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Notes from OCN meeting Friday 11th July 08 July 15, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Informal learning, Meeting, NBSE, social media.
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I met with Sue Barton at OCN in Stoke last Friday to discuss the project and how OCN fits into the whole set up. Again, the project got the thumbs up from Sue and we found ourselves agreeing on many things specifically around the whole Adult Education / IT / Learning areas. Initially, I was keen to explore the potential of new courses / units based on our Web2.0 platform but found myself having a “a-ha!” moment when Sue suggested utilising the existing portfolio. Having looked at the unit requirements and outcomes I am more than confident that we can use their framework to deliver recognised and relevant qualifications. I am still keen to explore the development of a new course(s) but at this stage of the project, I think the OCN route seems feasible.

First thoughts are that the project aims to deliver the NOCN Entry Level Award for Progression (Entry 3). This qualification has a certain flexibility in it’s delivery options and can easily map the projects aims / issues such as engagement, worklessness and confidence. “These quals develop the skills and knowledge that will enable people to progress to further / higher education or employment” (OCN). Without going into too much detail, each participant would undertake a series of sessions totalling approx 30 hours. In these sessions, they would cover areas such as personal learning programmes, job seach skills, interview techniques, internet & email usage (There are many existing units to choose from and as a project, we need to decide which will be most suitable) but with our project twist of everything delivered using social media / web2.0 applications, including all the evidencing and reporting plus anything else we can think to chuck in to the mix.

So while we have that task to work through, we also need the project to become a registered OCN centre. So apart from the usual form filling stuff, this is actually taking us somewhat down the route of a real structure for the project..marvelous! These things obviously don’t happen for free, but we built in the centre recognition costs into our project startup bid through UNLTD, which we’re still awaiting news on.

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Bridging the digital divide is about strengthening human networks not internet access. June 11, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in Informal learning, NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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Another extremely relevant debate sparked by Nick Booth (Podnosh) this time addressing the issues of the digital divide. This is a subject which is at the very heart of what I believe the NBSE project will look to address. I agree with most of what is being said in that the focus should be on the communities not the technology but I do have some fears that the wrong people will be rushing to throw their weight behind any potential progress.

Adult Learners Week May 12, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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Thought it might be useful to do a quick blog on Adult Learners Week which runs from the 17th – 23rd May this year. I’ve been involved in adult education for nearly a decade now and i’m keen for the NBSE project to play a big part in harnessing social media for the benefit of these learners, amongst others.

Wouldn’t it be good if our project could be part of the celebrations next year?

A little light research May 12, 2008

Posted by Stuart Parker in NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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One initial thought is whether we are reinventing the wheel here. Is this kind of thing already happening?

E-Skills UK is currently working on a 5 year strategic plan and the latest revision has some interesting stuff, only after a quick five minute scan, already there are loads of thoughts popping into my mind on how our proposed venture can tackle some of the issues raised. I’ve also found myself going “but what about this?” and “why don’t they talk about that?”. Anyway, i’ll post some more on the plan when I’ve had chance to have a good read.

There are many different avenues our project can take but from my own point of view, the E-Skills things seems pretty relevant and to answer my original question. ” What took us so long to get started?”

NBSE Facebook group May 10, 2008

Posted by Kevin Rapley in Facebook, NBSE, Social Enterprise, social media.
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As the purpose of the North Birmingham Social Enterprise will be to introduce social media to the community, we will be using social media in order to raise awareness of what we are doing in making the enterprise happen.  To kick this off, this morning I setup a Facebook group that will allow us to post up meeting dates and discuss items in a more conversational way than what can be achieved on the blog.  Although this blog is not to be in any way formal, the Facebook group will be even more so.  I have left the group open so that anyone who is interested in contributing may come along and do so.  In order to make the group accessible to the whole UK I have set the location to Global (a specific location or Global is required).   Why Global? I have seen problems with using groups before with people wanting to join a group which is only set to a certain geographic region.  I don’t wish to alienate anyone who may be able to give us some guidance on funding or the social enterprise model.

Fortunately Stuart and I, being members of the Birmingham Bloggers group, we have a ready made platform of individuals who are involved in social media and may have knowledge of the social enterprise model.  Therefore I sent a group email round to the Birmingham Bloggers to let them know about what we have planned, provided them with a link to the group and asked if they would like to be involved.

Social enterprise and social media skype chat May 10, 2008

Posted by Kevin Rapley in chat with us, Social Enterprise, social media.
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Today I have setup a skype chat which is publically available and will hopefully attract anyone that has interest in the subject so we can pick their brains.  Feel free to pop along and join in the conversation.

Social enterprise and social media skype chat