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Progress update September 27, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE, social media.
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A couple of things to update on. Firstly, the whole digital mentoring thing, found some earlier actions and debate on this issue, check out Dave Briggs stuff on this. Secondly, the taster sessions are starting to fill out. Looks likely that we’ll be working with some NEETs linking in to the young offenders, also the Aston Pride project has a number of groups including another NEET project linked into the Salvation Army, also some Parent groups and possibly some Adults for who English is a second language (ESOL). Furthermore, a disability group are keen for a session too. I hope to bring all these projects together with more details as and when we have them. The technical side of things is gaining momentum. The main site is up but no content there just yet, also Kev has completed the logo for the project so we can start branding some stuff. The OCN accreditation is in progress and we have secured some vital 3rd Sector Peer Mentoring alongside some training sessions and conferences booked. Plenty there! and i’ll elaborate on these over the next week or so.

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Digital ignorance in powerful circles September 24, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in goverment, Informal learning, social media.
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The Government’s response to tackling the digital divide has them coming up with a new scheme offering “vouchers” to low-income families enabling them to get online at home. This scheme is costing £300 million. Providing these vouchers will not address the problem, let alone overcome it. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep on saying it until somebody with ears in the appropriate places, gets the message.

It’s not about the access….

The ongoing evolution of the Internet..and it will be all about the Internet, means that people who are still to use the technology or have limited experience, are being left behind at an unacceptable rate. There are some small movements to address the real issues here but it’s all too slow and lacking in volume to make a difference.

I chatted with Nick Booth last night about the situation and we drew similar conclusions about what should actually be happening with that money. It should be providing training, guidance, communication, advice etc delivered by the people with the right skills and attitude and in a manner that recognises that the way we learn will need to change to make the most of what the internet is becoming. These “digital mentors” can be the answer to an as yet fully realised situation.

Our project is in the throws of equipping these mentors with the kind of knowledge and skills that will benefit those excluded from the digital community. Hopefully before too long, those who make the decisions will be aware of what’s actually going on and who knows, maybe do something about it.

Project update September 16, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE.
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Been a bit busy on all fronts with those concerned with We Share Stuff. Apart from the holidays and new born babies, things are getting back on track. The project visited the UNLTD awards event in Manchester to officially recieve their award and certificate. A decent event where other award winners spoke about their projects and plenty of networking ensued.

We are currently finalising the identity and web presence for this stage of the project. Nothing too fancy, just something to give the project a face. We are hoping to have the site up and active at the beginning of October. We have also nearly completed our taster session module ready to roll out and we are currently looking at places in the North Birmingham area to deliver. The taster sessions are free (to both providers and clients) so if your establishment would like to participate, please get in touch.

We have also completed our policies and procedures to enable us to become OCN accredited and we are close to gaining centre status which means we can then look at delivering qualifications from the OCN portfolio.

Finally, there is plenty of “behind the scenes work” more info of which, will get blogged in due course. Including project sustainability, aims and objectives, technical stuff and loads more.