The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) is an innovative digital badge store. Its platform based voctech solution aims to help plug the UK’s digital skills gap with content designed to inspire people to become digital citizens, workers, makers, entrepreneurs and gamers. Accessible to everyone, it aims to enable participants to enhance their workplace skills, to access work and to progress up the career ladder.
iDEA uses a blended learning approach that aspires to be a digital and enterprise equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh Award. Participants take on a series of challenges to earn points which aggregate towards their Bronze, Silver or Gold Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award. iDEA aims to democratise the opportunity provided by today’s digital world, where access to smartphones and the internet is very widely available through its digital badge concept. All any user needs to access digital badges is to be online – they are accessible on any modern device, operating system and browser. The iDEA badges provide flexible learning, available to anyone free of charge, when and where they want to learn. They can be done by people on their own, with their friends or in classrooms and workshops.
The programme also enables employers and other digital and enterprise learning institutions to be part of the project. iDEA is working with partners from companies of all sizes to create, co-create and commission world class resources which can be accessed either via Partner websites or via the iDEA platform. iDEA's different learning categories (citizen, worker, maker, entrepreneur and gamer) cover topics as diverse as cyber security, cloud computing and e-safety; and animation, growth hacking, customer relationship management and web development. The system allows for the creation of both digital learning and experience badges, so that iDEA can accredit partner activities such as events, workshops and competitions, meaning people can get points towards their Bronze Award in recognition of the learning in the 'real world'. Working in partnership with organisations such as schools, charities, local authorities, and businesses, iDEA aims to play a key role in helping to create coherence in the digital and enterprise skills learning landscape.
iDEA learners are incentivised to become digital all-rounders, with the opportunity to take their learning deeper into specific areas of interest by combining a series of badges:
- Citizen badges = digital awareness, safety and ethics.
- Worker badges = tools and techniques which are useful in the workplace.
- Maker badges = digital creativity and show how to build and make in the digital world.
- Entrepreneur badges = how to originate ideas and bring them to life.
- Gamer badges = gamification techniques and help people learn how to make games.
- Independent badges will cover other topics that don't fit in the core badges.
iDEA's strategic objectives are to support the development and accreditation of digital skills, thereby allowing individuals more opportunities to become economically active. The recently launched Bronze Award is targeted at beginner level. The next phase of development through 2017 is the intermediate level Silver Award. Beyond this iDEA intend to create an advanced level Gold Award.