THERE’S MORE TO SOCIAL MEDIA THAN JUST SOCIALISING
- First graduate recruit lands full-time job
- New key post for former trainee Abby
- Research on IT role in education to continue
Every young person it seems knows how to use social media to keep in touch with their friends and the latest gossip. But how many use it as an educational tool or know how it could be applied in a future career?
Abby Wilson, 22, is aware that there is more than just the social side to social media and says it will play an increasing role in the classroom and the workplace in future.
Abby, from Inverness, has just started a full-time role with IT firm Fujitsu after being the first recruit to a year-long graduate placement programme.
She is now a service controller, detailing the responsibilities Fujitsu has in the provision of services under the £66 million contract to upgrade The Highland Council’s schools and office IT networks.
At the same time she is continuing her research, started during her 12-month placement, on the use of technology in the classroom.
The Strathclyde University graduate has worked with educationalists across the Highlands, but has also used new technology to connect to people in England and Australia, while also speaking to other researchers in America via Twitter.
The information she gathers will be used to help inform Fujitsu’s future thinking on the huge challenges and opportunities that present themselves from the ICT advances in education and training.
“IT is going to play a much bigger part in education worldwide in future”, said Abby. “It’s already firmly cemented in business and the education sector is still catching up.
“There are so many potential applications and they can be school-dependent or area-dependent. It’s what is most suitable for the pupils.
“There is a need to link schools and business together better and IT can help with that. Social media would be an excellent way of doing that if it’s utilised in the right way.
“While many young people are very familiar with new technology and social media they are still not sure how it can benefit them.
“They use these platforms without thinking about it. They don’t connect social media with educational benefits or how they could use it in a different way other than chatting to their friends.”
Jim Brophy, Client Director, Fujitsu Services Ltd Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Abby is now a full-time employee. During the year-long placement period she demonstrated an enthusiastic and fresh approach to IT thinking which will help inform our future thinking.
“The graduate placement scheme brings real benefits to Highland and Scottish-based business operations like ours and we will continue this initiative as part of our plans to create new jobs in this important field.”
Earlier this year Abby organised HI SGIL, a technology innovation and skills event at Eden Court Theatre, that brought together some of the world’s leading IT companies – including Fujitsu, Microsoft, Stormfront and Lego Education- to highlight the uses of technology in the workplace and how creativity in learning is helping businesses grow.
The industry giants joined Highland-based firms, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Talent Scotland, government agencies and the University of the Highlands and Islands in outlining to young people and educators the value of technology.
Fujitsu has now decided it will be an annual event due to the positive feedback from exhibitors and the public.
Abby added: “HI SGIL was a good way for pupils to experience how technology is used imaginatively in business, and explore a wide variety of potential career paths.
“It is really important we get the message across about the skills and training required in certain industries.”
Websites like My KindaCrowd.com also link businesses and organisations with schools and colleges in the UK, setting young people challenges and giving them the chance to win prizes, cash, work-experience and even jobs.
Fujitsu used My KindaCrowd as part of a global conversation on how best to use the power of the K Computer, the fastest in the world, to solve world issues such as climate change and fighting crime.
Abby spotted the Fujitsu opportunity online through TalentScotland, the Scottish Government initiative which runs the graduate placement assistance scheme for businesses, funded in the north by Highlands and Islands Enterprise with support from the European Regional Development Fund.
She said it was an extremely positive experience which she recommends to others: “It’s a great scheme because you come in for a specific purpose and do something that otherwise the business may not have the resources to do.
“It’s was a huge learning curve, but I learned so much about the business and I believe it was much more benefit than doing another year at university.”
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