Digital Day ’16 at Leyton Sixth Form College
On Tuesday a contingent from Manifesto took a short bus ride out east to Leyton Sixth Form College, where we talked digital careers and helped a group of students tackle BIMA’s Digital Day challenges.
Back to school
Brexit. Trump. The demise of Bowie, Wilder and Prince. The hottest year on record. The events of 2016 have presented even the most optimistic Manifestionians with a serious challenge when it comes to maintaining a positive outlook on the future. In that respect, BIMA’s Digital Day ’16 came at just the right time, providing a healthy dose of teenage energy and a reminder that tomorrow’s world belongs to a generation considerably less jaded than ours.
— Manifesto (@ManifestoLondon) November 15, 2016
The point of BIMA’s digital day is to inspire the potential coders, designers, project managers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow to consider a career in digital. To be honest, it already seems kind of anachronistic. As digital technologies now mediate almost every aspect of life, and as the prefix ‘digital’ rapidly disappears from job titles it feels (to steal a metaphor from Kay Boycott) a bit like going into a 19th century school to talk about careers in electricity. Perhaps this reveals something about how slowly the national curriculum is responding to the digital revolution? (I think so, and I’ve said so before.)
The Leyton sixth-formers are far from ill-equipped to embark upon careers which centre around digital technology. These students are true digital natives: masters of the smartphone, doyens of social media, and with cultural awareness in spades (they even managed to embarrass me by mentioning a popular video-sharing platform I’d never heard of – I won’t say which one). But as we know, being a consumer of digital products is a very different prospect to being a creator of digital products, so the real test was how they’d respond to the challenges posed by the BIMA sponsors.
As in previous years, there were three challenges set for Digital Day participants, each provided by an organisation with a sophisticated digital output. As the rules stipulated that teams should number no more than 5, our group of students arranged themselves into 5 teams, which meant that two of the challenges would be tackled by two teams, only one of which would be entered into the nationwide competition.
Challenge #1 – Cancer Research UK
Three in four people aren’t aware that obesity causes cancer and the message around the damage that obesity causes just isn’t being heard. It is expected that in 20 years, 72% of the UK population will be overweight or obese.
Cancer Research have tasked Digital Day students to think of a new creative digital solution to raise awareness of the obesity crisis amongst young people, help them make smarter choices and live healthier lives.
We had two teams of Leyton students tackling this one.
My Big Fat Self
This app for Android and Apple allows users to monitor their daily intake of food and drink and provides tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoiding obesity and cancer risks. Here’s the team making their pitch:
The Little Things
This campaign makes use of interactive ads to highlight the contrast between two different lives and demonstrate the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. Here’s the team pitching their idea:
And here are those storyboard frames up close:
The applause-o-meter chose which entry to put forward for the national competition: The Little Things.
Challenge #2 – Standard Life
Saving and earning money is hard and boring! Standard Life need you to think of a fun way to do it.
What if earning and/or saving money was fun? Standard Life want you to design a fun game using the technology that you have at home or at school to get young people interested in making and saving money.
There was only one team tackling this one.
Dinosave is a platform game for mobiles which integrates with social media and Google maps, encouraging users to save money by making in-app purchases which deposit money directly into their savings account. But don’t let me undersell it, here’s the team pitching it themselves:
Challenge #3 – TATA Communications
TATA Communications have challenged Digital Day teams to come up with a digital idea to help tackle some of the key issues for disadvantaged communities including; unemployment, poor health, gender inequality, poverty and poor standards of education.
But there’s a twist, you can only use three pieces of technology, smartphones, laptops and drones!
Two teams tackled this open-ended challenge.
A jobs platform targeted directly at the 18-24 age group which makes use of 3D animation and interactive questionnaires to help employers find the right candidates, quicker. Here’s the pitch:
A drone-delivered learning platform (yes, you read that right) which utilises cloud storage and partners with world-leading institutions and companies to help improve the lives of rural communities in Africa. Here’s teh team explaining how it works:
Once again the applause-o-meter chose an entry for BIMA: Qobs.
Same time, next year
A big thanks to all the students at Leyton Sixth Form College for the enthusiasm with which they tackled the BIMA Digital Day challenges (and for teaching us a thing or two about teen media consumption) and to the staff for their support. We’ve got our fingers firmly crossed for the awesome entries our teams put together, and look forward to experiencing all the amazing digital products and services that they and their peers are going to create in the not-too-distant future.