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Digilab Tooting - the first 6 months!

Digilab Tooting - the first 6 months!

2017-12-19 
| by Editor | Posted in News, Education

It’s been 6 months since Digilab Tooting opened its doors with the aim of becoming an exciting new community-based digital hub for local creative coders, makers, hardware enthusiasts and game developers of all ages. We therefore thought it was high time to share an update on some of the fantastic work that is going on at this Tooting-based initiative.

Since early Summer, the Digilab team have started to work alongside local schools and youth organisations, teaching youngsters (many of whom have had a difficult start in life) core technical skills such as website coding, Photoshop and video editing, all of which will enhance their career prospects in later life.

One such organisation Digilab is collaborating with is the Francis Barber Pupil Referral Unit in Tooting, who work with secondary-aged students with special educational needs. Digilab took 15 of these students through a specially designed coding course and 8  have signed up to take a further advanced course in January. The partnership has been so successful that Francis Barber are going to replicate this programme with Diglab in their Wandsworth Town unit.

Digilab has also been running coding classes with local schools such as Ernest Bevin as well as acting as a local drop-in centre for interested youngsters during the school holidays, where some highly-competitive FIFA tournaments have taken place!

Obed Yeboah, Head of Digilab Tooting, says that he and his colleagues, Samson and Jeffrey, have learned as much as the kids over the past 6 months! “We started with a plan to teach the kids a range of classes covering the core subjects of coding, photoshop design, videography and video editing, but we quickly realised in speaking with the kids that it wasn’t enough to just teach these skills – we also needed to give them the confidence to use them.

“Many of the youngsters lack this confidence and so we want to make sure they build this self-belief by teaching them to communicate better and also become leaders. And this is already happening as some of the earlier kids we have taught are now teaching the newer kids what they have learnt – it’s fantastic! We’ve had one local youngster in particular whose mother has attributed his marked improvement in behaviour to his time in Digilab. We want Digilab to continue in this way in 2018, by being a place where kids can grow their personal skills as much as their professional skills.”

It’s not only local youngsters that Digilab have been educating and assisting. They’ve run evening coding classes for adults (one of whom is soon to start his own IT Support business as a result) and local businesses have also started utilising their skills. For instance, Digilab videographer, Jeffrey, has produced a number of videos for Pearl Chemist and to promote the Tekken 7 gaming tournament at the Tooting Tram run by District G.

“It’s been a crazy but exciting few months”, says Obed. “I get up at 5.30am every morning to get from Kings Cross down to Tooting to start work at 7.30am, but what we have going on here makes me get out of bed at that time! I’m absolutely loving it and really looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for Digilab.”

We’ll keep you posted with everything going on at Digilab in the coming months and watch out for news of an exciting collaboration involving Digilab Tooting and Tooting Daily PRSS to be announced at the start of next year!

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