Big event preview: Rochdale Digital Festival

Date published: 17 February 2017

If you’re reading this on your computer, tablet or phone you’re likely one of the millions already regularly using digital technology as a means of keeping in touch, shopping, entertainment and saving money. Technology can be of great benefit to all ages and what you can do with it is constantly changing - which makes Rochdale Digital Festival such a useful event for everyone, whether you don’t know your I-Pad from your elbow or you’re excited by discovering the next big thing!

This free festival - aimed at showing how useful, easy and fun to use technology can be - is at Number One Riverside in Rochdale town centre on Saturday 4 March from 10am until 4pm. Organised by Rochdale Borough Council, in partnership with BBC Radio Manchester, who will be broadcasting live, a visit will improve your digital skills with hands-on help and advice for all.

Things to look out for

  • Barclays Digital Eagles will be showing how to do your banking online and the popular ‘Help Bar’ will return too, for anyone who needs assistance with laptop, tablet and phone issues.
  • There’ll be lots for under 18s and families, including Rochdale Coder Dojo - a self-led community group - supported by skilled mentors to learn computer coding through play with the latest digital kit. If you’ve got young children - look out for ‘Hacker tots’- a play space where they can use ‘Little Bits’- electronic building blocks and ‘Scratch’, learning code, making fun things and lots of noise!
  • A series of free Masterclasses will be held, with experts revealing tricks of the trade in bite-sized sessions packed with useful tips. Topics covered include making your website better for your customers, keeping your kids safe online and how to market your business online. (Book free places via the website.)
  • MadLab will present their popular Make Stuff workshops, so you can get to grips with coding and take an introduction to the world of making. Hone your soldering skills with Make Stuff’s LED-tastic skill badge kit and create sewn-circuits using conductive thread.
  • Girl engineers – ‘Robogals’ will be also appearing – with their amazing robots, inspiring young women to consider engineering and technology related careers.
  • You’ll be able to find out how to build sound scapes and raves using a Raspberry Pi- a small computer used to teach programming through fun, practical projects.
  • If the festival inspires you to learn more, you’ll be able to check out local digital courses and training opportunities.
  • Demonstrations of how to use the council website to avoid telephone calls or making face-to-face visits.
  • Coronation Street actor Simon Gregson will be appearing. The popular star, best known for playing the long-running soap’s loveable rogue Steve McDonald, will swap pulling pints behind the Rovers Return bar to meet festival visitors, as well as have a go at getting to grips with a whole range of technology himself.

Councillor Daalat Ali, the council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community said:

“Digital technology is revolutionising what we do and how we do it, so this festival is a great opportunity to be inspired as well as learn lots of useful things that can help you day to day. It’s going to be another unmissable day for local residents, helping you do more online, whatever your level.”

There will be friendly faces on hand to show how easy it can be and tablets, phones and computers will be available for you to try.

For the full line up, timings and more about the festival visit:

Take a photo of yourselves in the festival frame during your visit, share it using #RDFest17 and be in with a chance of winning your own tablet!

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