With schools closing down due to COVID-19, parents will be looking for ways to keep their children entertained, as well as continuing their learning.
Over the past year, Team SVBS have been rolling out the iDEA programme with South and Vale based educational providers and businesses.
Interested in improving your digital skills for free? Find out more below!
The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA, is an international programme that helps people develop digital skills for free.
iDEA is about lifelong learning, for anyone who wants to develop their skills. Our learners include school pupils, apprentices, business leaders, pensioners, students and community groups.
Through a series of online challenges, users complete interactive modules known as ‘badges’, which can be accessed for free on any device connected to the internet.
The badges vary in length and difficulty and there is a huge range to choose from.
The badges fit into five categories:
- Citizen – badges include Staying safe online, Personal Statements and Teamwork
- Worker – Colours, Digital Portfolios, Projects, Coding
- Maker – Animation, Video Editing, Graphic Design, Making Websites
- Entrepreneur – Advertising, Money Management, Problem Solving, The Art of Selling
- Gamer – Game Designer, BAFTA Game Concept, Make a Game
- Go to idea.org.uk
- Sign up for iDEA by entering your details
- Once logged in click on your nickname in the top right-hand corner
- Select Edit Profile
- Type in the code SVBSSKILLS and press save/update
iDEA badges have been mapped against the National Curricula and the Skills Builder Framework.
This helps support life, employability and soft skills, as well as a range of specialist subjects such as enterprise and formal computing (digital literacy, computer science and IT).
Benefits for younger learners
- Improve digital literacy and knowledge
- Learn useful skills online
- Discover new talents and find out about careers
- Employability skills for CV
- Learn useful skills online
- Awards are recognised by UCAS
- Use iDEA for your Duke of Edinburgh Skills Section
Benefits for Schools and Colleges
- An enrichment activity for students
- Workshops with community groups
- Part of outreach programmes
- Part of learning and development programmes
- A tool for digital inclusion and digital literacy initiatives
- A way to support lifelong learning
Benefits for older people and organisations
- Upskill in your current role
- Ideal for those who have no previous experience with technology
- Ideal for those with a lack of digital literacy
- Free, flexible and easy to implement
- Raise your profile with businesses
- Add value to your organisation
- Increase digital learning and skills
- A unique code credits users to you
Learners who are 13 and under should only use iDEA if they have confirmed that their parent, guardian, carer or teacher has granted them permission to access iDEA.
To confirm they’ve had permission, they will need to provide the name and email address of their parent, guardian, carer or teacher.
They will be prompted to enter the parent/guardian/carer/teacher email address after they have signed up and before they start doing iDEA Badges.
Nine in ten organisations admit that they currently have a shortage of digital skills in the workplace. One of our key objectives is to support businesses struggling to attract and retain skilled staff, particularly young people and graduates.
The Open University’s 2019 report, ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’, emphasises that 3 in 10 employers are looking to employ digitally skilled talent. When it comes to searching for a job, users of iDEA can download a personalised ‘Record of Achievement’, showcasing their newfound digital skills to potential employers.
As well as focusing on providing free training to school pupils and younger people who are thinking about their careers, we are also committed to helping people in their current roles upskill and develop their knowledge in new subject areas.
The programme is also ideal for those who have no previous experience with technology, or a lack of digital literacy.
From June 2019 to now, we have introduced the scheme to over 27 schools and organisations, with a total of 382 learners actively taking part.
Users have completed over 1,000 badges, with 13 people earning their Bronze Award and 5 winning their Silver Award.
During this timeframe, we helped 200 learners to get started on the iDEA programme through the National Citizen Service (NCS), a voluntary personal and social development programme for 16 and 17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland.
The programme was introduced to all young people during their Social Action phase of NCS, to help them to start to think about their individual and group skills and expertise.
Careers Lead, Claire Christiansen, said:
‘Not only has it helped my students develop new digital skills, it has improved their confidence & employability skills.
I’ve enjoyed doing it alongside them, learning with them and enhancing my own skills and knowledge.’
National Citizen Service (NCS)
Jon Clark, the NCS Social Action and Community Engagement Manager, said:
‘We had a great uptake of people signing up… We really enjoyed piloting the programme and it definitely helped stimulate conversation and engage the young people into their communities more. I would recommend it to others looking for a similar tool.’
Councillor Bethia Thomas and her son, Tom
‘While in lockdown my son, Tom, and I had a competition to see who would complete their Bronze Award first. I lost, although I will be going on to claim my Badge Champion Award!’
‘I really enjoyed participating in the iDEA Bronze Award, and I am looking forward to progressing onto the Silver Award. I especially enjoyed doing this alongside my DofE, and I am considering integrating the two in the future.’
Founder & CEO of Space Store, Stephen Ringler, hired a student from Didcot Girls School after seeing her iDEA achievements on her CV. Stephen said:
‘What I found impressive is that students were taking additional initiative to improve. Those things go a long way on a CV since young people generally don’t have a lot of work experience.’