We were fortunate enough to be part of yesterday’s BIMAD-Day schools initiative, a national event aimed at closing the skills gap in the digital industry. Across the country digital agencies attended local schools to mentor a day of digital creativity with the students.
Our welcoming hosts were Chaucer Technology School, here in Kempt’s home town of Canterbury and appropriately enough we were to mentor a class taking up the Mobile Apps challenge with the aim of submitting the results to be judged in this national contest. Right up our street!
After getting over the shock of being back in school (so much has changed, so much is exactly the same!) we settled into our roles of pseudo-supply teachers to a room full of thirty Year 9s - “Year nine, YEAR NINE!!!” became a regular refrain throughout the day! Fortunately the class seemed to respond well to the day and were genuinely engaged.
Like most schools the suite of computers wasn't the most current but the creative process isn't just about the speed of your processor and the version of your software. The ideas began to fly around the room from the word go, fuelled by a strong understanding of how apps work and a freedom to think up new possibilities. We had ideas from the practical - very useful medical and personal security apps - to the fantastically fanciful - pet translators and open-ended games that tapped into your dreams!
One thing that struck us was how much time was actually spent on the class PCs - just an hour in the afternoon. To us this seemed like a good balance as what makes this industry so exciting isn't the technology itself but what the possibilities it creates. However, we also left the students with a Flash demo app to pull apart and recreate. It's when you understand technology that things get really interesting - it fuels your imagination and turns brilliant ideas into brilliant products.