Tech-savvy teenagers teach their parents online skills

Tech-savvy teens are giving their parents grinds in Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook as part of an online skills training initiative.

The Cork Technology Network, the CEIA, has devised a Mentor-A-Parent programme which has led to parents going back to school to be coached by their teenagers on the use of technology, apps, and social media.

The programme is being piloted among second-year students and parents at Gaelcholáiste Charraig Uí Leighin in Co Cork and will be rolled out countywide from September.

Valerie Cowman, the CEIA’s skills and education chairperson, said technology should not be intimidating but good fun for everyone.

“While young people are natural users of technology, parents and guardians often find it harder to keep up-to-date with the latest tech trends and how to use them,” she said. “We felt it was vitally important for parents and guardians to be better equipped with online skills, from using apps to being able to manage their network security and wifi at home, to being able to use social media networks.

“And who better than young people to provide this type of training?”

CEIA representatives work with the students to tailor-make each lesson which takes parents through a range of skills, including how to set up internet networks, how to set security and access controls, how to set up and control wifi networks, and how to install antivirus software.

The teens also talk the parents through various social media platforms, including SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook. CEIA representatives are on hand to ensure the information is delivered fully and accurately.

Ms Cowman said the programme, encouraging open dialogue between parents and children and online issues, helps parents to embrace technology and empowers the students.

Áine-Máire Ní Fhaoláin, principal at Gaelcholáiste Charraig Uí Leighin, said the school has always embraced technology and the initiative has received a hugely positive response.

Anyone interested in running the programme in their school can visit


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