Today is D Day as 60 digital agencies invade UK schools

Gordon Young, editor of The Drum, offers his insight and opinion on various matters relating to media and marketing.

Today is D Day. But forget deadlines or World War II heroics, in this instance the D stands for Digital.

D Day cometh

It is the name given to a BIMA initiative that will invade secondary schools. Its aim will be to give school kids a chance to find out about the UK’s digital industry, gain insights into the sort of work it does and meet real tech companies.

Around 60 secondary schools have been paired with digital agencies in a process that was coordinated by Andrew Henning of RedWeb, a key player in extending BIMA’s education agenda. The Drum was delighted to support the project as media sponsor as we believe, in terms of securing the long-term health of the sector, no initiative is as important.

The failure of education in terms of inspiring the next generation of tech entrepreneurs is well documented. But the real issue is that education, by its very nature, is a slow-moving, research-based and conservative profession. It is as much about the teaching process as the educational product.

When faced with a fast moving sector such as digital it is woefully inadequate at keeping pace with the changes – even those in the sector can find staying up to date with the latest developments a challenge.

It is then quite right that the industry itself should take responsibility to help tackle this issue. The schools have the infrastructure. What they sometime lack is the cutting edge knowledge the industry itself can provide.

D Day will see the agencies educate the kids on the sort of work they do, before inviting them to crack one of five briefs – dealing with design, mobile, coding, social and multimedia.

But the importance of digital and tech of course go well beyond the marketing industry. Over the next few years a series of once separate sectors – tech, media, music, retail as well as marketing, for example – will converge into a form of dynamic soup.

In other words the digital economy will become the economy. I suspect that ensuring its up and coming generation is equipped to handle that challenge might become as important to the UK as the original D Day.

The Drum will be following this mass-hack as it unfolds via a live blog throughout today.

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