PROPOSAL: Building the Digital Skill-Set Overview: We are proposing to launch an educational experience that will enhance content creation, communication, project management, and leadership skills while connecting students with business executives and frameworks to help them better understand the larger entertainment landscape. Ultimately, students will produce materials and share them with classmates, industry practitioners, and the larger community via digital channels.
Sequence & Activities: •
Instruction & pre-training [6-7weeks]: Students will get instruction on the business of entertainment while also receiving training on effective work habits, small group communication, and ideation.
Finding Your Tribe: Pitching, Selling, & Sharing Ideas in the Digital Age [6-7weeks]: Students will get classroom instruction covering the economics of film, TV, digital, and interactive and immersive content. Throughout this module students will also be taught techniques for pitching new business or content ideas in a variety of formats. Class lectures will include guest instructors from leading tech and entertainment companies, as well as site visits.
Pitch Fest: [1 day] Students will participate in a day-long activity where they pitch their own idea for a project that can be completed in 3-4 weeks in front of their classmates and selected industry judges/advisors. From the pitch fest, one project will be chosen for every 8 student participants (e.g., if 16 students are in the cohort, two projects will be chosen). Students will divide into execution teams and be assigned an industry mentor.
Getting to the Finish Line: Collaboration, Decision-Making and Team Building. [3-4 weeks] While students complete their projects in teams, they will be taught how to structure projects, how to reprioritize when time, manpower, or resources are in short supply, how to communicate with the team, how to make data-driven decisions, and other frameworks and concepts designed to help them with working in groups on tight schedules.
SCREENING [1 day]: Students will screen the final projects for the class and industry partners. Assuming there are no issues with rights, students will also make the final projects available online.
Students would be selected from the cohort that has already completed a significant portion of the SMC core instructional programs related to media production (entertainment technology, interaction design, media content development, promo pathways).
INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION The Digital Pathways Initiative will recruit industry practitioners and business leaders who will participate in all phases of the experience: as guest lecturers, advisors, team mentors, and judges. We will also look to create partnerships with companies to allow for site visits, donation of time and resources and more.
DESIRED OUTCOMES Instructional hours: we will deliver roughly 80 instructional hours to students in this experience. This will be augmented by visits to companies, guest lectures, and the student pitches and screenings. Social media reach: content created will be promoted online. We will measure the reach via impressions, likes, shares, and other standard metrics. Content creation: Each cohort will develop their own project during the experience, which will be added to a library that we will make available digitally. Each student will also have their own pitch in multiple formats which they can refer to in future interviews and use as a template for future ideas. Placement: Members of the cohort will have mentors who will work to move participants ‘up the funnel’; e.g., from community college to four-year college or internship, from four-year college to internship or full-time employment, etc. We will use the industry relationships and the students’ work to facilitate this career growth and acceleration.
TIMELINE Program could start in Fall Semester 2021 if approved by August 10th. Initial partners, Foundry & LACI
COST This program will be run by DPI and delivered to SMC at a cost to be negotiated per session with the expectation that we can effectively run the experience two times per year. This includes any instructional & materials costs, transportation for site visits as needed, and some equipment. We would expect SMC to provide classroom space, use of SMC’s logos and marks, and potentially a venue for the pitch and screening days. If instead, SMC wants us to build/develop the program so that SMC can run it internally, we can discuss that arrangement separately.
About the Digital Pathways Initiative: The Digital Pathways Initiative seeks to transform the economic landscape for the next generation of digital leaders by connecting underrepresented groups with educational, experiential and job opportunities in the technology and media sectors.
About Dakar: Dakar Interactive helps companies innovate, solve problems and leverage data & insights to make better decisions. Dakar is passionate about solving problems and turning innovation into things that can improve people’s lives.