Social Point has gotten together with Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the GSMA, Barcelona Town Hall and the Generalitat de Catalunya in support of mSchools – a Mobile World Capital initiative that uses mobile technology to connect schools and businesses with the aim of sharing knowledge and building skills.
As a Barcelona company, we’re proud to be involved in a project that touches the lives of school children in our region. Social Pointers from game design, project management, programming, marketing, mobile and a variety of disciplines have signed up to e -mentor local school kids as they see their tech projects through to completion.
Being part of mSchools was an easy choice for Social Point. The gaming sector is built on talent, and we believe it’s vital to really drive awareness of all the opportunities technology can bring. We also believe in helping to bolster vital skills, and playing a part in keeping the talent pipeline alive and pumping.
The entrepreneurial spirit matters to us too – it’s key to who we are, and the message we want to share with youngsters coming up into further education or taking their first steps towards the world of work is: if you have a dream, go for it!
One of our awesome mSchool Social Point volunteers is Carlos Martinez, who is a game designer in our Monster Legends team. We sat down with Carlos and asked him why he signed up to take part and what the experience has been like for him.
Hey Carlos, so why did you sign up for mSchools?
It’s simple really. If I were a kid, I’d love to have the chance to really understand the kind of technology that surrounds us and get guidance and direction from someone with experience, and knows technology really well. As a professional in the sector, I think mSchools is a really great initiative. Basically I’d feel bad if I didn’t get involve and help out.
So I signed up to mentor a group of school kids from a local high school that’s taking part in the project. There were four groups of four kids to talk to. Each of the kids has an app development project underway. I met with their teacher first and he presented the projects to me, before we set up a mentoring session with the students on Skype. This meant I was able to prepare real feedback to each participant.
Carlos chats to Barcelona school kids via Skype
So how did the Skype session go?
So I invited them to a short meeting on Skype, and they sat down with me, group by group.
I was able to share my feedback with each of them – and we had a chance to review everyone’s ideas and evaluate which project we felt most viable. I explained why some of the projects needed to be revised and the scope scaled down – it’s important to remember that kids are idealists and “first-timers,” so it was important to set expectations. The session lasted 45 minutes and I had a chance to chat to the teacher afterwards. The feedback was awesome – they all said they felt more enthusiastic about designing and developing their apps as a result.
Was there an app idea that you really liked?
Yeah, one of the kids had a great idea for sharing class notes. It was an app that made it really easy for students to help each other out with resources. I liked it because it fulfilled a really useful role, and it had a social element that I found interesting.
So what’s your advice to young people thinking of getting into the world of design?
Funnily enough it’s all about education. Well, it’s about learning. Remember that you know nothing! Start from there. Be prepared to learn a lot and share what you learn with others. And the other thing is to keep it simple. Start something that you know you can finish!
All the youngsters said that the session had made them more determined than before to develop their apps.
Social Point will be talking to the GSMA and Mobile World Capital teams at a panel session during Mobile World Congress on February 25 at 17.00. We’ll be at the Mobile World Capital Stand – CS70 – with our buddies over at King and Softtonic who are also taking part in mSchools. If you’re heading to Mobile World Capital, why not stop by and join the discussion?