As part of a series of blog posts we have asked folks who use technology everyday to tell us a little about their favourite websites and apps. It’s amazing how, even when you spend as much time online as we do here in the Making Ireland Click team, we still get introduced to new websites everytime we ask folks about their favourites.
We caught up with Ailish Irvine via e-mail. Ailish is based in Mayo. She is a Trainer in Community Development and runs Startup workshops. She is a self confessed lover of e-learning and social enterprise. She is into #edtech, GAA She is a mother of 3 and a twin! She remembers buying a big monster of a PC back in the late 90s, getting dial up put in so that she could undertake an Open University course online. This early experience with edtech increased her skills and boosted her confidence. Ailish modestly says that if she can do it, anyone can. She is right, of course! You can find her online on Twitter or LinkedIn.
We kicked off by going straight to the core and asked Ailish what her favourite piece of technology is. She came back right away and told us about a site called Rome2Rio which appeals to her insatiable love of travelling, “The first time I used this was probably about a year ago when planning a trip in Germany,” Ailsh told us, “I love travelling and this site simplifies the process of planning a trip easily. It gives you route planning information, timetables and fares and methods of travel on in seconds. LOVE IT!” She thinks she heard about it originally on Twitter, which many web savvy folk find is a great place to hear about the latest in their interests. However, Ailish also gave us another tip: “I usually find out about new technologies on an excellent site called, Maqtoob.” I’m looking forward to checking that one out myself!
We know that people who work with technology can sometimes find it hard to put their phones down. Ailish has a great way to manage her time online which she shared with us when we asked did she think there is any downside to digital. “The downsides are the amount of time you can waste looking at nonsense. I use an app called Anydo and have a list of absolute must do tasks. I only allow myself to doss after I have completed the must do items.”
Encouraging people to get online
Not surprisingly Ailish is on the same page as Making Ireland Click when it comes to encouraging people to get online. She advises, “I’ve been teaching computers for a number of years and have always found it extremely important to get to understand the person you are teaching and what their hobbies are. If you can find the thing they love and show them how easily technology will help them with their hobby, you have them hooked. I have found that showing older men, Donedeal or ebay, works a treat.” NALA also recommend this approach in their excellent online resources.
We also asked Ailish if there was an online resource that she felt is indispensable. True to form she reminded us of a great resource that has been developed right here in Ireland: “I think ALISON.Com is a must see for anyone curious about learning new things from the comfort of their home. It’s an award winning Global Online Learning platform based in Galway and it’s something we should be very proud of. I think people are amazed with the idea of learning an array of subjects from different areas, ie business , psychology, finance, computers at a time and pace that suits the learner. The beauty as well is that they are all free.” I know a few people who would LOVE that. They have a whole section dedicated to Digital Literacy and IT Skills so right up our street!
We had to pick Ailish’s brain about the latest addition to her digital arsenal and she has introduced us to GetRevue. What interested you in this, we asked her, to which she replied, “I needed to send a newsletter out from work and this tool did everything I needed easily, it allowed you to curate and clip online content, add video and online links, it tracked who opened it and it integrated with social media to help you share it.”
Lastly, and in keeping with our #HaveTheTalk campaign we asked Ailish if you could teach one person to use a technology who and what would it be? She responded, “I would take a person setting up a business and show them how to use maqtoob.com as it contains information that could take you years to find.”
What budding entrepreneur could resist the opportunity to be mentored by Ailish!