Blogging for and about Youth Work and Young People

Posts tagged ‘training’

Notes from the Connected Generation Conference 2010 – Part One

Courtesy of Elsie esq

WoW! What a day! Thanks to Tim Davies and Katie Bacon!

I am currently reviewing my notes from the Connected Generation Conference and my brain is brimming over with ideas, thoughts and actions!

The day started off with a number of thought provoking speakers. Amy¬† Sample Ward gave a quick ( ūüôā ) and inspiring talk setting the context for interacting and engaging young people online, Joanne Jopling discussed the detached work she has been delivering with young women in Gateshead and how this moved on line with some of the pros and cons of using Facebook and MSN.¬† Katie Bacon discussed the use of social networking for youth participation and talked through some of her experiences in Devon, again highlighting areas that youth workers need to consider when interacting online. Kieron Kirkland, a learning researcher for Futurelab talked through¬† InfoCow an online resource that supports young people to explore their aspirations and entitlements and engage with the information, networks and tools that can help put these into practice. And finally Mog talked about Digital Storytelling

So – already mind shocked and the cogs whirring we broke down into work shops for further discussions and presentations. Points that I picked up to reflect on were:-

  • How much should we use offline policies as the basis for developing online ones? Whilst I can see that this would be useful I think that it is important to note that young people use and react differently online. Currently they tend to be much more open, will talk, post, and share personal things that they wouldn’t share face to face. Should this therefore be reflected more in online policies?
  • How we include data protection, the use of cookies etc in the policies we develop (still not too clear on this area myself as it is more techy but it was an area I thought needed noting.)
  • The need to ensure that colleagues keep records of their online interactions, just as they would if they had had a telephone conversation, meeting etc with a young person.
  • The need to educate young people around safety and privacy settings. For instance if they are interacting with us online through an SNS and we note that their profile is ‘open’ should we send email messages to let them know and advice on how to change it?
  • To remember the digital divide does exisit and not to suppose all young people know how to use IT and apps that are about.
  • How do young people know they are talking to a bona fide staff member?
  • Making your online space welcoming and youth friendly and maintaining this.
  • The training needs of both staff and young people, including work around personal boundaries, code of conduct , the impact of their digital foot print – thinking about what is behind the profiles and groups, moderations policies etc.

And that was just the morning!!!!! ūüôā

Blogging and Wiltshire Youth Service

A colleague and myself found ourselves in rural Wiltshire the week before last thanks to David Whelwell. I’ve conversed with David online both here and also through other online forums. He followed our China Exchange Blog and invited us to talk to colleagues from Wiltshire Youth Service about our blogging experiences. It was a really helpful and useful experience as we had the opportunity to truly reflect on our experience of blogging with young people. I’ve been trying to make sure that I keep using video etc to support this blog so the short animoto video below shows a little of what we did. (I’m still learning what photos to take and haven’t yet worked out how to add video to this as I’ve seen others do).

Anyway, back to the day itself… what was key was the sharing of our experiences with others and hearing what youth workers were currently trying out in Wiltshire. There were some interesting discussions and sharing of information. What struck me during these discussions was the need to have an interest and be prepared to have a go with digital media even if you’re not too sure where it’s going to take you! One definate¬† ‘take away’ for me was their investment in using online resources for training youth workers, something I think is essential for developing digital skills and confidence in our staff and that I will be sharing with our training staff.

Studying Youth Work – Training in how to use Social Media

Courtesy of Jose C Silva

Courtesy of Jose C Silva

Back in January Tim Davies wrote a post 7 Reasons why Youth Workers should be blogging. One of the comments from an individual studying youth work in Bristol was:-

“im currently in my 2nd yr studying youth work at uni. part of the course rightly involves students meeting together outside uni to discuss, support each other, time restraints means we have never all met up… why are we not using the resources other profesions are making full use of… “

In the local authority I work in a few of¬†us have been sharing this social media journey and discussing how we might influence the training of new youth workers. One of my colleagues is involved in lecturing at a local university and following our training with DK and team from Mediasnackers¬†is now looking to introduce some of what we’ve learnt about Social Media¬†in her lectures.

I was also fascinated to see this Ning site from Australia which I thought was not only an interesting way to use social media to train but also meant that¬†people¬†had to use the site¬†and learn how to in order to access some of the information. I’m now pondering on how I can take some of these ideas to use within the service with staff who are already qualified.¬†

Social Media Training

Well, we’ve finally managed to get organised and have now booked in some social media training for July. I’m really excited by this as I’m hoping that this will be the kick start to a number of ideas, primarily getting our strategy together as to how, what and where we’re going to try and use social media professionally. I think it’ll be an interesting time as we are hoping to include a number of young people to train alongside us so that we can gain a better perspective and all be starting (ish) from the same (ish) point.

I’m intrigued by the dialogue that Mike Amos-Simpson over at the Late Breakfast Society Blog initiated with regards to how youth work might look on line (a very simplified abreviation of his post) and¬†Tim Davies reply on¬†¬†the Youth Work and Social Networking Research Project¬†blog.¬†¬†¬†Soppa comments¬†on an earlier post¬†that a group in Finland have set up a Youth House (similar to a youth centre) on Habbo but as their site is¬†all in Finnish I am awaiting some more information on that. We’ve also¬†started to look at how we might have a ‘Virtual Connexions Centre’ and I hope that we will be able to look at all these areas through our Social Media strategy discussions.

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