• kidovationcrew

The Kidovation Challenge 2021: Enabling teachers to close the digital skills gap

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

The Kidovation Challenge was born as kids started to return to school amidst the ongoing pandemic. Our team wanted to reinject fun into what had been a tough year for kids, parents and teachers. Due to the pandemic, we were no longer able to go into schools and run Kidovation workshops as we did before, therefore, we decided that it was time to put Kidovation in the hands of teachers. Our initial goal was to reach and engage with 100 teachers, who would all host a Kidovation lesson during July 2021. We provided teachers with 'Kidovation in a box', essentially a toolkit which would empower them to host their own Kidovation lesson, with workbooks and materials for each pupil to use. We created a video to encourage the kids participating to think about where design thinking skills can take them in the future. By providing these resources, we ensured that pupils from all backgrounds had access to all the materials necessary to gain the most from the Kidovation workshop.

All our hard work was validated, not just through the numbers, but through the feedback we received from both kids and teachers. Some of the kids shared their experiences with us, saying “It was really fun because I love being creative" and "It was really fun prototyping and pitching". Our ambition was to inspire creative thinking even after the lesson had ended, and keep kids engaged with Kidovation in the future. To do this, we ran a competition after the Kidovation Challenge, in which we encouraged the schools who took part to submit their inventions via social media to be awarded all sorts of fun prizes. Mrs Wickens, one of the participating teachers from St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Thame said “Thank you for an incredible week - we have LOVED taking part! The children have learnt new skills, shared ideas with each other and truly developed as individuals. The creations going home today are inspiring - we really hope our families enter your competition. We are very grateful for all your hard work and dedication.”

The booklet contained all the information required for kids to participate in the Challenge, including information about the Challenge, worksheets for the lesson, and insights into exciting careers that exist within the digital industry. The booklet was designed for kids to take home and included learning module summaries and homework sheets so they could continue learning about design thinking beyond the bounds of the classroom. Teachers across the country used our adaptable lesson plan and toolkit to deliver the Kidovation Challenge to thousands of students, inspiring them to be innovative and creative in how they solve problems. You can see a snippet from the Kidovation Challenge booklet alongside an example of the wonderful prototypes they created below!

Kidovation’s mission is to close the digital skills gap through experience-based learning opportunities, while eliminating inequalities in education accessibility. Inclusion and diversity are at the forefront of the Kidovation ethos, and so we focussed on reaching out to schools that shared our ambition of equitable education. We reached out to councils in less privileged areas, local education authorities and our contacts at Teach First to find schools that were willing to take part in the Challenge. With the help of many teachers and educational organisations, the Kidovation Challenge reached over 3000 kids across the country!

We hope that the buzz created by the Kidovation Challenge will inspire kids to love learning, while sparking conversation amongst parents and teachers on the gaps in the educational curriculum. Given the success of the Kidovation Challenge this year, we want to expand and scale the initiative by offering it to our Global Kidovation and Corporate Citizenship networks. In this way, we will be able to reach thousands more kids around the world, sharing with them all the things we love about creative education. We’re so excited about what the future will bring for Kidovation and the educational agenda globally. If you would like to get involved or learn more about the power of creative education please get in touch with kidovationcrew@accenture.com, or check out our website and social media channels!

- Areesha Akhter & Lexi Hayden

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