Manx Telecom is supporting the Manx ICT Association (MICTA) by providing high speed internet access and virtual reality devices used for education and training.
The Island’s leading communications company has sponsored fibre connections into MICTA’s new offices in Athol Street, Douglas, which allows for high capacity internet provision to be offered to the Code Club which co-locates with MICTA. Code Club has been a great success since it began three years ago and, with MICTA’s support, it has created a local movement that has shaped education, inspired youngsters and delivered a large number of events and training sessions. Almost 600 young people have attended regular Scratch, HTML/CSS, Python and other classes, and the Code Club has managed to do this at no cost to the attendees thanks to community assistance, and passionate volunteers.
Kurt Roosen, CEO of MICTA, explains how Code Club continues to evolve, and how Manx Telecom’s support will help to build on its success. He said: “Access to the internet is the life blood of our learning experiences, and essential for us to be able to extend our capabilities in that area. Code Club began by organising coding classes, but it evolved and expanded as a number of activities started developing organically. These included robotics, virtual reality, 3D printing, electronics, amateur radio and many similar topics. As the emergence of these other interests grew, it started to become a centre for STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts and Mathematics) subjects, rather than just focus on coding. Thanks to Manx Telecom, MICTA now has a number of Samsung smartphones which can be used in dedicated virtual reality headsets, together with the latest Samsung Gear 360 camera, for creating virtual content. The growth of these different types of initiatives illustrated a need to create a parent organisation for Code Club and associated interest groups to operate under, and Code Club is currently re-forming under a general charitable banner of STEAM Lab and are located alongside MICTA in a dedicated facility in the centre of Douglas that can be used for class delivery and group project work.”
Kevin Paige, Chief Information and Technology Officer at Manx Telecom, said: “As a company which is passionate about using technology to bring real benefits in education, business and in the home, we are delighted to support the excellent work of MICTA and Code Club. The early adoption of new innovative technologies is key in ensuring we quickly understand their practical implementation and benefits. With these technologies seeded into organisations like Code Club the outcomes that are produced are truly inspiring.”
MICTA is now exploring more ways to use virtual reality to provide experiences for those not able to do so in person – for example, a trip to the Laxey Wheel or around Peel Castle for the housebound, or for those in residential care.
For more information about MICTA go to www.micta.im.
Photo - Kevin Paige, Chief Information and Technology Officer at Manx Telecom.