Libraries NI team up with Training Matchmaker.com to deliver ‘Get Blogging’ events for teens in Northern Ireland this Summer
Published 02 Jul 2021

Christine and Valerie outside Finaghy Library

Valerie Christie (Libraries NI Senior Children's Services Manager) will be working in partnership with Chartered Marketer Christine Watson (Founder, TrainingMatchmaker.com) to deliver an online learning programme designed to inspire a new generation of teen bloggers in Northern Ireland this summer. The 'Get Blogging' tutorials, open to 14 to 16 year olds, are set to take place via zoom on 19, 24 and 26 August. Individuals or parents/guardians interested in finding out more can find further information on the Libraries NI Facebook page.

Aspiring teen bloggers aged 14 to 16 years old will have the opportunity to learn and create their own blog as well as developing their knowledge and skills through a series of free online learning events delivered by TrainingMatchmaker.com in partnership with Libraries NI.

Libraries NI has appointed TrainingMatchmaker.com to deliver the digitally focused tutorials on 19, 24 and 26 August that will be created by Chartered Marketer and founder of TrainingMatchmaker.com Christine Watson supported by journalist and content creator Tina Calder.

Christine said that "in recent years there has been a surge in interest in blogging, vlogging and podcasting across the world and there are some inspirational successful bloggers amongst the 14 to 16 year old age group both locally and further afield. Blogging can be a fantastic way to connect with like-minded people, immerse yourself in your passions, keep your mind healthy and active, to get practice in writing and scripting, become competent in various digital skills and tools, earn money and indeed become and gain recognition as an online 'influencer'.

The ‘Get Blogging’ learning facilitated by Libraries NI will be a series of three online tutorials to help library users develop their digital skills and grow their confidence. The aim is to enable them to become successful bloggers. Up to 50 participants will be given tips and an inside glimpse of the fun and enjoyment of being a blogger.

Valerie Christie, Libraries NI Senior Children's Services Manager said: "Libraries NI is pleased to offer these free Get Blogging courses. Young people right across Northern Ireland can jump on board this online learning programme to increase their online skills and in the process they will be taking clear steps to enhance their employability.

Libraries NI is offering these opportunities free and they provide a great way for young people to look after their wellbeing at this time of disruption of what was their normal school and home life".

The learning is designed to outline the basics of blogging including blogging formats and platforms, as well as subjects and the purpose of blogging. Participants will also learn how to identify their audiences and engage with them and will be made aware of the legal and moral aspects that need taken into account when embarking on blogging.

There are many benefits from upskilling in blogging and online content creation and publishing, including increased digital skills, confidence, enhanced employability and access to a peer community of fellow bloggers or influencers.

As the target audience for this programme is 14 to 16 year olds, the course has the aim of enabling the participants to keep learning and to connect with their peers in a safe online learning environment. The tutorials and activities will be designed to integrate the Public Health Authority Northern Ireland’s ‘Take 5’ steps to wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. Take 5 steps to wellbeing have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation and are widely supported across NI as simple steps to proactively take in order to maintain and improve your wellbeing. While the current restrictions may limit our usual routines, it gives the opportunity to think creatively about how we can build these 5 steps into our daily lives – the internet is full of ideas and suggestions.

These courses are free to attend and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Individuals or parents/guardians interested in finding out more about the ‘Get Blogging’ tutorials by TrainingMatchmaker.com for Libraries NI can find further information on the Libraries NI Facebook page.

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