Project Details

Group of students smiling with laptop in background

Bridge 21

Supporting an innovative 21st Century learning environment in schools.

By Trinity College Dublin

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @Bridge21learn

Organisation URL:

  • Education
  • Audiovisual
  • Mobile
  • Open Source
  • Physical Computing
  • Social Software

Bryan Patten was up to speed with all the theory of how technology could change the way we learn. He wanted to put it into practice. In 2004, Patten, a recent graduate of Trinity College Dublin’s prestigious Centre for Research in Information Technology and Education, started informal Saturday morning workshops at which volunteers came together to learn and play with technology. Out of that they developed a pilot programme in creative learning using technology, which Trinity College provided a home for.

Over three years Patten and his team ran courses for more than 2,000 young people. With their feedback and the support of the Irish Learning Technology Association he created a structured programme – Bridge2College, which has since become Bridge21.

Bridge21 is a different kind of education, modelled on the kind of work students will have to do once they leave college. They work in collaborative project teams, which have to assemble knowledge from across the curriculum to solve problems creatively using digital technologies. By collaborating with others on digital projects, students learn essential life skills, including communication, problem solving, and project planning – all critical components for a successful knowledge-based economy.

Since the programme was born in 2007, more than 4,500 students from 30 schools have taken part in the project.

In May 2013 Google gave Bridge21 the funds to train 1,000 teachers in its methods, to take creative computer science courses into schools using reprogrammable hardware – the Raspberry Pi and the Scratch programming language.

Image 'Student study group UBC Library' courtesy of UBC Library Communications

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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