Colm Cille Comes Alive in New Digital Learning Resources

The life and legacy of Derry~Londonderry's patron saint are the subject of a new iPhone App and website

A suite of digital learning resources highlighting the life and legacy of the iconic figure of Colm Cille have been launched in Derry~Londonderry.

The resources include an iPhone App, which looks at Colm Cille and the cultural treasures that he left as his legacy, an interactive website, Colm Cille – Life and Legacy, short films exploring the life of Colm Cille, and a series of free bilingual eBooks.

Developed through a unique partnership between the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), the Nerve Centre and the Culture Company, the resources explore the rich heritage of Colm Cille as one of Derry~Londonderry’s greatest cultural icons through cutting edge technology and creativity.

Colm Cille, or Columba, was the founder of the famous monastery of Iona in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. From the 6th to the 8th century, the federation of monasteries initiated by Colm Cille was responsible for a flowering of creativity and craftsmanship, which has left us with magnificent works of art such as the Book of Kells and the Lindisfarne Gospels.

Speaking at the launch of the new digital learning resources, CCEA Chief Executive Richard Hanna, said: ‘Colm Cille – Life and Legacy is an excellent example of how we can use technology to enhance pupils’ educational experience and engage them in their learning.

‘The digital resources we’ve produced compliment a number of cross-curricular skills and learning areas in the Northern Ireland Curriculum. We’re particularly excited because this is the first App we have produced. All of the materials are in a bilingual format (English and Irish) and free to download from the website.’

Mayor of Derry~Londonderry, Councillor Kevin Campbell who attended the unveiling, added: 'This App is a valuable resource for those looking ahead to The Return of Colmcille celebrations in June and beyond the UK City of Culture year.

'It provides a digital archive of one of the city’s most important historical figures, offering users a unique opportunity to learn about the man who helped shape this city. Congratulations to everyone involved in this digital project.'

The project is one of a range of educational legacy projects that the Nerve Centre has developed for the UK City of Culture year that fuse creative digital technologies with the curriculum and locally relevant content to deliver educational benefits to schools and young people.

Nerve Centre Director of Education, John Peto, said: ‘The project has created a curriculum mapped legacy from both Colm Cille and Derry~Londonderry’s year as the UK City of Culture, which will be used in schools across Northern Ireland and beyond.

‘The partnership with CCEA and Culture Company has allowed the Nerve Centre to deliver real benefits into classrooms here and will exist as a digital legacy of 2013 for years to come.’

The project is one of a range of UK City of Culture initiatives celebrating Colm Cille, including the Digital Book of Kells, which has seen more than 900 school children working on Colm Cille themed animations, and The Return of Colmcille two-day outdoor spectacle on June 7 – 8.