This post is a reflection of his energising & inspiring day.
Part of my ethos is giving back to my community, whichever community that may be. One community I’m part of is the fabulous British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) which is driving innovation and excellence across the digital industry.
One initiative is their BIMA Digital Day where they link industry professionals with schools & colleges across the UK to show the wide range of opportunities in digital for young people.
This is the first year I volunteered & I’m so glad I did!
My paired college - Greenbank College
I was paired with the fantastic Greenbank College in Liverpool - Greenbank College offers supportive, inclusive learning opportunities for young people and adults in classes which are small, friendly and encouraging which helps our students to achieve their potential.
I visited the college the week before the Digital Day in order to meet my contact & get an idea of the space we’d be running the day in.
I was also fortunate enough to meet some of the students that would be attending - some of them already had a raft of questions for me!
BIMA Digital Day set up
One of the beauties of Digital Day is that the content is largely prepared for you! This really takes away most the preparation overhead of the day.
The content was freely available on the BIMA Digital Day Website including guidelines, sample agendas, the challenges, videos & of course the slides.
All that was left for me to do was to create the agenda around the college’s break times & tweak the slides to make them relevant for me. My material can be found in Googledocs. Updates included:
adding my company info
embedding the videos into the presentation to make it slicker
adding links to the videos in the slide notes in case I needed them
After that, it was case of getting an overview of the slide deck, rehearsing the slides notes & of course testing the autoplay of the videos!
BIMA Digital Day itself
The students arrived on time
The room was all set up
The materials were all in place
The tech worked
I arrived on time
The preparation that had gone into the day by the organisers at Greenbank College was clear to see by the smooth running of the day.
Being a guest in someone else’s home is so much easier when they’re ready for you!
We started the day off with introductions to each other & then to Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality!
I demonstrated a VR headset & an AR app which had dinosaurs walking on our heads!
One advantage of showing the VR & AR apps to the students at the beginning of the day was that their brains went into overdrive with ideas of how the technology could be used to help solve the problems posed in the challenges.
The challenges were suitably challenging & provided a great opportunity for the students to show their strengths & also push them way out of their comfort zones.
It was great to see the support, not only from their leaders, but also their peers. It was clear that they all wanted each other to succeed - they were happy to help & encourage where they could.
We eventually took a different direction from using the A1 sheets provided - the energy of the group was more towards creating posters to pitch their products (I believe the students may be sticking the posters to the A1 sheets later this week).
The “Deliver“ section of the day is where the students get to pitch their ideas to each other. This was the hardest part of the day for several of the students, especially at the end of a relatively long day.
That’s a wrap
After the “Deliver“ section of the day, we played some card games & music on my DJ software to help the group unwind - We might have discovered a new Swish champion!
Overall, I had a fantastic day! I came home energised & buzzing from all the ideas & creativity that were generated in the room. I hope the students enjoyed the day half as much as I did!
If you get the opportunity to volunteer - do it!