Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Archive for March, 2009

Just for fun!

I picked this up from Prophetik Soul’s Blog

I hadn’t seen it before and it made me laugh and also reflect on its implications for my work!

Enjoy!!

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LGBTU Strategy Development (2)

The LGBTU strategy working group met recently and we’ve definately started to move forward. I have been working with two other colleagues to draw together the threads of the strategy and we’re almost there! We’ve also had some good discussions about how we might move this forward and how we will engage young people who identify as LGBTU in its development. As well as involving them in developing the strategy we are keen to organise some county wide events and look at how we brand our LGBTU work here in West Sussex.

Some interesting areas that came up for discussion were the age range of the

Courtesy of David Paul Ohmer

Courtesy of David Paul Ohmer

young people involved in the groups we are looking to develop and the policies we might want to have around this area of work. A colleague is undertaking some research into policies and good practice and I would welcome any feedback anyone may have with regards to these. In particular we are looking at age range, location and ‘entrance’ to the group.

At the moment I think that we will be looking at potentially working with 2 age groups (13-18/19 and then 19-25yrs) due to the differing needs. With regards to access and publicising groups, it appears that good practice is to advertise a telephone number and then the individual can arrange to meet with a youth worker before taking part in the group. I also like the groundrules / group agreement format that Outreach Youth have posted on their website.

If anyone else has any other suggestions please do post them or contact me. And for those of you still learning and understanding the need for work in this area have a look at this blog post.

Expanding the potential of social media

 Courtesy of 10ch

Thanks to 10ch

I find it interesting to see how, when discussing social media with others, the almost immediate desire is to use Facebook or Bebo or other Social Networking sites (SNS) to do youth work (or at least support their work). When you look at this in more detail it is mainly because this is a forum that colleagues have heard and know a bit about. Digging even deeper many colleagues aren’t necesarily too sure what they will do with it and how this might expand their youth work.  Mike Amos Simpson picked this up when feeding back about the UKYouthOnline Unconference and made some interesting comments here about youth workers obsession with SNS and limiting ourselves by just focusing on these aspects and not thinking widely enough about how we might maximise the potential of the web and technology. It’s also picked up on the comments section of his post here.

Whilst I’m interested in how we might use SNS in youth work I think you will probably have picked up that I am more excited by how we might use social media in it’s wholeness to support, develop and create the ways in which we work with young people. Mike’s idea of Digital Youth Work is an example of that.

I guess this is why I started out in blogging and then used my understanding of the possibilities with this to encourage some colleagues to try it and look at how they can incorporate blogging as a tool to support various areas of youth work (including recorded and accredited outcomes!). Through my journeys around the blogosphere and the internet in general I come across many examples of how over in the formal education sector so many of our colleagues are / have already been exploring this area. I have been following the Education and Curriculum Masters course for teachers run by Dr. Alec Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the Faculty of Education, University of Regina . This course encourages teachers to explore and blog about what they are learning with regards to digital media and how it can support teaching in the classroom. I would love to see something like this for youth workers in training (or perhaps there already is and I just don’t know it!).

A few of the other education blogs concerning new technology and its application that I follow are:-

Mr Mayo who is middle school Language Arts teacher in Maryland

Vicki Davis who has been involved in the flatclassroom project and digiteen

The Edublogger

Perhaps if we set up some sort of project to work on online, or share info we could do some more discussion / learning online. Again, in the education sector there are various online forums where educators get together to talk about a subject at a given time and date. Maybe if there is enough interest this is something we could try. (I’d have to get up to speed with Skype and Twitter I feel but I’d give it a go if it meant we moved the ‘community’ forward.) What do you think?

Celebrating Young Peoples’ Achievements

Last Saturday evening I went to the first Young Peoples’ celebration event for those young people involved with West Sussex Youth Service in Worthing. It was a great evening with over 100 young people coming together to enjoy and celebrate their work, play and involvement. The staff hadn’t anticipated quite such a big turn out (after all it was a Saturday!!!) which meant a last minute shuffle for chairs and finding space for the latecomers. As a ‘first’ it was a great step forward and hopefully next year more young people will be involved in planning and delivering the event now that they’ve got a taste for it. Here’s a brief look – 🙂

Virtual International Youth Work?!?

I was having a wander around the internet and checking on my Google Reader feeds this morning (gosh, I am getting technical with my speak!) when I came across this post from Vicki Davis on the Cool Cat Teacher Blog. I’ve followed the Flat Classroom project a little and also the Flat Classroom Conference.  and love the idea of this work. I suppose I’m now wondering how we might use this in youth work? Or perhaps someone already is and I don’t know about it?!

When I look online it always feels as though schools and education in some ways are so much more advanced in how they use social media then informal education (or maybe that should be the statutory youth sector?) I think there is a lot we can learn from here. thinkingAt the moment I’m reflecting on the West Sussex China Exchange last year and wondering if we have another visit next year how could we link ‘virtually’ to others here in the UK…or before we do that perhaps there is someone interested in how we join up virtually across the country and work on a subject together? Hmm……definately food for thought!

One Year On

We have just had our youth service conference and it dawned on me that a year ago at the 2008 conference I was so inspired by DKs presentation from Mediasnackers that I decided to start blogging…..and what an adventure it’s been! Today I was at a meeting when someone asked me if I was the  ‘billybean’ writing this blog (which they would have known if they’d checked out the about page!) I admitted that I was although I have to say that for some reason or other  I am still somewhat embarrassed when I admit to blogging. I”m not quite sure why….sometimes I think people think that you have to be a bit odd or computery to blog, or perhaps you’ve got no friends etc. Naturally only a part of this is true!!:)

Courtesy of stuart~'sMy blogging adventure has been a wide ranging and fascinating one and has really opened up my eyes to a whole new resource that I can use in developing youth services here in West Sussex. I mentioned how it had impacted on me in this post here six months ago. I get frustrated on a daily basis that I am not more computer literate as I love the designs and looks of other blogs and wish I could add more ‘bells and whistles’  (Mikes, Tims and Jons are just some examples) but I guess the key thing isn’t so much the design as what you’re writing.

More than writing though is (more…)

Moving forward with LGBTU strategy development

We’ve got our next working group meeting on Friday and having had a lot of input concerning equalities during our recent Staff Conference I’m looking forward to seeing how we’ve progressed from the last meeting and where we might end up.

photo courtesy jglsongs

photo courtesy jglsongs

For those colleagues reading who are interested in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or unsure youth (or are already doing so) a recent commentator who works here has set up a new blog here. The blog is hoping to support youth workers working with LGBT young people who want to share and discuss youth work issues.

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