Fantastic stories from the biggest BIMA Digital Day in Scotland 2018

By Anna Doyle
26 Nov 2018

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BIMA Day is a great day for kids learning about the digital economy and how they put what they have learned into context with their everyday lives. When delivered correctly it can change the way a child perceives ‘digital’ within their education and the choices they make moving forward in life.” Grant Whiteside, DAC Group

The 13th of November saw the biggest ever matching of schools and companies across the UK for BIMA Digital Day 2018. Scotland trebled its participation from 2017 and also boasted the biggest gathering of students in one school taking part (see more on that below). A truly huge thank you to everyone involved.

A special shout out is required for Kemnay Academy paired with Aberdeen Airport, Turriff Academy and Aboyne Academy paired with Red Evolution both of whom are running Digital Day on a different day due to the Aberdeenshire school holiday calendar. Below we have compiled a few stories and quotes from the day to share.

Running the biggest Digital Day session in the UK (the formula)

120 Pupils + 4 Teachers + 5 Digital Heads = 1 amazing day” Mike Octigan, Gecko

Not only were Mike Octigan’s team from Gecko, and Peter Grahams from the collaborative Bridge Interactive, first timers they were also tasked with running the biggest Digital Day in the UK at Inveralmond Community High School. A very big ask, expertly delivered and a huge thank you is certainly in order.

It was a real privilege to be part of BIMA’s Digital Day. Guiding over 100 kids through the process of tackling a digital challenge was a quite a challenge in itself! Never the less, hugely rewarding. I was amazed at how digitally savvy the school kids were. Terms like AR and AI seemed to be second nature. It was also encouraging to see the teams develop comprehensive and well thought-out solutions to what were really quite challenging briefs. If Inveralmond Community High School is anything to go by, then there is an abundance of talent out there to shape our industry in the years’ to come.” Peter Graham, Bridge Interactive

“We are delighted that our BIMA day was the biggest event held in the United Kingdom. It is a great event and one that really helps our young people to collaborate, innovate and work with local companies who are able to open their eyes to the flexible and dynamic careers in the industry. Such is the quality of materials and resources we will also be using this later in the year with the rest of our S1 and S2 pupils.

We are delighted to have been involved and cannot thank Bridge and Gecko for their input and inspiration.’ Hayley Callaghan, Inveralmond Community High School

Going back to your old school…

We are Hydrogen was paired with Hamilton Grammar, effectively sending Strategy Director Daniel Rae back to his own classroom. We caught up with him to find out how it went.

Today was one of only a couple of occasions I’ve been back to Hamilton Grammar School since I left in 2000. It’s a strange feeling – very familiar, but also quite different. The school building has been extended to accommodate a greater number of pupils, and it was this new extension that we were based for Digital Day 18.

We were hosted by the Business Education & Computing Science faculty and there was a couple of familiar faces. Our host, and the principal teacher of the faculty, Ian (Mister to the pupils) Arthur, was a few years above me at school and Mr Haggarty, one of the computing teachers, taught both me and Ian when were pupils there. Mr Haggarty, or Harry, as I can now call him, retires next month after 35+ years, so it was nice to wish him well.

This was my very first Digital Day, and it was a first for Hydrogen as an agency too. Putting nostalgia to the side, the whole day was fantastic. We were made very welcome by the faculty staff and the pupils selected to participate were all excellent – attentive, interested and incredibly skilled.

While we set aside plenty of time for brainstorming and refining the ideas, the groups were incredibly quick and moved through the stages faster than we expected. There was a real drive to visualise the responses to the challenges and many of the participants used tools like Photoshop, video editing software and even code to bring their ideas to life. Already impressed with the Photoshop skills of a group of 14 and 15 year olds, I was blown away that one group had developed a functioning demo of their augmented reality solution, showing how items could be added to a shopping basket.

If there’s one thing I can take away from Digital Day 18, it’s that the future is very bright for the Scottish Creative sector – I saw plenty of budding developers, designers, marketers and client services professionals in the room!

I’m sure Hydrogen will participate again next year. We’ve also offered some support to Hamilton Grammar School in terms of careers advice, work experience and talking to business studies pupils about the reality of running your own business, so Digital Day may be a trigger for more collaboration.”

The most ethnically diverse school in Scotland..

2018 saw Shawlands Academy from Glasgow Southside take part in BIMA Digital Day for the second year. They were introduced to Digital Day through a member of the parent council who also happens to be a member of BIMA. They were paired with Glasgow agency, After Digital, and loved the experience. As a direct outcome of taking part in Digital Day 2017 they are now progressing students through the Duke of York iDEA scheme.

As the most ethnically diverse high school in Scotland (over 50 first languages), the academy represents a great opportunity for BIMA to reach a community that represents the diversity in Scotland and what our industry, like many others, strives for. After a very successful 2018 Digital Day, expertly managed by the After Digital team, plans are afoot to grow the programme in 2019.

Building a relationship with BIMA has been great for us. Beyond the undoubted value of Digital Day we are also lucky enough to build stronger links with the After Digital team and our teachers attend BIMA events to keep abreast of the very latest developments in digital to bring new insights to the classroomAlan Delaney, DYW Lead, Shawlands Academy

This was my first time since working in Digital where I have had the chance to get involved with school events. It was both a challenging and rewarding experience. What a great opportunity and it was amazing see how many of the kids wanted to work in Digital at the end of the day. It feels great to have helped inspire them. Would recommend this experience to anyone working in Digital!Mhairi O’Neill, After Digital

This was my first time presenting to anyone outside the company, and my first time back in a school since being in one myself. I jumped at the chance to be involved. It was quite a bit of a challenge but it was incredibly rewarding to see the students engaged and learning about the digital industry. As we said to them, everyone has a skill within them that can translate into a career in digital and it’s important that young people know that those options are out there. I would 100% get involved with Digital Day again and I would urge others in the digital realm to do the same. Well done to all the pupils at Shawlands Academy!Natalie Woods, After Digital

Newbattle Community High School and Centre of Digital Excellence

In the Summer of 2018, Newbattle Community High School moved into the new £36m Newbattle Community Campus, creating Midlothian’s first Centre of Excellence in Digital. They were paired with the team from CreateFuture

For this year’s BIMA Digital Day CreateFuture were paired with Newbattle High School in Midlothian. As with previous years, it was inspiring to see a group of young people approaching the challenges with such creativity and empathy, truly putting audiences at the centre of their solutions, and having fun whilst doing it!

It was also exciting to work with a school committed to being a digital hub, giving kids access to as much technology as possible and developing spaces for the kind creative and collaborative working that’s fast becoming the standard in our industry.

In short, it was ace – we loved it.” Gareth Anderson, CreateFuture

Find out more about the Newbattle story here.

Here are a few more comments from Digital Day First Timers

The students asked tonnes of tough, smart questions. Then they researched, debated, wrote and drew their way to the finish line. The best bit: seeing all the inspiring ideas taking shape as the timer counted down.” Alan Black, Black AD paired with Stonelaw High

It was an excellent day thanks. The pupils really got into it, so a good day all round! Looking forward to helping out next year!Rod Richmond, Clean Digital paired with Holy Rood RC High

This was my first BIMA Digital Day, and it is a great opportunity to bring real life challenges and stories into the classroom. I was really impressed with the way our students engaged with the presentations and challenges throughout the day. Huge thanks to After DigitalPatrick McGrory, Head of Technologies, Shawlands Academy

Just wanted to let you know we have had a very successful Digital Day at Holy Rood today. The planning resources and resources for use on the day were all excellent. Rod and Fraser from Clean Digital did a fabulous job for us and our group of S3 pupils really enjoyed their day. The pupils are very keen to get our winning entries into the national competition. Thanks for all your organisation and support with this event.” Sandra Ayres, Holy Rood RC High

Honestly, I was just blown away by the creativity and capability of the pupils – we had conceptual campaigns, app ideas, used of innovative technology, engaging presentations and two homepages codes by the end of the day! All between the 22 pupils of a Greenfaulds High School – fantastic work and can’t wait to take part next year!Gregor Matheson, Tayburn

It was great fun taking part in the BIMA Digital Day at St. Mungo’s Academy. The kids were all really passionate about the topic and eager to get involved with the day’s main challenge. After a few hours of digital discussion, brainstorming, writing and pitch run-through’s, the teams blew us away with some great thinking and ideas. Based on this evidence alone, there are some great creative and digital minds to look out for in the not-to-distant future.” Tom Hills, Story Director & Caron Tait, Digital Manager , We are Wire

(Vodafone brief) ‘it was great to see our students think about how technology can really help make shopping on the high street both fun and more user-friendly. Also, seeing them spontaneously think on a commercial level was fantastic e.g. how can we get the high street to pay for our ideas?’ Charlotte MacRae – Senior Account Manager, AmazeRealise


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