Tag: teaching podcasting

Blog Action Day in Birmingham – a social media surgery for voluntary orgs.

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

Over here Jon Bounds has reminded us of our collective Birmingham blogger wish to mark Blog Action day next week in some shared way. When Tom Watson asked us about this a while back there was plenty of enthusiastic muttering.

The theme for blog action day 2008 is poverty, considered in it’s widest sense. So rather than simply blog, we’re arranging to do something more practical:  run a social media surgery for voluntary and community groups in Birmingham. Many of these deal directly with poverty in the city, I think all of them contribute in some way to creating life opportunities or alleviating suffering or disadvantage.

The aim is simply to get a group of volunteer social media savvy people together who can give one to one advice on which bits of the social media palette might be able to help these groups accomplish more.

Perhaps we might set up some blogs, get people using video or images in a new way, help them map problems?  Who knows? I’m quite certain everyone who takes part will learn something. (I’m wondering if this will help me imagine what a digital mentor might do.

Half an hour ago Candy Passmore at BVSC  agreed to provide a room at their place (138 Digbeth, B5 6DR, map). The proposal fits very closely with their attempts to encourage the voluntary sector to find new ways to communicate, lobby and network. The offer also comes with wifi and some food between 5.30 and 9  on the evening of Wednesday 15th October 2008. Once we’ve got something written she will also pass the invitation onto their networks within the city.

So who fancies helping and who knows any community or voluntary groups who might like to come?

Update: It’s on.
Birmingham Voluntary Services Council love the idea and are happy to help us with space at their place, tea coffee and perhaps a morsel for those who want to stave off their tea time pangs. time is 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm Wednesday 15th October 2008.

Sign up here: http://birminghamblogactionday2008.eventbrite.com/  any problems with that don’t give up – leave a comment below or call me on 0777 909 5692.  If you want to find out about this stuff we want you there!

The new UK Council for Child Internet Safety.

I’ve got real concerns about this (see the bottom of the post). According to this news release it will:

• establish a comprehensive public information and awareness and child internet safety campaign across Government and industry including a ‘one-stop shop’ on child internet safety;

• provide specific measures to support vulnerable children and young people, such as taking down illegal internet sites that promote harmful behaviour;

• promote responsible advertising to children online; and

• establish voluntary codes of practice for user-generated content sites, making such sites commit to take down inappropriate content within a given time.

This is what Tanya Byron thinks:

“Every parent will know that know that video games and the internet are a part of childhood like never before. This is extremely positive; giving kids the opportunities to learn to have fun and communicate in ways that previous generations could only dream of. But it can also present a huge challenge to parents and other adults involved in the welfare of children.

“That this why we need industry, regulators and parents to work together to protect children against the risks. Setting up UKCISS was a key recommendation in my report and I’m delighted that the Government along with industry, education, law enforcement, and the children’s charities have acted so promptly to make this a reality. “The Council will be a powerful union of some of our key players giving support to parents and guidance to children as they come more and more accustomed to the virtual world – it will also give families, teachers and most importantly children and young people the ability to input experiences and concerns. The UK is a world leader on internet safety for children and I look forward to others adopting this partnership approach.”

I’m worried this organisation will be risk averse, burdened with the pr fear of any internet abuse being laid at it’s door. Already the government has been looking for ways to police the internet.

The country that manages to balance the risk/opportunity that the web represents for young people is the one that will be best placed to enjoy the economic benefits on offer.  Having run a quango once, I know that you don’t create an energetic and imaginative attitude to risk by creating a new quango.

However it is easy to carp.  I think UKCCIS should start with teachers. If we can warm them up to the possibilities that come with an open attitude to the internet, rather than a closed or mistrustful one, we then have a hope of encouraging them to teach children to manage risk rather than run from the slightest suggestion of it.  Until teachers have high levels of digital literacy we’ll struggle to have schools that are anything but freakishly fearful of the web.

Five new blogs – four from Birmingham one not – plus something new from WordPress.

I just want to say hello to Andrew Hemmings who moved from lurker to blogger after last night’s mini Birmingham Bloggers meet in the Spotted Dog. (Don’t panic, it was an impromptu meeting for Joanna Geary who will miss the next one this Monday 7pm at Rooty Frooty in the Custard Factory) Andrew talked to a number of people about blogs and their possible impact on his work in promoting the TIC. He had a typical response to a first bloggers meet:

By the way…thanks to all those last night who so willingly shared their knowledge, views and opinions to a newbie at the blogging table – I’ve got plenty to think about! Those thoughts will follow….!

Now he’s done the perfect thing, and started his own blog. It really is the fastest way to appreciate/understand the possibilities. So welcome Andrew.

Hi also had a fine chat with Nicky Getgood who was watching the blog meet from the bar then came and joined us – mostl because she’s very friendly, but also because she blogs here.

Chris Unitt was also at the Spotted Dog and is blogging for the fantabulous Fierce Festival here. You can also vote to help them programme the festival. Hi Chris, I like the scratchy graphics. Did you do those?

Simon Howsey is new to me – he seems to be using wordpress to aggregate a whole series of feeds, many from Birmingham Bloggers.

A belated hello to a blog I subscribed to a while back thanks to a tip off from the very fine fine Tim Davies. Alice Casey has set up her blog to explore some of the ideas which percolate through her work with with Involve. This (and many other blogs) are about the link between social media, neighbourhoods and social good. Which is of course where I began a good while back with the Grassroots Channel podcast. She and I will both be at a barcamp in May to explore social media and youth participation – which again relates to some other work I’ve been doing.

For anyone who’s just set up a new WordPress blog an hour ago the rather heavily revamped WordPress 2.5 went live. Looks good. Time for some upgrades.