February 26, 2015
We were paired with Education Links, a specialist education provider in Newham working with young people excluded from mainstream schools. We were fully prepared for a challenging day with the students — after all these were teenagers! In reality we were greeted by a group of young people who were highly energetic, intelligent, outspoken and creative. Phew…
As soon as the challenge was set — design something digital to benefit the local community — we were off and at pace. Quick to spot opportunities in their own community, the students brainstormed a range of ideas around serious issues such as personal safety, avoiding gang culture and opening up access to positive role models — as well as lighter themes such as sport, fitness and music.
We were all impressed by how naturally the students took to using the methods and approaches we use in our daily jobs — from rapid idea generation, articulating user needs, pitching concepts, sketching and prototyping. They also dealt admirably with the realities of our profession such as limited time and the agony of choosing which bright idea out of the many, is taken forward.
The day passed in a whirlwind and before we all knew it, it was time to draw a close to the day. We came away assured there not only is there a bright future for our industry but for the students we worked with too. All of the WAE team involved came away energised and inspired by both the students and the teaching staff.