SignMedia is an innovative online learning resource that teaches elements of broadcast media industry-specific English through Sign Language video and interactive tasks, created by the international SignMedia project led by the University of Wolverhampton (UK). The video narrative and gameplay immerses learners into an alternative reality where learners start to work for the fictional Deaf production company Sunrise Media Productions as the production manager for the soap opera ‘Beautiful Days’.
MEDEA Finalist 2010
Level 7, created in 2010 by Careersbox (UK), is a modular job application and interview techniques film programme. Aimed at students who are preparing for the world of work, who are often confronted with a disconnect in what is expected by the commercial world and what resources are available to the education world, this project is meant to better prepare and inform young people around the expectations of an employer whilst supporting teachers with an engaging technology based platform to help them do their job more effectively.
The showcase video of Level 7, including an interview with Nick Newman
This program is designed to offer real employer feedback to help guide young people (aged 14-17) into the world of work. They provide advice and guidance as well as information to career guidance professionals in schools across the UK, teachers in schools can also use the resources. Due to its delivery method (online, as well as embedded in to schools’ Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), on DVD), Level 7 has been used in a number of contexts but its primary use has been in careers guidance, citizenship and work readiness classes and it can be used in the classroom, at home or with parents or other key influencers.
The pay-off for the employer audience is better prepared applicants who can make the most of their opportunity to join an organisation and Level 7 can help young people raise their confidence levels when seeking employment.
Film was considered the most appropriate method of delivery as it needed to capture the audience’s attention, engage them and enthuse them, and Careersbox says film delivery on-line is the smartest method and allows easy access for school audiences. It also allows them to measure the effectiveness of the material and access rates: who watched it, how much did they watch and with the added benefit of a direct feedback route.
What the judges said about this entry
The jury described this learning tool as being been very well developed and one which really takes its target audience into account, with clearly presented information and excellent pedagogical quality. The 7 levels can be used both in the classroom as well as being very usable for self-learning as it is aimed at students who are looking for materials they can use outside formal classroom programmes. The modern universal look of the videos is perfect for the audience and the way in which information is delivered keeps learners attentive and motivated. It's impressive and demands that it is watched seriously as it is so full of important facts, tips and support.
The interviews are interesting and the videos appeal to young peoples’ interests. The navigation is easy and the learners will easily find their way around this resource and hopefully achieve great results if they use the materials (videos, guidelines). Considering the persistent economic crisis as well as issues to do with motivation, personal development and expression that often face young people at the start of their working life, the judges suggested that this tool should be promoted among all young men and women across the EU, who are on their way to finding, winning and keeping the perfect job.
About the creation of the entry
Nick Newman, Founder & Creative Director at Careersbox: “With an ethos of free delivery to end users, Careersbox has shaped and influenced the CIAG market in the UK, becoming synonymous with blurring the boundary between information and entertainment. The Careersbox website is used by over 3,500 Secondary Schools and Academies in the UK, with almost 40,000 unique film viewings per month. BT Openreach approached Careersbox with a view to trying something a” little different” in terms of producing helpful media for students, parents, guardians and careers professionals alike. The result was LEVEL 7 – a seven module video film project tackling Interview Techniques – a free resource for all stakeholders in the UK.
LEVEL 7 was an opportunity for Careersbox to become architects of the imagination whilst delivering some very useful media which has been extremely successful in schools throughout the UK.
We really are so proud of being short-listed for this Award – recognition at the very highest level from an organisation that understands the importance of innovative use of film in the world of education…I’d like to single out the team here at Careersbox for their creativity and hard work on LEVEL 7, and also thank Professor Rachel Mulvey of University of East London for her input at the start of the project.”
About Nick Newman and James LawrenceNick Newman
Nick Newman is the Founder & Creative Director at Careersbox, Cambridge, UK.
Over the last 20 years Nick has developed a deep understanding of the power of technology and film media to enhance and transform important messages.
A member of the Institute of Career Guidance and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he has focused the last 10 years on delivering innovative film-based solutions to both public and private sectors.James Lawrence
James Lawrence, who submitted Level 7 as a MEDEA Entry, is an evangelist of apprenticeships having worked within the UK Apprenticeship and skills arena for a number of years. James has an in-depth knowledge of how to communicate digitally with young people having pioneered the first film based communications strategy for apprenticeship engagement and recruitment. James was brought in as senior consultant on the Level 7 project. His knowledge of youth engagement and the key drop-off points as a young person attempts to make the transition from education into the world of work meant he was able to make the Level 7 project as true to life as possible.
James says: “Designing Level 7 was an honour and a pleasure. Work with such creative and innovative people meant we were able to build something ground breaking but cost effective. Its great when you hear such positive feedback about helping young people to make the most of their chances in the youth employment space. Its tough times for young people and its nice to give something back.”
Nick & James represented this entry at the MEDEA Awards Ceremony and talked about it in further detail during a presentation at the Media & Learning Conference 2010 Brussels.