employee spotlight andrew brooking senior producer

Employee Spotlight Blog: Andrew Brooking, Senior Producer

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when we create our videos? This month, we spoke to Senior Producer, Andrew Brooking. Since joining Makematic during the height of COVID-19 last year, Andrew has made a huge impact on the team. He spoke to us about how he joined the team and his responsibilities as a Senior Producer.Read More

Employee Spotlight: Brandon McCann, Researcher

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when we create our videos? This month, we spoke to Researcher, Brandon McCann who has been at the company for over a year. He talked about how he got his role at Makematic, his responsibilities as a researcher, and much more.Read More

employee spotlight lee henry script writer

Employee Spotlight: Lee Henry, Scriptwriter

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when we create our videos? This month, we spoke to Scriptwriter, Lee Henry who has been at the company for four years! He discussed how he got his role at Makematic, his responsibilities as a scriptwriter, and much more.Read More

Three Online Tools To Collaborate More Effectively as a Team

Three Online Tools To Collaborate More Effectively as a Team

Internet and Software Creation has continued to evolve during the past decade. Right now, it can be used as an effective medium for your Team or Company’s project creation & management, while aiding your time and organisation skills to new heights. Here are some of our top tools you can implement into your new project!Read More

21st Century Skills text with illustration of a group of young people

21st Century Skills In ‘21, Where Are We At?

Almost 40 years since the discussion about 21st-century skills (21CS) started, where are we now and what exactly is the general consensus in 2021? Whilst there are so many frameworks and definitions out there, how do we define 21st-century skills?Read More

Illustration of Senior Animator Daniel McGarrigle

Employee Spotlight: Daniel McGarrigle, Senior Animator

This month’s employee spotlight features one of our talented animators who has been working at Makematic since the very beginning! We caught up with Senior Animator, Daniel McGarrigle this month to talk about his role at Makematic!Read More

Animate drawing of Motion Graphics Designer Conor McKelvey. Employee Spotlight text included

Employee Spotlight: Conor McKelvey, Motion Graphics Designer

In this month’s employee spotlight, we chatted to one of our Motion Graphics Designer Conor McKelvey. Conor has been working at Makematic for nearly 3 years! We chatted with him to find out more about his role in the company.

How did you get your job at Makematic?

I first started working with Makematic as a freelancer. I had just finished my BA (Hons) in Visual Communication and was looking for work, which was unfortunately scarce in Donegal. However, Dan, the lead animator here (who I knew prior) let me onto some freelance illustration work for BBC Bitesize. After finishing that, I was then brought back to do some animation work for their Minecraft series. Eventually, a full-time job offer opened up and I got it.

On a day to day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

My day-to-day usually involves either developing ideas, illustrating, or animating. While I’m doing these I also have to keep an eye on my time management to ensure that my end of the projects is delivered on time.

How do motion graphic designers collaborate with other teams within the company? 

Most of our content has some kind of motion graphics or animation in it, so collaboration comes with the territory. Motion designers often collaborate with producers to help develop concepts, then realise those concepts for projects. However, other things can pop up such as helping to create content for marketing. 

Are you working on any big projects?

At the minute I’m working on Macmillan (publishing) and getting assets together for a new project called Beehive by Oxford University Press.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at Makematic?

No matter how good you think something is, there will always be changes!


Conor’s talent for animation is not only shown in our videos at Makematic, but you can also watch it on BBC iPlayer! He was recently commissioned for the BBC Two Minute Masterpiece for his short film “The Draught”. Watch it here

Conor has worked on our Skillsumo series, Think Like A Global Citizen series and many more! You can find this by visiting our VOD site.

Make sure to check out our other Employee Spotlight blog with Assistant Producer, Ryan Lee! Read it here

Transition Year European Studies Students from The King's Hospital College Dubin

Makematic Case Study: #17DaystoLearn SDG Challenge

About

The Kings Hospital School, located in Dublin, is a co-educational secondary school for borders and day students, which offers a broad academic curriculum and a wide range of extracurricular activities.

Challenge/Problem

In Ireland young people participate in a Transition Year programme, which forms the first-year senior cycle in many schools. It’s a year that is designed to create a bridge between the Junior Certificate and the Leaving Certificate programmes. Transition Year is an option for students in most schools. It offers learners an opportunity to mature and develop without the pressure of an examination. It also provides an opportunity for learners to reflect on, and develop an appreciation of, the value of learning in preparing them for the ever-changing demands of the adult world of work, further and higher education and relationships.

When covid-19 hit and schools in the Republic of Ireland were required to go into lockdown. The year-long inquiry-based action projects that Transition Year students at The Kings Hospital School were doing with other schools in the European Union were put on hold. In particular, the eTwinning project that the students were organising called “Get up and goals” was put on hold indefinitely. This project partnered with schools in Croatia, Italy and Turkey and focused on learning about the SDGs and creating transnational actions projects to highlight global and local issues. The programme which had mostly been face-to-face was now completely online.

This posed a challenge – How could the students continue to engage with the global themes they’d been exploring and change the focus of the “Get up and goals” project? 

To continue on with their global education teacher Viki Malcolm encouraged her European studies students to complete the #17DaystoLearn Challenge. The #17DaystoLearn Challenge is a 17-day challenge to educate and inspire young people to take action around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In addition students at The Kings Hospital have taken their project online.

The original project plan was to have a community day of action planned for the issues raised for each SDG – however, lockdown ended that. Instead, students took their awareness campaigns online by creating Instagram or Twitter accounts for their chosen SDG and others conducted surveys of students in their school on their chosen topic. The collaborative work has been collated on a Wix site and this became the final product of the project.

Students were encouraged to complete at least one challenge – that which related to the challenge; they were to motivate students to get involved in the challenge and became an assessment item.

Results/Impact

Some students were inspired to complete each of the challenges for the #17DaystoLearn Challenge over each of the 17 days. Here is a reflection from one of the participants who actively engaged in the challenge.

I participated in the #17DaystoLearn Challenge for a couple of reasons. The main one was because my European Studies teacher encouraged me to take part. Throughout the past year, we have been working on a project with students from all over Europe, developing our knowledge of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. When I first heard about the #17DaystoLearn Challenge, I thought that it would be a great way to enhance my understanding of the Goals and help me to finish my project.

I started on Day 1 with the first Goal, No Poverty. I watched the relevant videos on the Makematic app, wrote a blog on my thoughts and completed the activity for the day. I did this for all 17 days.

Each day brought something new, whether it was learning about Reduced Inequalities or Life Below Water. I learned so much about a variety of different issues and how the UN is trying to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030.

Because I did it for 17 days, I was able to spend time on each goal. In class, I had mainly focused on two or three goals but the #17DaystoLearn Challenge forced me to research all of the goals, expanding my knowledge on each of the interesting topics.

To achieve the 17 Goals by 2030, action is needed. Not just by the UN and governments worldwide, but action from every single citizen of the world. We all live on this Earth. We all have an important part to play.

Thomas Eve, 16 years old

Conclusion

Adjusting to the new normal whether that be in everyday life or in a virtual classroom is not an easy task. Nonetheless, it’s an adjustment that we are all facing. The students of The Kings Hospital school had impactful plans to inspire and educate others about the SDGs. However, with the effects of covid-19, the original plan of action halted. But with the use of technology they were able to continue their project online by participating in the #17DaystoLearn challenge. They utilized social media and websites to communicate and collaborate with what they have learned about 17 SDGs. They learned, participated and reflected about the SDGs and realised what role they play in ensuring that we meet the 17 SDGs by 2030.

Working from home space

We’re Working From Home: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 5

You might have already seen a working from home vlog, but here’s another one. 

Working from home is something that the team of Makematic is fortunate enough to do. We have been collaborating and communicating with each other and our clients and partners for the past four months now. During these four months, we’ve acquired some tips/hacks/insights that may be useful to you – whether that’s how to make a laptop stand out of books or simply just giving you some office design inspiration.

In this episode, I reached out to the team and asked if they have any insights, hacks or tips about working from home and to send me their office space, mainly because I need some office space inspiration and designing a Pinterest inspired office was not in my budget. Safe to say, I got a few responses from the team.

I won’t spoil it all for you, but the episode includes a couple of dog pictures, a lot of tips and some major home office inspiration. One of the tips that I found ingenious was from Claire, who is one of our motion designers, and she said that she likes to play Spanish music and thus making her feel as though she was in Lanzarote. Brilliant. Alexa…play Greek music. Can you tell where I was meant to be this July? 

My personal tip was to leave a sign on the door – preferably ones that state to not enter the room, to prevent anyone, from entering. It’s definitely foolproof if you’re living with more than one person in your house. 

Below are some home office spaces that you could definitely take inspiration from. For me, I’m definitely going to be adding a plant somewhere in the office area, get myself a notebook and look at dog pictures on Instagram, because it will be the closest thing I’ll get to having a dog – for now, #GetGiannaADog

Do you have any working from home tips or hacks?

Watch episode 5 here!

Teaching Key 21st Century Skills In Every Classroom

Research by The Sutton Trust found that 94% of employers, 97% of teachers and 88% of young people regarded ‘life skills’ as being at least as important as academic grades to future success.  These life skills include what we commonly refer to as the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

Developing these key 21st-century skills is an ongoing process and mastery takes many years to achieve. Research has shown that two things can really help these skills – explicit teaching of these skills and extra-curricular activities. Whilst we can’t help with extra-curricular, we can help educators develop these skills to be explicitly teaching them in the classes.

That is why we worked with Participate to develop the series – The 4Cs. Part professional development part classroom resource, the series will help educators:

  1. Understand how to teach these skills in their classes on a daily basis, 
  2. Understand how these skills are used in the workplace
  3. Better prepare lessons to develop these skills with those they teach.

What’s Included?

Educator Professional Development

Series 1 – What are the 4Cs?

8 live-action videos with educators explaining what the 4Cs are and how to teach them in every classroom.

4 educator podcasts case studies where educators talk about how they have implemented the 4Cs into their everyday teaching practice.

Series 2 – In the workplace

4 live-action videos with people talking about what the 4Cs look like in the workplace.

Student Facing Resources

Series 3 and 4 can be used in so many ways. They can be used as whole class activities or as part of a blended or flipped learning experience. Whilst series 3 and 4 have been created as standalone resources, they can be used as a sequence.

Here’s an example:

You’ve decided that you want to develop your student’s creative thinking skills by introducing them to lateral thinking

You can engage your students with the skill by watching How To Be More Creative With Lateral Thinking from series 3. Following watching and discussing the contents of the video, as a class or on their own, students could develop this skill by completing any of the following activities from series 4:

Series 3 – How can …?

12 animated explainer videos that give the audience an understanding of how and why each of the skills can be developed by focusing on different sub-skills of each of the Cs.

Communication and CollaborationCritical Thinking and Creativity
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Understanding Body Language
Social Skills
Listening Skills
Creating clear messages
Email etiquette
Multiple Perspectives
Being Opening minded
Analysing arguments
Ideation
Divergent Thinking
Lateral Thinking
Series 4 – Activities

12 animations designed for individuals to develop skills on their own. These can be used in a classroom as a whole class, as part of a blended or flipped classroom methodology.

Communication and CollaborationCritical Thinking and Creativity
Improving concentration
Mic expressions
Are you a good listener?
Funnelling questings technique
Relaxation for public speaking
The subject line pitch
Questioning basic assumptions
Rebus puzzles
Recognising patterns
Brainstorming on your own
The alternative uses test
The elevator problem

Access the entire series here.

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