Young digital makers

June 10, 2015 Design, Digital

young_digital_makers_report_coverEarlier this year Nesta produced a fascinating report into Britain’s Young Digital Makers.

Nesta is a fab innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life, and they are dedicated to supporting ideas that can help improve all our lives, with activities ranging from early–stage investment to in–depth research and practical programmes.

The Young Digital Makers report explores the emerging field of digital making for young people in the UK. Based upon research, it charts the organisations providing opportunities for young people to make things with technology, it
looks at how these opportunities relate to what young people learn in school and it explores the attitudes of young people, parents and teachers towards digital making.

The report’s key findings include:

  • The high levels of interest in digital making amongst young people and parents need to be capitalised on further.
  • Young people need to be supported as digital makers across the UK, not just in London and areas that have high provision.
  • Non-professionals – such as volunteers, parents, teachers, and young people themselves – need to be mobilised.
  • There needs to be greater access to a variety of making opportunities catering for a wider variety of young people and their different interests, ages and genders.
  • Clear pathways to excellence should be built to grow young people’s ambitions as digital makers and help them fulfill their potential, in and out of school.
  • Schools must exploit their potential as a hub for digital making opportunities, work with informal learning organisations, raise parents’ awareness and recruit volunteers.
  • Digital making organisations need to be supported to grow sustainably through new and existing partnerships with grassroots organisations and private companies.

For most young people digital technology is an everyday part of life. Many are avid consumers of digital media. However they often don’t understand how to manipulate the underlying technology, let alone how to create it for themselves.

This report is a fascinating, and easy read, for anyone interested in the future of digital making. Download the report from the Nesta site. Weirdly, it’s a PDF and not online!

For most young people digital technology is an everyday part of life. Many are avid consumers of digital media. However they often don’t understand how to manipulate the underlying technology, let alone how to create it for themselves. – See more at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/young-digital-makers#sthash.3fHLqoU9.dpuf
The high levels of interest in digital making amongst young people and parents need to be capitalised on further. Young people need to be supported as digital makers across the UK, not just in London and areas that have high provision. Non-professionals – such as volunteers, parents, teachers, and young people themselves – need to be mobilised. There needs to be greater access to a variety of making opportunities catering for a wider variety of young people and their different interests, ages and genders. Clear pathways to excellence should be built to grow young people’s ambitions as digital makers and help them fulfill their potential, in and out of school. Schools must exploit their potential as a hub for digital making opportunities, work with informal learning organisations, raise parents’ awareness and recruit volunteers. Digital making organisations need to be supported to grow sustainably through new and existing partnerships with grassroots organisations and private companies. – See more at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/young-digital-makers#sthash.3fHLqoU9.dpuf

Key Findings

  • 82 per cent of young people say they are interested in digital making. However, half of young people make things with digital technology less than once a week or never.
  • Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of digital making. 89 per cent think it is a worthwhile activity for their children. 73 per cent encourage their children to make things with technology.
  • We identified 130,800 opportunities to experience digital making provided by the organisations surveyed. This is a long way from providing for the interest shown by 82 per cent of our survey, which represents a possible 8.2 million school age children and young people in the UK.
  • Digital making is powered not just by money, but also by volunteers. Two thirds of the organisations identified said they relied on volunteers to do their work.
  • Only half of teachers who teach ICT or computing report being confident in teaching the curriculum.

- See more at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/young-digital-makers#sthash.3fHLqoU9.dpuf

Key Findings

  • 82 per cent of young people say they are interested in digital making. However, half of young people make things with digital technology less than once a week or never.
  • Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of digital making. 89 per cent think it is a worthwhile activity for their children. 73 per cent encourage their children to make things with technology.
  • We identified 130,800 opportunities to experience digital making provided by the organisations surveyed. This is a long way from providing for the interest shown by 82 per cent of our survey, which represents a possible 8.2 million school age children and young people in the UK.
  • Digital making is powered not just by money, but also by volunteers. Two thirds of the organisations identified said they relied on volunteers to do their work.
  • Only half of teachers who teach ICT or computing report being confident in teaching the curriculum.

- See more at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/publications/young-digital-makers#sthash.3fHLqoU9.dpuf