Current engineering student Ciara Giles Doran explains why she became a UCD Student Digital Ambassador and the important lessons it has thought her

As of January 2016, I became an official U.C.D. Student Digital Ambassador, as part of the nationwide “All Aboard” programme. But what exactly does this mean and what do I do?


“All Aboard” is a project funded by Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, which aims to identify and teach the wide range of skills and knowledge that students in higher education needs to feel confident and creative when learning, working and exploring the digital world. As a Student Digital Ambassador in U.C.D., I attend regular workshops focussed on improving certain digital skills, and participate in student-specific, student/staff, and staff-specific events, facilitate/co-facilitate digital skills workshops, and am involved in creating online content and digital resources.

One of the most important workshops I attended was focussed on simply making us aware of our presence online and the extent of our own “digital footprint”. Despite thinking that I was very careful online, I discovered I was a lot more “Google-able” than I originally thought! This workshop inspired me to shut down a lot of my unused accounts and to be more vigilant when using the internet.  In fact, I was so taken by this workshop, I took the opportunity to make a video podcast for the U.C.D. Student Digital Ambassadors YouTube channel. In doing this, I learned how to use “Office Mix” and educated myself in the “Visitor and Resident Mapping” technique, as developed by David White in Oxford University. This was another great learning experience and added a number of new skills to my belt. I was also part of a team involved in a staff workshop focussed on online presence awareness, and presented my own “Digital and Resident” map during the presentation.


Some of the other great workshops on throughout the year were on digital security and content creation.  In university, so many of your assignments must be presented digitally and learning how to make your work more professional is always a great opportunity. Not only that, but attending the workshops allows you to get to know a whole other community, and make great contacts and friends to work with.

Although not strictly related to the Student Digital Ambassadors programme, my increased confidence in my skills online and digital literacy encouraged me to become involved in the “121 Digital” volunteering program, which calls on voluntary tutors to provide free lessons to adults in the local community in various digital skills. In a world where technology is simply unavoidable, being a Student Digital Ambassador is a great way to improve your digital skills and is a solid stamp on your C.V. to any employer.