Telford schools get on board with iDEA free digital skills programme
More and more schools in Telford and Wrekin are taking part in a free scheme supported by Telford & Wrekin Council, to help equip their students with digital skills.
The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award – known as iDEA - is a free international programme at https://idea.org.uk/ , supported by the Council’s Telford Online campaign.
iDEA is a digital and enterprise version of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, in which participants complete a series of challenges to achieve an award at Bronze and Silver level (Gold level will be soon available).
For every new skill and learning experience (for instance, in coding, social media, video editing, e-safety and so on) iDEA participants gain a digital badge worth a number of points.
When sufficient points have been accumulated, participants are then awarded their Bronze or Silver Duke of York Award from Buckingham Palace.
A number of secondary schools in Telford and Wrekin have already started with iDEA, to equip their students with digital skills increasingly needed on the job market.
Talking about how it was to implement iDEA at Hadley Learning Community (HLC), Natalie Stewart, Subject Leader of Computing and IT, said: “We’ve started the iDEA project after I had a look online at what we could do as part of our STEM club.
“http://www.idea.org.ukis a free platform that our students are able to easily access and work independently throughout it.
“They were very enthusiastic to complete the iDEA badges, it has even become a competition between them as to who is going to achieve their iDEA award first and get the certificate from Buckingham Palace.”
Talking about her experience with iDEA, Fern (Year 11, HLC) said: “iDEA project would look really good on my college applications as it shows quite a lot of skills I can bring in – digital and entrepreneurship skills but also independence and time management.”
Watch a short video on how iDEA was implemented at HLC School
Students at The Telford Priory School also enjoy the iDEA badges.
“I specifically liked the automation badge, it’s very interactive and it showed me how automation could change the world.
“I would definitely recommend my friends to join iDEA”, said Antonio, Year 10.
Kiri-Ann, Year 8 commented: “I really enjoyed iDEA and the challenges involved.
“I was very happy to claim my iDEA Bronze and Silver certificate from Buckingham Palace and I am looking forward to doing the Gold Award as well.”
“My favourite badge doing the iDEA Bronze Award is the gamer one – I want to go into a job in gaming and iDEA helps me with this.” (Matty, Year 9).
The Telford Priory School Headteacher, Stacey Jordan, also commented: ‘We believe the iDEA programme will add real value to our students and the community which we serve.’
Watch what The Telford Priory School students say about iDEA
Southall is another school who has joined iDEA.
Sian Harrison, PSHE Lead said:” In our school, iDEA was firstly implemented as an alternative to the Duke of Edinburgh programme, for children with less interest in sports.
“Due to its popularity, it was soon rolled out to the whole school.
“Even more, all the staff are logged on the iDEA platform and already trialled some of the badges to help children work through them.”
Jack (Year 9) was the first to gain the Bronze Award at Southall School.
Jack said: “When I finished my Bronze Award, I was over the moon! I found it a bit challenging but I managed to do it, which made me, my parents and teachers really proud.”
Watch a short video on how iDEA was implemented at Southall School/p>
Cllr Shirley Reynolds. Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Education said:
“We are delighted that so many students from the borough are using iDEA’s free digital platform to develop their digital skills and enhance their career prospects.
“We encourage more schools in Telford and Wrekin to be inspired by these stories and get more students on board with iDEA.
“Our team here at the Council is able to help schools get access to the platform and multiple logins for their students - any school interested should get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
“I also hope people of all ages in our borough will take advantage of this free resource so as to enhance their digital skills, in, for example, social media, coding, making websites, entrepreneurship, e-safety and many more.
“This could help them in their current job or in gaining a new job, where digital skills are required. The award is a really useful thing to add to any CV and is an internationally recognised Award in digital skills.”
To take part in iDEA:
•Create an account, then select ‘have a badge code’
•Enter DIGITELFORD50 and redeem – to get your first badge
For more on iDEA and the Council’s Telford Online campaign, visit www.telford.gov.uk/telfordonline