Five Minute Focus On: Diane Morrow, mTech Academy
Tell us about mTech Academy
mTech.Academy was formed in June 2018, with the goal to inspire and empower every individual involved in education in Northern Ireland to realise their potential through a collaborative experiential learning community.
There are 3 elements to the mTech.Academy programme for the 2018/2019 academic year:
MOBILISING students to experience life-changing learning at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain
GOAL: Working with 10 schools, 300 Year 10 students will complete 10 weeks of learning by adopting a ‘Problem Based Pedagogy’ to create solutions that examine the impact of intelligent connectivity in the smart cities of the future. 100 students (10 per school) will be chosen to present their ideas at Mobile World Congress 2018 from February 25 – 28, 2019
Creating a MOVEMENT that will revolutionise the education system in Northern Ireland
GOAL: Working with 10 schools, 40 teachers in middle leadership level will experience industry lead continuing professional development (CPD) training. Using ‘Learning Leaders’ as a foundational document, teachers will have the opportunity to engage in six twilight training sessions during the academic year, and will have access to bespoke resources and online learning tools
MENTORING head teachers on the opportunities presented in the Intelligent Connectivity technology era that will be defined by the widespread adoption of 5G and Artificial Intelligence
GOAL: Working with 10 school leaders to provide mentoring and an opportunity to learn from industry leaders on how to inspire and empower their teams in the exciting era of Intelligent Connectivity
What’s your role in the company?
I am one of the co-founders alongside Michael O’Hara, the Chief Marketing Officer at the GSMA. Michael brings his expertise in marketing and everything mobile, and I am an enterprise educator with knowledge and understanding of the Northern Ireland education system. Together we think we compliment each other!
Tell us something about mTech Academy we might not know
In our logo – the ‘M’ symbolises our goal of bridging the gap between industry and education, to establish the next generation of industry leaders in a world of intelligent connectivity.
Michael and I started talking about our ideas for mTech.Academy at the FaceBook event at Mobile World Congress 2018, so our ‘light bulb’ moment was at Michael’s show in Barcelona.
What’s next for mTech Academy?
This year we will work with 10 school leaders, 70 educators & 300 Year 10 students. We will take 100 students and 20 teachers to Mobile World Congress in February 2019.
There are about 200 schools in Northern Ireland, and we hope reach all of them over the next five years, closing the gap between industry and education, and preparing our young people for the exciting and dynamic workplace of the future.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Belfast?
When I taught at Banbridge Academy and I had a free period, I would nip out to Starbucks for a coffee and perhaps some discount retail therapy at the Boulevard. I missed the choice of coffee venue when based in the Titantic quarter. At Glandore I am always within walking distance of a Starbucks!
What do you like about being a Glandore Member?
Apart from the cool interiors, the roofed patio, the uber luxurious reception area…. it’s the fact that from day one mTech.Academy was made to feel part of the family. Whether we were dealing with Nial or Clare, it’s the warmth and detail to service that stands out and their willingness to open up the wider Glandore network to help us.
But if you ask my kids, they’ll tell you it’s the free M&M’s in the board rooms!
Friday nights in or Friday nights out?
That’s a difficult one…. I guess after years teaching, Friday afternoons were always a challenge as students and staff are looking forward to the weekend, so I try to work later throughout the week to get finished early on a Friday.
I have a weekly standing appointment with my hair dresser on a Friday, so I can be flexible with my plans to stay in or go out; regardless working weeks are always finished better with a chilled glass or white wine!
MTech.Academy exists to inspire and empower every individual involved in Northern Ireland to realise their potential through a collaborative experiential learning community. You can visit http://mtech.academy/ for more information or check out mTech Academy on socials; Twitter | Linkedin