article professions

12.11.2015

Are you currently working as a professional in the technology sector? Share your experience with mSchools

Image | King

For the third consecutive year the mSchools programme, a programme of Mobile World Capital Barcelona in partnership with the Regional Government of Catalonia, the City Hall of Barcelona, and GSMA, offers the computer science course based on App design  and prototype development called  “App Education”

The course, which during the 2015-2016 academic year will also be offered to 3rd-year ESO and vocational training students (Obligatory Secondary Education), includes participation by experts from the professional world. mSchools Experts offer teachers and students the benefits of their experience and knowledge in the field of mobile technology.

mSchool Experts connect the classroom to a world of opportunity and motivate, challenge and inspire our students towards excellence by sharing industry wisdom, setting goals and building trust mSchools Experts improve digital skills and stimulate entrepreneurial spirit. Experts help students build important new digital skills and prepare them for today’s world.

We talked to Albert Casanelles, a senior artist at the Swedish video game company King and an mSchools programme expert.

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Image | King

Tell us who you are and what your area of professional expertise is.

My name is Albert Casanelles. I’m a graphic artist with more than 20 years of experience working in graphic production for companies in Barcelona, Italy and the US. I am currently working at King, the world’s leading company in the field of “casual” games for mobiles. My areas of expertise, as a true generalist, are 2D and 3D art and user interface design.

How long have you been working as an expert for the mSchools programme? What inspired you to join?

I began to participate in the mSchools programme during its first edition, and I continue to do so. This year, then, will be the third time I’ve participated. My reasons are varied. For starters, I’m a father, and I’m aware of the difficulties that teachers (our heroes) have encouraging and stimulating their students (our children). So, I thought it would be a good idea to give them a hand. Also, I am fond of teaching and sharing knowledge.

Finally, at King, as a successful company, we believe that we have an obligation to give something back to society, to make a contribution which can be useful for people’s development, such as spreading knowledge of our industry and how it operates.

Describe what being an expert entails.

Being an expert in the mSchools programme basically consists of encouraging and guiding students through the app creation process: their conception, development and the creation of a prototype, if the case arises. In any case, the most important thing is for them to learn the creative process, about identifying problems and dividing up tasks, and how to manage a team. I am convinced that what they learn in this process will be equally useful on any project that the students undertake in the future.

How much time do you have to invest in mentoring the students?

The sessions are usually an hour, and I usually teach at least two per school: one for presentation and guidance, and another for follow-up and feedback. They do need to be prepared beforehand, though, asking for the teacher’s materials, and this involves a little more time.

How did the students respond to you?

Really well. They find the contact with the “outside world” and feeling exposed to the reality of the working world exciting. Belonging to an internationally-renowned company also makes it easier to capture their interest.

How did they respond to the knowledge you brought them? And what about you? What did you learn from them?

They soon realise that it’s not easy and it takes work, but even a 4th-year ESO student with a good idea can revolutionise the world! I have learned exactly the same thing: even professionals heading up the industry must be able to demonstrate humility in the face of emerging talent.

What did being part of an experience like this give you at a personal level?

It´s very rewarding, and exciting to see what all these boys and girls are capable of.

During this 2015-2016 academic year, will you serve as an expert again?

Yes, and I think this time I’ll do so as a “guiding expert,” a new modality in which the professional works with the group throughout the year.

What would you say to professionals who are thinking about being experts, but have not yet decided to sign up?

That they will discover the great interest that they can spark, and how little it takes to make a difference to these young students.

Would you like to join Albert and form part of the experts programme? Sign up today!