.

After the presentation, we had a chance to try some of these techniques for ourselves. We were instructed to go out and take pictures and videos of various parts on Thomond Park and then compile a short video giving a tour of the stadium. Leah and I raced against the clock before our time was up and ran around trying to take as many pictures as possible.

Fun fact: If you lie in your stomach, point the camera up a flight of stairs and ignore everyone staring at you, you get a lovely upward shot.

We then went back in and edited our pictures into a two-minute video. Using catchy music and one amusing picture of one of us sitting on the floor, we were very proud of our video of Thomond Park during the festive season. The entire session was extremely interesting, highly informative and I would highly recommend it to all. We learned an awful lot and this will improve our abilities greatly.

The Principles of Good Web Design was also a class we attended. We learnt some new things such as the importance of having a website and, of course, all the guidelines that make for a user-friendly experience. There were live examples of good and bad web design in this class which really helped us understand what makes a good website. What was most interesting was when we, ourselves, got to critique websites. Based on what we learned we judged our given websites and discussed them with the class. This was a useful learning experience.

Alana and Natalie went to the app inventor training after lunch and had such a great time. We were quickly given a run-through of how to get set up and after a small bit of difficulty, we were able to get stuck into app-building. The teachers taught us the processes behind building an app and how to work them. It was much simpler than we originally thought. We had fun completing the missions given to us. And the instructors were friendly and helped our group when we had problems. By the end we created a doodle app!

Thanks for reading, we wish you all a good day :D

Alana, Aisling, Natalie, Leah