I have contacted the following for advice and possible connections:
British Computer Society, Computing at School, Association of Colleges, Association of South East Colleges, Japanese Software Developers (very helpful), eSkills, eSkills Scotland (very helpful). CISCO and CompTIA are other possible contacts.
A literature review is underway.
I have run some projects with my students at Mid Kent College of HFE in Gillingham, Kent, and have also taken part in a variety of events involving employers, which has all helped to build some initial ideas to add to the list of possible employer led activities. None has been evaluated fully but all contribute to the discussion as examples of practical ways that employers and colleges might collaborate.
- I am working with one group of second year Level 3 students on a project to re-develop a website for Medway Dyslexia House. This project is being delivered as part of the delivery and assessment of learning on their course. Students have had meetings with the organisation’s secretary and current web developer.
- I am working with a small group of students to develop a mobile app and website for PinUp PayBack’s Sister Watch campaign. This project has required a lot of new learning and is extra-curricular. Students have worked closely with the organisation’s founders.
- Two groups of my students will develop a new website for a new Medway Speakers’ Corner. This project will be competitive and will be the basis for my action research project. A representative of the Speakers’ Corner Trust will meet with the students and local employers will deliver sessions on the user experience.
- I completed a short teacher placement at Pink Squid, a creative agency specialising in web-based recruitment advertising in Hatton Gardens, who very kindly allowed me the opportunity to experience working in their office of 16 staff (13 employees). I was able to see how creative suite software is used in the process of creating a web-based campaign, also to see how the creative process involved in starting a campaign might be realised and how web technologies such as JQuery and PHP are used in the development of a site. This was an opportunity to experience a day’s work at a desk in a busy, creative office alongside people with diverse creative and technical backgrounds. I am very thankful to Tsz and Manj for sanctioning the placement, Taelon for organising it, Raj for giving me some real work to do and everyone for making me feel so welcome.
- I visited 7digital, a digital music platform, at their offices near Old Street, to see working practices. I was able to learn a little about project management techniques, especially Kanban, about the production of APIs, the languages used for development and the background of those working in development (mostly degrees in computing and physics). I was also able to discuss how they had set up a technical academy for the training of interns and for the development of existing staff. I am very thankful to Chris who leads the API team and made arrangements for my visit.
- I attended a talk on Project Conway, a collaborative project between university students and local employers, Deeson Online and TinkerSoc, to create an art installation.