Construction Chat

A reflection by Conor O’Connor, Reading graduate

The Construction Chat summer school here at Reading is the first project of its kind. Set up by myself and Ashley Davidson, our goal at Construction Chat is to inspire more school children and college students to enter the construction industry at a number of different levels.

As students we set up and designed the Construction Chat website to guide students through their degrees at education institutions across the country and abroad especially in the field of construction.

To date we have completed a number of first time projects with the University of Reading. We wanted to expand the areas that we could help people interested or involved with the construction industry. To do this we would have to raise the awareness of construction professions available to young people.

Funding from Digitally Ready has enabled Ashley and myself to create a summer school that will enable prospective students to design a single storey office building using the most advanced technology in the industry, giving them an insight into a number of professions involved with the process.

With help from a number of keen volunteers, dedicated academics and professionals we have been able to create an experience unlike any other.

30 students from the Reading area will attend the Construction Chat summer school hosted by the University of Reading, actively involving them in an experience of University projects, University campus and the possibilities available to them.

This experience has been a real test for Ashley and myself. The organisation of all of the different parties, the project brief, schedule and health and safety has really opened our eyes to the work involved in hosting a day like this. It has also given us the confidence to attempt projects such as these in the future; if you were to ask me id say that this is the most valuable lesson I have learnt from this experience.

In the future we are hoping to host weeks of schools at universities across the country. The Digitally Ready small project funding scheme has enabled us to prove to people that it can work and it is beneficial. Furthermore it allows us to learn from this first experience so that in our future schools we will become more and more beneficial to prospective students.

Once again thank you to Digitally Ready for making this project possible.

Conor O’Connor, University of Reading Graduate, Managing Director of Construction Chat

About Maria-Christiana Papaefthimiou

My title is Enhanacement Manager (Teaching, Learning and Technlology) and I am curretnly project managing the DEVELOP project. My repsonsibilities include: 1. Management and direction of the work of a small team of Enhancement Officers (e-Learning), facilitating the development of cross-team working in CDoTL, including the effective integration of the team’s work across the University. 2. The management of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment and other e-learning tools with the aim to enhance and support the development of Teaching and Learning. 3. Work with academic Schools and academic staff, professional services staff and CDoTL team members to create an infrastructure of resources that support the development of courses through the use of Learning Technology. 4. Lead staff development and training programmes to be provided by the team or faculty/IT staff to ensure that academics are able to utilise learning technology approapriately and effectively 5. Promote the use of learning technology by planning and promoting university-wide workshops and faculty based staff development events. 6. Develop, as appropriate, university-wide participation and support for the engagement of academic staff with Technology Enhanced Learning. 7. Contribute to CDoTL’s strategic planning as a member of the CDOTL Senior Management Staff Team. 8. Identify opportunities for development and innovation, including accessing external funding sources, support the writing of bids. 9. Project management
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