STUDIO DIGITAL FOCUSES ON DIGITAL SKILLS
With Studio Digital, iDROPS wants to teach, maintain and stimulate digital skills among socially vulnerable groups. We give young people the opportunity to develop digital skills and inspire them to continue working on these skills in the future. In a way that’s easy to understand, we guide young people to develop their own projects. This promotes their personal development: they become more independent, their self-confidence grows and they look to the future in a positive way. After the program, we refer young people to long-term initiatives, training courses or organizations such as BeCode, Girlswhocode and Coderdojo.
WHY DO WE NEED STUDIO DIGITAL?
In a rapidly changing technological world, digital skills are very valuable. Studio Digital, therefore, focuses on digital skills such as coding, editing, and working with audio and video. These are often skills that employers are looking for. In addition, Studio Digital offers young people the opportunity to develop social skills such as collaboration, independence and empathy. These skills empower young people for the future.
Through Studio Digital, we focus on five vulnerable target groups: young people in OKAN (Training for non-Dutch speaking newcomers) classes, socially vulnerable young people and youth centers, delinquents in prison, young people with autism and young people with visual impairments.
FOUR THEMES RELATING TO DIGITAL SKILLS
All of Studio Digital's projects are based on one of the following themes:
On one hand, the processes within digital media focus on audio. Young people go through the steps to make a song or a radio program. On the other hand, young people can also focus on images. They then devise their own concept through videos or photos.
This theme is the largest of the four. The computer becomes a graphic design tool and is used to control all kinds of tools to create physical things: this can be done with a 3D printer, a laser cutter… What is made depends entirely on what the youngsters want to create themselves: an arcade game, a pinball machine, a diorama…
Apps & Coding
This theme revolves around the development of apps. We focus on the development of an idea, the programming of the app and its creative content.
Within this theme, participants come up with games and design them visually. After that, they will program and encode it themselves, so that the game is ready-to-use.
HOW DOES STUDIO DIGITAL WORK?
Every Studio Digital project is based around human-centered design. We begin with the passions and interests of our participants and stimulate young people to develop an idea. Studio Digital's sessions therefore often have a creative approach. The aim is for them to turn their ideas into actions. That way, we create future prospects, both in terms of further studies and employment.
The target groups of Studio Digital are often not easy to reach and difficult to mobilize. That's why Studio Digital's projects are mobile: for each project we travel to the location where the target group is most likely to be found: we've already been to prisons, schools, youth centers…
To ensure the high quality of all our projects, we work with professional coaches: within each theme, we work with digital experts. In order to exchange experiences and ideas, we also organize Freelance labs: the coaches get to know each other and we exchange tips & tricks to ensure that the workshops run smoothly.
Each program focuses on one theme and is supervised by a coach and a iDROPS supervisor. A program has an average of seven to ten workshops, in which we work from idea to end result with a group of seven to fifteen participants per program. During the last session we hold a presentation, in which all participants can share their final result with others. Then all young people get the chance to show their projects to a jury.
At the end of the year, we organize a big closing event. All young people who participated in Studio Digital are welcome to present their own project and discover other people's projects. In addition, other young people and adults are more than welcome to sample what Studio Digital has to offer. We give out prizes and give young people the opportunity to come into contact with further schooling and initiatives. Last year, we made an aftermovie of the closing event.
Studio Digital reached nearly 200 young people in 2017 and 2018 and delivered more than twenty tangible final results. The residents of the shelter in Sint-Niklaas, for example, made four games. In Zelzate, the Flexibelle was made, a lamp that changes colour and moves, and in Broechem, a real arcade was built. In Ostend we upcycled speakers and in Mechelen we recorded a real song.
In addition to the tangible final results, the main objective of Studio Digital is to motivate and stimulate the young people who participate. That's why we think it's important to find out what the participants themselves have learned from the project. Young people say that Studio Digital gives them more digital skills, but that their social skills are also strengthened: they learn to work together, think creatively and take responsibility. The workshops therefore often lead to greater self-confidence.
FEEL LIKE GIVING IT A GO?
Would you like to participate in Studio Digital? Do you know anything about coding, building apps, laser cutting? Are you creative and do your interests and skills match one of our core themes? We are always looking for new coaches and partners. Just email Jens or Laura and we'd love to talk to you!