For the past 5 years, BIMA has been hosting Digital Day, an opportunity for digital professionals to team up with secondary school students to inspire and tell them more about different careers within the digital world.
The aim of the day was for the students, split into teams, to undertake one of the 3 challenges provided by BIMAs brand sponsors and to submit the winning challenges back to BIMA for the judging panel to decide which school will be named the Digital Day 2017 champions and prizes including: £500 cash prize which could be spent on IT equipment for the school or an educational trip, Vue Cinema tickets and a Sky Academy Experience which offers young people to create their own TV report and an opportunity to visit one of the Sky Academy Studios.
We were matched with Hove Park School, which is already ahead of the game when it comes to digital, it is one of few schools in the south that has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for its iPad digital learning scheme. This means that every child in the school has an iPad and they use them to enhance traditional learning methods and allows the students to be more creative when producing work. They have recently introduced Everyone Can Code resources on one of their campuses to encourage students to learn to code.
An Ice Breaker
The students started off by going around the room, stating their name, age and something interesting about themselves. We had a class of 20 students aged 12-14, with interests ranging from baking to football, aspirations to be doctors, and lawyers, and only a few at this point stated that they were interested in web design, tech, video games or anything digital. We started our day with an icebreaker game where the students had to team up in groups of 3-4 and try to find 3 shared common interests, the weirder the better. As we had students from mixed year groups this helped to get them to feel more comfortable and encouraged them to think outside the box.
BIMA provided us with the official Digital Day presentation for us to adapt that included videos about industry life and a chance for us to introduce ourselves and talk about how we work day to day as a digital marketing agency, the challenges we face and some of the work we have done for clients. Showing the students creative tech such as VR headsets, ID thumbprint scanners and innovative apps gave them an idea about what was possible before they undertook one of the 3 challenges:
LV= – Powered Up Pets
Create an innovative digital product for pet insurance customers that could help pet owners to keep their pets healthy or take the hassle out of owning a pet.
The Diana Award – Smart Schools
Imagine a way that a digital product could be used to tackle bullying in schools, or how technology could be used to improve your school or learning experience.
Fashion of the Future
Create a piece of wearable technology that could solve a problem in everyday life.
We encouraged the students to not be concerned about what’s possible ‘right now’ and not to be afraid to think big, be creative and most importantly, be original. After dividing into groups of 3 and 4 and deciding on their chosen challenge, we were on hand to support and answer any questions, but being careful not to tell them what to do or give them any leading ideas. It was amazing to see how quickly they took to the challenges, how many ideas they had and even more so to see how quickly those turned into tangible ideas. Before lunch we already had teams thinking about logos and prototypes for their digital products and working on presentation ideas.
The students used their iPads to create additional storyboards, design logos and product mock ups and used keynote to design their presentations.
After lunch, the teams jumped back into finishing their projects and started practicing how they were going to present their ideas in a Dragon’s Den style. It was fantastic to see how enthusiastic the teams were to present their digital product ideas to the rest of the group. We had 6 teams, who all had brilliant and completely original ideas which were professionally and confidently presented, had well designed logos and had even included some well researched facts to back the importance of their product. It was really difficult to decide whose ideas should be submitted to BIMA for judging, but we decided on:
LV Powered Up Pets
Top Pets – this team designed a collar with a GPS tracker that synced with an app on your phone, which allowed you to set a restriction area for your pet, and if they went outside of this restricted area you would receive a notification through the app. The collar also monitored your pet’s heartbeat, hydration and nutrition levels, and if there was any sign of your pet becoming ill, the app would alert you of this. The idea behind this app was the healthier your pet is, the lower your insurance cost would be per month, and they researched LV= car insurance to come up with this digital concept.
The Diana Award – Smart Schools
Get Confident – an app with a Help Desk to tackle bullying, a place to share your experiences and the app connects with a VR headset. You are able to select different scenarios with the VR headset, one to practice standing up for yourself and gaining confidence, and another which allows you to practice talking to a teacher or parent if you feel as though you are not ready to do so. The app has a section where you write down things that a bully has said to you, this helps to make the VR as real as possible to the user. After you have completed the VR experience you can talk to the live Help Desk about what happened and will be given encouragement and helpful tips on how to tackle the scenario next time.
Fashion of the Future
Rainbow & Co – A range of clothing that reflects your mood by changing colours wirelessly connected to a bracelet that has buttons to change the colour of the clothing. For example, clothes that change to blue meaning the user is feeling down. This team felt that people their age on a day to day basis found difficulties in communicating feelings and emotions and didn’t want to be stuck in awkward situations not knowing how to express themselves. This team had done a lot of research to back up their digital idea and were passionate about the importance of understanding mental health.
We had a fantastic day, the quality of engagement and ideas generated by pupils of 12-14 years old was nothing short of super impressive and left us feeling very encouraged and confident about the line of talent that’s coming through education and into our industry.