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€5,290 pledged of €20,000 goal
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By Tiago and Cláudia Pedras
€5,290 pledged of €20,000 goal
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About this project

The New Digital School is a new approach to higher education in the creative areas. Unlike traditional schools or colleges there is no fixed curriculum, no traditional assessment and no teachers. We don't just want to close the gap between academia and the industry: we want to overlap them!

Not everyone can join the school but by pledging in this campaign you'll be assisting the creation of this disruptive school and in return you can join the Tomorrow Conference: a 2 day event in June 1st in the lovely city of Porto, Portugal.

How the school works 

Sample workshop with Chris Murphy (click to read more)
Sample workshop with Chris Murphy (click to read more)

By removing all curriculum, assessment and teachers, we're left with a black canvas to work on. We're focused in bringing the students as close to the reality of the industry as possible. We do this by bringing a series of industry renowned guest speakers for over 400 hours of masterclasses and webinars, live industry projects from a network of partner companies and mentorship sessions from our network of industry leaders. We've been told repeatedly this is something that needs to exist.

 

What will students learn?

Expect this first course to cover broad topics like UX Design, UI Design, Frontend Development and some Backend Development. Each student will be able to decide what and how much to learn of each topic, empowering his decisions and his strengths.

Yes, we do want to adjust learning to each student
Yes, we do want to adjust learning to each student

 

But beyond that we want to provide something traditional schools don't which is soft skills training like Project Management, Career Management and many others. Because it doesn't matter how good a designer you are if you can't present and defend your work. We believe there's a lot more than just knowing the basics and business constraints are just as important for someone who's building a digital product.

How will it work?

For 10 months students will have full access to our classroom (which will double as a co-working space so students are free to bring in their own work in). Each month a new topic will be introduced by a 1 week masterclass from one of our guest educators. It's a full 40h hands-on session with an amazing speaker that will certainly leave an imprint on your career and way of thinking.

Sample workshop with Chris Murphy (click to read more)
Sample workshop with Chris Murphy (click to read more)

Our guests bring immense first-hand knowledge, lots of team and individual exercises for students as well as many case-studies and stories to tell. After that week students are challenged to further explore the topics learned and put them to practice in either their own projects or one of our suggested partners' briefs. 

In the following weeks and before the next masterclass, we'll have one webinar each month with yet more talented people from the web industry. These will cover shorter complementary topics or will be talks on soft skills that will help make our students become better professionals. In person complementary workshops will also happen every time our students wish to learn more of a specific topic. In between all of this we're preparing a full experience of Porto to really make it worth your time. 

During all this time our in-house facilitators will provide everything that's needed for the students to learn what they need. But there's more.

Expect surf lessons, sushi workshops and trips downtown or to the Douro. A way to really feel this wonderful European city.

Who are you inviting? 

See more info on our website
See more info on our website

 

  • Vitaly Friedman, editor at Smashing Magazine, was one of our early supporters and he will be talking all about responsive web design and how to better optimise your projects. All of this backed up by his very own work on the Smashing Magazine website.  
  • Stanley Wood is Director of Design at Spotify and he'll be addressing good practices in UI Design while sharing some stories on how Spotify designs, tests and enhances their own interfaces who are used by millions around the world.
  • Jeremy Keith is a true Sir and a veteran of the web representing Clearleft. We're sure you'll learn a lot about why we do the things we do on the web and how we should still consider progressive enhancement today.
  • Trine Falbe is an independent experience design consultant, lecturer, design researcher, international speaker and author of the soon-to-be-published book “White Hat UX”.
  • Verne Ho is Director of Design at Shopify and to him it's only natural to work in a team. Managing yourself and a team of designers isn't the simplest process so Verne will share some of his secrets on how you can do it the best way possible.
  • Lauren Currie created #upfront in response to her own personal experience often being the only female speaker at conferences. Together with Lindsay Dukes — dedicated to challenging gender roles in theatre — will bring us as masterclass on Creative Confidence and the art of inspiring, engaging, persuading and influencing an audience.
  • You can check the full list on our website http://thenewdigitalschool.com/how_it_works
TNDS would never had seen the light of day without great supporters as it has :)
TNDS would never had seen the light of day without great supporters as it has :)
The main room (click to see more)
The main room (click to see more)

 

 

Where is the school based

The school is based in Porto, more precisely in Matosinhos. We have a great space at the local Design Incubator inside an amazing market. 

An amazing city to live in
An amazing city to live in

The space is completely sound insulated while at the same time providing an eclectic and vibrant space to promote creativity and constant networking. During masterclasses and workshops the space will work as a classroom but the furniture we're acquiring is completely modular and the room will double as a co-working space most of the time. 

The Metro station stops literally at the door of the market so you can get downtown in 20 minutes or be at the airport in 15.

Porto itself is a great city to be in. As The New York Times puts it, "from its stunning Beaux-Arts station to its cool bars serving Porto’s signature drink, this charming city combines the best of old and new".

They've also considered Porto to be "The Portland of Portugal" and The Telegraph to be one of "20 destinations you must visit in 2016".

Have more questions? 

We're putting together a series of posts on our Medium that might help you.

The Tomorrow Conference. What is it about?

As a means to give something back to the community (and we mean both the local and the international one) we want to share all of this positive energy and incredible people with you. 

The Tomorrow Conference is a two day event in the city of Porto where you'll experience a little bit of what TNDS is all about. 

By pledging 150€ or more we’ll be able to bring 8 of our amazing guests for 2 days of awesome workshops + talks on the Future of the Design Profession, Design Education and while exploring the most groundbreaking projects, technologies and techniques on the web. You get a chance to visit lovely Porto in the best time of the year: June 1st. 

We'll be announcing the full line-up and venue location in a later update as we're negotiating both for the last couple of weeks. Have a suggestion? Let Tiago know: tiago@thenewdigitalschool.com

Why we're doing it

The traditional school model we have around the world was created under the economic circumstances of the 19th century and the industrial revolution.

© Tulane University Archives
© Tulane University Archives

Back then conformity mattered and academia had pre-defined what they thought people should know, evaluating and testing those who would become future workers. The problem is we don't live in the 19th century anymore. And reports of students dropping out of school have shown increasing numbers around the world in a desperate request that schools change to a more human format.

In creative areas this is even more of a problem. How can we ask our students to be creative while all we're doing is format them into a norm? Imagine the endless possibilities we're leaving behind! In a digital world where online tools, digital goods and social networks completely transform the way we live, work and communicate, education has a lot to catchup. We believed we could start that revolution and give our students what hey feel is more important, while guiding them into the best education they could have, supported by amazing guests, mentors and friends.

We've talked about all of this in depth a while ago at Mirror Conf. You can watch the talk on YouTube.

Risks and challenges

Tiago has been the main driver behind this project. He's been working in design education for 10 years and working on the web for 13. Together and with your help we want to help shape the next generation of web creatives. Not formatting their knowledge for a future we can't grasp but by giving them the tools to create and to think about it. Imagine how much further than you and us they can go without the traditional restraints…

A proper business plan for this by professional business advisors who we've paid in advance. It was developed with our Kickstarter goal in mind so we have enough funds to launch the new school and the conference. After this initial kick the school itself will be able to run on it's own thanks to the student's tuition and the partnerships we're putting in place.

We hope you’ll back us and our team in making TNDS a reality and create the school where we would like to have attended :)

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €20 or more About $22

    The Sympathiser

    Pledge 20€ or more to receive a copy of our digital magazine + a personal signed thank you card.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $55

    The Supporter

    Pledge 50€ or more to get a limited TNDS unique print t-shirt from our custom algorithm. Also you’ll get a guided tour of the school if you decide to come by and visit us.

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    Pledge €150 or more About $164

    The Partner

    Pledge 100€ or more to get one of the first tickets for the Tomorrow Conference + a limited TNDS unique print t-shirt from our custom algorithm.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €300 or more About $329

    The Benefactor

    Pledge 250€ or more and you’re awesome! You'll get one of the first tickets for the Tomorrow Conference + a special Thank you bundle kit including a limited TNDS unique print t-shirt + a personal guided tour of the school and access to one of our masterclasses.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €2,750 or more About $3,015

    The Patron

    Pledge 2750€ and you’ll be paying for half of a student’s tuition. We won’t spend it on anything else and you’ll receive a personal thank you from us and the student selected. You're welcome to pay us a visit, meet the class and chose the student you want to grant this great opportunity to. Plus you'll be more than welcome for you and a co-worker of yours to join us for 2 masterclasses and a cup of tea.

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Funding period

- (30 days)