Behind the numbers in 2014: Switched on Futures, our Commonwealth Games legacy

6 July 2015

We comitted to two Switched On Futures targets in 2014, one that we called our inclusion target and one that we called our innovation target.

Inclusion: Train and equip 50 coaches to help at least 250 older people and disabled people in Glasgow get online for the first time using an innovative training tool.

How we did:
We trained 50 coaches to help elderly and disabled people in Glasgow. Sadly we were only able to reach 10 members of the older and disabled communities.

The detail:
With 57% of offline Glaswegians citing skills as a key barrier to getting online, we worked with Digital Glasgow, a collective of charity and Government bodies, to create a team of ‘Digital Coaches’. Their goal was to deliver digital training to 250 people who wanted to improve their online skills. The coaches, who were equipped with new, jargon-free training materials and tablets, and included Virgin Media apprentices, went on to deliver training through sports clubs and community centres.

We equipped and trained 50 coaches – meeting our target – but we fell well short of bridging the digital skills gap for 250 older or disabled Glaswegians. Due to WiFi issues in many of the sports clubs and community centres, as well as a host of other challenges, we only reached 10 people – 240 people less than we wanted to. However, other local authorities have expressed an interest in rolling out our online took as a way of helping older people get online in other communities across the UK.

Innovation: Provide training to at least 200 kids in Scotland to teach them new digital skills and inspire them to become the next generation of digital innovators through a fun digital making experience, with over 90% saying the coding clubs changed their perceptions of coding for the better.

How we did:
218 children received digital skills training in 2014 from our digital coaches to inspire them to become the next generation of digital innovators and 100% of respondents said the coding clubs had changed their perceptions of coding for the better.

The detail:
As part of our legacy in Glasgow following the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we committed to improving the digital skills divide in Glasgow to help inspire more people in the city to explore the possibilities of the digital world.

We wanted to inspire young people and turn them from digital spectators and consumers into makers and creators. We wanted to help them see how the internet can help them reach the top of the podium whether they’re inspired to code their own online game or create their own websites. To do this we committed to kit out Glasgow’s Mitchell library with all the technology 200 kids would need to get inspired and equipped to make the most of the digital world – we call it the Digital Maker Space.

Through this programme we reached 218 kids in the Glasgow area, with 100% of the kids who participated saying our coding clubs had changed their perceptions of coding for the better.

Neil Paterson, Learning Manager at Glasgow Life says “the real gift of the Digital Maker Space has been to give us a firm base to grow our Coding activities. We now have weekly clubs running in the Space (approx. 50 young people per month) and the hardware (laptops, Xbox Kinect sensors, Apple TV boxes etc) provided by Virgin Media has allowed us to use the Space as a springboard to starting clubs aimed at harder to reach young people in the city’s more deprived areas. It’s a space that is the envy of other cities!” 

Find out more about Switched On Futures here.