Go Berserk won the seventh annual Queen's University Belfast "What's the Big Idea" competition. We won the Best Idea from a Postgraduate Student, sponsored by Queen's Postgraduate Community & Enterprise, and we also won the Best Overall Business Idea, sponsored by the Ormeau Business Park.
|with Joanne Graham, Postgraduate Community & Enterprise Officer at Queen's||with Patricia McNeill and Phil Murray of Ormeau Business Park|
Go Berserk was nominated in the Research and Development company of the year category of the UTV Business Eye Awards 2014. This is the third year in a row that we have been nominated in this category! Congratulations to the winner, PathXL.
We were mentioned in an article in the OTech Magazine about Women in IT written by Debra Lilley (@debralilley). Debra, who has been a fantastic supporter of Go Berserk and is Oracle ACE Director, explains her inspirations and experiences in IT and says at the end of the article (on page 47):
I can't finish without mentioning our Next Generation Initiative, where we are going out into education and showcasing some of the roles in IT, and hoping to help some find graduate and apprentice roles in the Oracle Economy. Then there is some work I have had the privilege to see in my home region of N Ireland with Go Berserk, taking coding into primary schools and within the Java community the Devoxx4kids initiative is mind blowing. These are the people that inspire me, and more importantly the next generation of our industry.
We were invited to the end of summer Mozilla Webmakers Makers party at Coder Dojo Derry, held in the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster. We had a great time seeing all the amazing tech created by the coders including:
There were also lots of buns, a games competition organised by Magee Core and a fabulous venue hosted by Cunamh ICT. You can follow Derry Coder Dojo, or volunteer to help them on Saturdays from 11-1pm, via @coderDojoDerry on Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook.
We were thrilled to give the keynote address, along with the inspiring Kerri McCusker from the University of Ulster and STEM Aware's awesome Roisin Crawford. Our keynote was all about our experiences on the EdTech tour earlier this year. The highlight was showcasing the "Good Job America" web page built in under 10 minutes by Jacob (aged 9 and now a consultant teacher of HTML and CSS at his primary school in Derry-Londonderry).
There were lots of amazing teachers at the conference, as well as Mark Dorling from CAS(UK), Stephen Howell from Microsoft (who talked about Minecraft and Computational Thinking) and plenty of workshops about everything from how to make a banana piano with Makey Makey through making games using Scratch and Construct to advice on professional development.
We attended a conference about educational technology for the Waterside Cluster Group at the White Horse Hotel in Derry-Londonderry organised by STEM Aware. There were lots of demonstrations of edTech, including a quick lesson in HTML coding using the Go Berserk code checker.
We were ecstatic to be invited to the North West Smart Skills conference in St Mary's College, Derry. Definitely the highlight of the week!
Derry's new digital map was unveiled by Philip Flynn (Chair of Ilex), we heard inspiring talks from Gabrielle Moseley (US Consulate General in Belfast), Steven Duggan (Director of Worldwide Education at Microsoft), Bill Bates (Vice President, US Council on Competitiveness), Shauntel Poulson (New Schools Venture Fund), Steven Walter (Emerson Games) and our own Bro McFerran (Allstate NI), Joanne Ward (Seagate Technology), Martin Reilly (Mayor of Derry-Londonderry) and Marie Lindsay (Principal of St Mary's).
We learnt a lot, including:
Then, the amazing Roisin Crawford from STEM Aware showed STEM Aware's new video and we all had some (very very large) cake to celebrate all the schools who had participated in the Go Berserk training. The cake said it all:
Erin and Jacob are truly web geniuses!
nature is impotant so here are some fun tips!
oakgrove is one of the most helpful websites for looking after the enviroment
3 main things to remember!
1.If you have let over fruit you can cut it and give it to your plants.
2.Water your plants once a day.
3.Throw away rubish in the bin.
everyone has right to go to school and learn so help them
I done all this in around two hours!!
|Erin's website||Jacob's website|
Go Berserk was at the Annual Dublin US Economic Conference. The conference is organised every year by the US Embassy in Dublin to discuss economic issue that affect the US and Ireland (North and South). This year's theme was Education and Technology under the title "Smart People, Smart Economy"
The keynote speakers included the US Embassy's Charge d'Affaires Stuart Dwyer, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, South African rugby captain Francois Pienaar, Steven Duggan (Head of Worldwide Education Strategy at Microsoft), Bill Bates (US Council on Competitiveness), Marcus Segal (Entrepreneur in residence at the Web Summit).
Go Berserk helped organise a session on STEM, STEAM and Entrepreneurship with Kerri McCusker and Roisin Crawford (STEMAware) which included contributions from Steven Duggan, Sean O'Sullivan (SOSVentures), Shauntel Poulson (NewSchools Venture Fund) and John Peto (The Nerve Centre).
In the evening we were invited to the Ambassador's residence for amazing food from Ireland, North and South at the Good Food Ireland showcase (the ice-cream from County Down was particularly great)... and we met up with everyone from the EdTech tour to the US.
Yet another great day in Oakgrove College introducing more teachers to HTML coding.
We had another great day in Lumen Christi introducing even more equally fantastic teachers to the joys of HTML coding. Lumen Christi was fabulous.
We were honoured to be invited to a world first event at Oakgrove Integrated Primary - a night for parents and pupils to find out about STEM and STEM careers, organised by the parents (with a little help from STEMAware and the wonderful Oakgrove staff). There were some amazing STEM experiments, lots of Peace Bridges, and Derry's very own Coder Dojo.
We think every primary school should have one!
There was even a 9 year old coder who knew more about Go Berserk than we did, after completing the HTML book himself - definitely a web genius berserker.
P.S. we really love the Coder Dojo Derry website which says (at the moment): "This site is currently under construction by the kids"
We had a great time in St Cecilia's introducing some fantastic teachers to the joys of HTML coding - it was even difficult to drag them away for lunch! Thanks to St Cecilia's and their super-modern ICT suite.
Derry City Council has provided 56 schools in the city with a class set of Go Berserk books for free and we will be sharing with teachers how to get the most out of them.
There are four free events organised in March in local schools in Derry for one representative from each of the 56 schools chosen to attend.
Here is a list of the schools that will be receiving a free class-set of the books. If your school is on this list, you are invited to one of the training events. Please register to attend here.
|Altnagelvin Hospital School and Tuition Service||Ashlea||Ballougry||Belmont House|
|Broadbridge||Bunscoil Cholmcille||Chapel Road||Craigbrack|
|Eglinton||Fountain||Foyle & Londonderry||Foyle View School|
|Gaelscoil Eadain Mhoir||Glendermott||Good Shepherd||Greenhaw|
|Groarty Integrated||Hollybush||Holy Child, Central Drive||Holy Family, Aileach Road|
|Immaculate Conception, Trench Road||Lisnagelvin||Lisneal||Listress|
|Londonderry Model||Longtower||Lumen Christi||Mullabuoy|
|Newbuildings||Oakgrove Integrated Primary||Oakgrove Integrated College||Rosemount|
|Sacred Heart (Trench Road)||St Anne's (Londonderry)||St Brigid's College, Glengalliagh Road||St Brigid's (Londonderry)|
|St Cecilia's College||St Colmcille's (Claudy)||St Columba's, 2 Duncastle Road||St Columb's College|
|St Eugene's, Francis Street||St John's, Bligh's Lane||St Joseph's Boys'||St Mary's, 70 Monadore Road|
|St Mary's College||St Oliver Plunkett (Strathfoyle)||St Patrick's & St Brigid's College||St Patrick's(Pennyburn)|
|St Paul's (Slievemore)||St Therese's (Lenamore)||Steelstown||Thornhill|
We were honoured to be invited to talk at the Safer Internet Day in Wellington College, Belfast. We even appeared on a live TV feed streamed across the Internet! Here are some comments from the day about Go Berserk:
It's not all about the dangers, the internet also benefits. Hearing from @GoBerserk1 about teaching young people to build websites #SID2014
@GoBerserk1 Great stuff, really interesting to hear about your work :)
Parenting NI (@ParentingNI) on Twitter
We were the only company from Northern Ireland in the awards, and the only non multi-national company to receive nominations in two categories. The Learning Awards brochure gives more details here.
This is what the judges said about Go Berserk:
Go Berserk's mission is to create thousands of high-end computing jobs in Northern Ireland. The programme (which started as a conventional book but is now both an iPad app and an e-book) helps eight-year-olds to build websites. A comprehensive curriculum is being developed, and copies of the first book are in every single primary school in Northern Ireland.
The impact of the programme extends into the wider community. It works with all abilities and has been successful in a Learning Centre for excluded pupils. Often someone seen as a low achiever in the classroom can become an outstanding programmer.
Go Berserk landed in New York City and visited the following places:
Go Berserk landed in Boston and visited the following places:
The Stranmillis report about the effects of Go Berserk on 10 primary and secondary schools in Northern Ireland has been published online. You can see the full report here or an executive summary here.
The report revealed that:
For example, one school which used the book with 10-11 year olds said this:
"Students found that coding the pages provided the same sense of achievement and challenge that they often encounter when playing computer games at home... One student in this class excelled beyond the expectations of his the teacher. He was on the autistic spectrum.. The experience helped his confidence greatly, to the extent that he was soon known as the class 'IT consultant'....Even though the teacher had not used HTML code before she felt at ease alongside the students as they all learned together. She said that 'she became a participant in the learning rather than just the sole provider of the knowledge'...The development of web sites raised the aspirations for career opportunities in computing. The school plan to develop and expand the work started in this pilot for future years and with additional year groups"
Go Berserk landed in Seattle and visited the following places:
Go Berserk landed in Washington DC on the EdTech Ireland trip sponsored by the US State Department. We visited the following places: