Tech experts in Heywood Community School

A GROUP of students from Heywood Community School are striking for success with their IT mini-company at this year’s Student Enterprise Awards this spring.

A GROUP of students from Heywood Community School are striking for success with their IT mini-company at this year’s Student Enterprise Awards this spring.

Tech-wise aims to teach people of all ages about and how to use devices such as iPads, laptop and smart phones. The company is spear-headed by Daniel Goode, Fintan Brennan, Ian Whelan and Stephen Knowles who are transition year students. Taking on the task of a mini-company has been an eye-opener into the business world for the group with plans, deadlines and people all to deal with.

Coming up with the idea has been the most difficult part of the project for the students and the team now believe that too much thinking can be the worst thing in business. Their experience has convinced them the best ideas come from everyday life and this is where IT idea sparked from.

Team member Fintan Brennan, suggested providing computer lessons. The idea came to him when he recalled seeing his grandmother struggling with her own computer. After some brainstorming the team decided that they could set up a company that would train people to use their smart phones, tablets and other devices. The group moved quickly to create the company name and Tech-Wise was born.

The next step was to develop some teaching skills and the team team decided to use the first years as guinea pigs. Taking a professional approach, the team created a lesson plan and a worksheet. A daunting task, the team threw themselves into the training. While mistakes were made, it was felt that some big lessons were learned.

How to reach their customers proved difficult but after research they decided to visit primary schools to teach students and find a computer centre to teach adults.

A program was set out, where they hoped to split the 5th or 6th classes. Giving one half a presentation on Internet safety and cyberbullying and the other half a practical lesson on the school’s computer’s.

The team decided to incorporate internet safety and cyberbullying. They believed being it would be very relevant to young peole and also be a unique selling point. Work is ongoing to find a suitable venue to train adults.

Mini-company is a project taken on by students where they set up and run their own business. They do it aiming for high profits or wining the Student Enterprise Awards which is run by the Enterprise Board. The competition is open to all students, with a category for both Junior and Senior cycle students. The idea behind Tech-Wise is a long process for the group and they said they were in it for the experience over anythingelse , making their customer service and the awards their highest priority.

Democracy is a key factor in the mini-company. Decisions are made equally in the team and work is spread equally among the group.

Work is ongoing in the company and the team have their eyes firmly fixed on the awards in spring.

To contact Techwise techwisetechnologyhelp@gmail.com, which helped create their companies foundations.