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Validation Experiment Description

Oasis Academy: Future Now!

Written by Joe Cullen on donderdag 27 oktober 2011 15:13
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1. Background to the pilot

The London pilot can be seen not only as a case study on how Web 2.0 tools and approaches can be used to add value to existing initiatives aimed at supporting excluded or at risk groups. It also offers insights into the challenges and obstacles that militate against ‘Learning 2.0 for an inclusive knowledge society’.

A distinctive feature of this pilot experiment was that it evolved through three distinct phases, the first two of which reflect unsuccessful attempts to develop and apply the learning from LINKS-UP to improve the effectiveness of real-world projects.  Figure 1 shows this evolutionary process.

 

oasis1

Figure 1: The evolution of the LINKS-UP London pilot experiment

Phase 1

The initial plan was to work with a project called ‘FreqOUT!  FreqOUT! is an initiative which aims to help young people from marginalised groups overcome the barriers to learning by using emergent technologies and social media. The initiative works with influential artists on a project-by-project basis to provide engaging and innovative workshops which use technology creatively to engage disadvantaged communities and sign-post them to learning and employment.  The key objective is to engage users in further learning and into work. The main needs addressed are: low levels of prior learning, literacy and numeracy, but especially low ICT skills. They also target improvement in soft skills e.g. confidence; self-esteem.

Overall, the project aims to encourage community regeneration. FreqOUT! is based in Westminster, London, and works with communities in the local areas, which are some of the top 20% most deprived neighbourhoods nationally. FreqOUT! targets young people aged 13-25 years old from marginalised groups in the local area: young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, ex-offenders, those at-risk of offending, refugees and immigrants.

The original intention was to work with FreqOUT to introduce new Learning 2.0 tools, together with the ‘inclusive pedagogic model’ developed by LINKS-UP to explore ways of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the initiative. However, the pilot had to be abandoned for two main reasons:

  • Operational  issues. The main problem focused on operational issues associated with staff turnover. The original contact developed through including FreqOUT as a case study in LINKS-UP work package 2 had led to a provisional agreement from the initiative management to consider acting as a host in the pilot experiment phase of LINKS-UP. However, due to a change in operational management of the FreqOUT, we had to work with a new contact who was not familiar with LINKS-UP and was less inclined to see its value added.
  • This is linked to the second reason. FreqOUT focuses on specialist and creative ICT projects, including mobile movie making; urban biomapping; sound recording; radio transmitter building; film-making. Additionally, social networking, media-sharing (YouTube, Vimeo), mobile technology, blogs are used as tools to support learning and disseminate project work. Given this relatively high level of Web 2.0 utilisation, it was felt within the initiative that LINKS-UP could add little value added to the existing set-up.

Phase 2

As a result, an alternative site hosting the LINKS-UP pilot was identified. This involved a partnership with Wandsworth Museum, based in South London.  This site was chosen for a number of reasons. Firstly, although Wandsworth is one of the more affluent of the London Boroughs, it contains pockets of extreme deprivation mainly concentrated in the districts of Battersea and Tooting. In particular, the area is characterised by some educational under-achievement problems. Although the overall performance of schools is around the national average (the last ‘OFSTED’ - the UK government’s agency for schools inspection – evaluation showed that  54% of Wandsworth school students achieved five GCSE’s between ‘A* and C’ grades – compared with compared to 53.7% in England,  attendance rates are below average, there are concerns about the quality of the learning environment in some schools in the area and there is a high proportion of black and ethnic minority students who learn in poor learning environments.

Secondly, the Museum itself was seen as a prime candidate to benefit from the use of learning 2.0 technologies. Although a well-established cultural and educational resource in the community, the museum is housed in an old Victorian building, built in 1885, and has no internet access.  It uses a primarily traditional ‘didactic’ model of engagement and learning with visitors, relying on conventional ‘display’ types of presentation, rather than using interactive ways of engaging visitors in its activities.  It has very few links with the local community, especially groups working with young people of secondary school age.

Thirdly, there are a large number of organisations and networks working in the Borough with young people and excluded and at risk groups. These include: local schools (Ashcroft Technology Academy; Southfields Community College; South Thames College); pupil referral units – PRUs; Youth Groups (ELays Network – local Somali youth; Providence House Youth Club; Devas Club; Group 64 Youth Theatre, Putney Arts Centre; Migrant workers group; Wandsworth Parish youth club; STORM Empowerment – single mothers); public sector (Wandsworth Council Youth services; Connexions Wandsworth) and NGOs (Wandsworth Community Empowerment Network). It was thought that LINKS-UP could provide a catalyst to enable these sometimes disconnected stakeholders to collaborate more effectively in developing and delivering innovative learning for inclusion.

This reflected  a key objective of the pilot -  to increase community ‘social capital’ by using Web 2.0 to connect together in a collaborative learning environment a set of relatively fragmented and disconnected ‘community assets’ in order to support existing efforts to address social exclusion issues

The approach used by LINKS-UP can be summarized as follows:

  • A ‘blended learning’ pedagogic method. This involves recruiting local artists and creative media experts to work with young people to deliver community-based learning in sub-districts in Wandsworth with high levels of social deprivation.
  • Use of Web 2.0 tools. This combined TV/radio; mobile movie making; podcasting; online magazine; sound technologies and sensors; GPS tracking, interactivity.
  • Engaging local networks and stakeholders in collaborative learning.
  • Improving the Museum’s learning capacity and learning outcomes  through interactive and participative ICT-based pedagogic methods, thereby raising its profile, increasing attendance – particularly for young people -  and reinforcing its embededness in the local community.

The delivery platform to achieve these objectives centred on a series of on-site workshops, supported by on-line networking and knowledge-sharing, and supplemented by events, involving local creative media groups and businesses. Figure 3 summarises the programme. The programme incorporated four main learning modules:

  • Module 1: Music, sound and radio. The aim was to create an online podcast/radio station using Soundcloud. The activities involved: introduction to podcasting, introduction to music production, DJing with Ableton Live, introduction to Foley (sound effects for film), recording techniques and audio editing. The ICT tools used were Audacity, Logic, Ableton, Soundcloud, Zoom recorders,
  • Module 2: Film and animation. The aim was to create an online TV station. The activities involved: introduction to filming, online animation, video editing, using media sharing sites and embedding clips from YouTube and Vimeo. The ICT tools used were iMovie, GoAnimate!, YouTube, Vimeo, handycams.
  • Module 3: Journalism and photography. The aim was to create an online magazine using the NING blog. The activities involved: introduction to journalism, blogging and photography, interview techniques, media sharing. The ICT tools used were Tumblr, NING, Flickr Zoom recorders, digital cameras, mobile phones
  • Module 4: New creative technologies. The aim was to explore new creative technologies and share ideas on the NING network. The activities involved: building networked instruments using sensors, motion tracking and Wii controllers. The ICT tools used were Wii remotes and other games controllers, Microsoft Kinect, Max/MSP.





Figure 3: LINKS-UP programme at Wandsworth Museum

However, despite intensive publicity and promotion, involving the distribution of ‘flyers’ within local neighbourhoods; the involvement of the Council Youth Services Co-ordinator and the Youth Offending Team, as well as local schools, only three participants registered for the programme– one young person referred through the youth offending team by the Council, and two young people referred through the Putney Arts Centre. Although it was hoped that more young people would turn up at the programme launch – as a result of the publicity campaign – only one arrived and the rest of the programme was cancelled.

The main factors leading to the lack of success of this second phase of the pilot experiment can be summarized as follows:

•       No established links between the museum and local young people of secondary school age

•       Not enough support for museum staff, lack of funds and resources meant they had little time to devote to the project and did not take ownership

•       No buy-in from community leaders

•       Young people ‘hard to engage’ during summer holidays

•       More time could have been dedicated to building links with schools and targeting pupils on the inclusion register

The following feedback from the partners involved in the experiment illustrate these issues:

Council youth services co-ordinator:

Whilst two workers recommended young people who would benefit from the workshop, getting them to commit proved difficult.”

Youth Offending Team Worker:

“It’s a real shame because it would have been perfect for him. X is very hard to engage but he has a background in graphic design and would have been interested in these subjects.”

Parent:

Am stunned that there wasn’t enough interest!... The course contents looked really dynamic and up-to-date. Please do keep me informed of any similar future events you may have planned in Wandsworth.”

The Museum staff:

The project was innovative and exciting and the education team at the museum were extremely keen to become involved in the Links Up Project. The target audience of teenagers are notoriously hard to engage with and sadly on this occasion the project did not get the take up we would have wished for. Despite this we would love to work on similar projects in the future as this is an age group the museum would love to reach out to.”

Phase 3

The third phase of the experiment involved a partnership with Oasis Academy, Hadley, located in Enfield, in the North of London.  The Hadley Youth Centre is an informal youth group for young people in the Enfield area, run by the Oasis Academy Hadley and based in the school premises. Oasis is a large organisation, which runs several schools, academies and colleges throughout the UK. A distinguishing feature of the organisation is its focus on ‘Christian values’. The organisation uses some ICTs and Web 2.0 in its activities and has good ties with the local community.

The target group for the initiative is “Young people aged 11 – 19 years old from the community surrounding Oasis Academy Hadley. The community is described as deprived, with many low income families. We work with a broad range of young people, some who have special educational needs and some with challenging behaviour.”

Enfield is one of the most highly deprived Outer London boroughs, though moderately deprived in the context of London and England. It has been ranked 104th most deprived out of the 354 local authority areas in England. However, there are significant pockets of extreme deprivation and poverty, particularly in the East of the borough, shown in red in Figure 4.

Three other distinguishing features of the profile of Enfield were of particular interest to LINKS-UP: the large youth population; the diverse cultural mix, and the educational profile. Firstly, Enfield has a large population of both 0-14s in comparison to the rest of London. Secondly, it has significant concentrations of Turkish, Cypriot, Bangladeshi and Caribbean. The top five (non-English) languages spoken by Enfield school pupils are Turkish, Greek, Bengali, Somali and Gujerati. This mix is to some extent connected with an issue that has been seen by police and other agencies working in the borough to have escalated in recent years – the problem of youth gangs. A report published by a Council-led Youth Panel in 2009 concluded that gang violence was connected to the murder of five young people in the Borough the previous year, and that there was a "considerable perceptive fear of 'gangs' and their relationship to the deaths". It said that many young people saw gangs as "a serious concern in their daily lives" and that a significant proportion "accepted violence as commonplace". Although ethnicity per se was not seen to be directly linked to gang violence, the main factor dictating membership of gangs is ‘post-code’, i.e. the area where young people live, which in turn reflects spatial differentiation in ethnicity.  Thirdly, Enfield scores lower than average in educational performance.  The latest available figures show that 52.0% of pupils in Enfield gained 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C,compared to 53.7% in England.





Figure 4: Scores on Index of Deprivation, Enfield

Another key, though unexpected, factor that influenced the LINKS-UP involvement in  Oasis Hadley was the London riots that occurred in August 2011. Enfield one of the worst affected areas in London. The riots were going on at the same time as the pilot experiment. The Youth Centre had been targeted, and windows were  smashed.   One of the most serious incidents was the burning down of Sony’s main DVD and CD distribution centre – a 20,000 square metre warehouse adjacent to Oasis Enfield, sister school of Oasis Hadley. In Figure 5, which shows some of the young people who participated in the LINKS-UP programme, the smoke from the blaze can be clearly seen. The young people were worried about rumours that rioters would be targeting and ‘burning down’ schools next, or that Oasis Enfield would catch fire from the Sony fire. Some of the participants knew of friends or acquaintances who were involved in looting and rioting. So, one the hand, the riots provided a rich source of material for exploring issues around social exclusion and other topics. But on the other, they affected the smooth operation of the experiment, causing some disruption to scheduled activities.

Figure 5: Oasis Hadley participants

2. The LINKS-UP pilot at Oasis Hadley

Building on the Wandsworth approach, the main objective of the Oasis Hadley pilot was to apply the LINKS-UP learning approach and Learning 2.0 tools to add value to the programmes being delivered at Oasis Hadley.  The programme was similarly organised around a set of modules aimed at:

  • familiarising participants with using advanced Web 2.0 and media  tools
  • building up their skills in the use of these tools through practical exercises
  • increasing their acquisition and use of associated skills – including team-working; planning; problem-solving; social skills
  • contributing to increasing their social inclusion, through increasing self-confidence, social interaction and empowerment
  • supporting further learning and job market prospects

The Web 2.0 and media tools used were:

•       NING. This was used as the main platform for the pilot. It was chosen for its social networking functionalities and options to customize. It was used to present and share podcasts, videos and other work, support discussion and learning activities.

•       tumblr. This was initially used as a gateway to explain the project to prospective participants and their parents, provide information on the workshops and how to sign up, and to promote the project.

•       Soundcloud. Soundcloud was used to publish the podcasts and audio work, eg. Radio jingle, interviews, etc.. It was chosen as it is the most established community for sound, music. The Soundcloud channel attracted a ‘follower’ instantly, and enabled young people to see that others were listening to what they had to say.

•       vimeo. Vimeo is a creative community for high-quality video content, the equivalent of Soundcloud for video. It was used to host video clips for embedding into the NING site.

The programme focused on initial hands-on instruction of the tools. The skills learned were then applied in a series of tasks the participants were asked to do. These involved:

  • signing up to the Ning platform
  • designing and carrying out media assignments (interviews; a radio jungle; a short video; a live radio show; a podcast)
  • using the Ning platform to up-load and share the content created.

A lot of the content created focused on the riots that, as noted above, were happening as the programme was being delivered. The content produced included:

  • A series of broadcast radio debates on the riots (Figure 6)
  • A ‘video bank’ consisting mainly of interviews (Figure 7)
  • The ‘learning resources’ database, housed on the Ning platform (Figure 8)
  • Media content for external agencies - including a BBC Radio 4 interview with the local newspaper (Figure 9)

 

 

Figure 6: Radio debates Figure 7: the ‘video bank’




Figure 8: The learning resources database

Figure 9: Working with the media at large

3. Evaluation of the pilot

3.1 Evaluation approach

In line with the overall LINKS-UP  evaluation methodology and plan, the Oasis Hadley programme included an evaluation focusing primarily on assessing outcomes and impacts, with particular attention to the ‘value added’ contributed to the initiative as a result of collaboration with LINKS-UP. The methodology included:

  • A Focus Group with 8 participating young people (covering: participant profiles and aspirations; previous experience of using ICs and Web 2.0; experiences of involvement in the pilot; perceptions of outcomes and impacts; issues encountered and suggestions for improvement)
  • In-depth interviews with the Youth Development Worker, one of the programme workshop ‘mentors’ and a visiting journalist (covering Expectations of the pilot workshops; approach taken and rationale behind it; expected outcomes and impacts; how the plan was implemented, including problems encountered; perceptions of outcomes and impacts)
  • Self-administered questionnaire completed by 6 participating young people
  • Statistical analysis of platform and tools utilisation
  • Observation of participants use of the platform and tools

3.2          Participation

20 young people had signed up for the workshop, but only a core  group of 6 young people attended all of the workshops, with 12  participants attending at least once.

The platform utilization data are shown in Figures 10 to 12, for the duration of the pilot over six weeks from 1st August until 16th September .

Figure 10: Platform utilization, Weeks 1-2

Figure 11: Platform utilization, Weeks 3-4


Figure 12: Platform utilization, Weeks 5-6

Figures 10 to 12 show that there was an initial period, at the ‘instruction’ phase of the programme, when there was a high level of participant engagement. This was driven by the active participation of the LINKS-UP team in providing ‘hands-on’ tutelage in the tools and approach, and was supported by a high level of collaboration and interaction between the participants themselves.  Over the ensuing period, however, as the data clearly shows, when the participants were left to themselves, without the involvement of the team; outside the physical environment of the classroom, and with only on-line peer support to drive collaboration, the utilisation of the platform and tools decreased significantly.

The evaluation highlighted variability in the utilisation patterns of the platform and tools within the participant group. This can be explained by two factors. Firstly, the diversity of the group profile. The group was a mixed age group, some participants were as young as 11, whilst others were in the middle of GCSEs and thinking about A Level subjects. Overall, however, the group dynamics worked very well as all of the young people were focussed on creating the podcast and live radio show. Secondly, the range of experience in using Web 2.0 tools. Some participants were already very confident using Web 2.0 tools. All had Facebook accounts and regularly used YouTube for watching videos, over half used Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and some used Twitter. 2 participants used Tumblr for blogging. This influenced their behaviours in using new Web 2.0 tools, e.g. more experienced found it easier to pick up new tools.

3.3 Learning effects

The evaluation of the programme identified four main areas where the LINKS-UP approach made a contribution to learning outcomes:

  • Improving digital literacy
  • Improving transferable skills
  • Increasing social awareness
  • Contributing to labour market prospects

One of the main areas where LINKS-UP showed value added was in supporting programme participants in the acquisition and use of digital skills, particularly ‘higher level’  digital and media skills. As an indication, only a couple of participants were aware of blogging and only 1 participant had heard of podcasting prior to getting involved in the programme. Participants learned how to upload audio and video to Soundcloud and Vimeo and embedding media into other sites. They used Facebook polls to canvas opinion and support debate (areas where they had no existing experience). Most, but not all, participants signed up to and used the NING platform. The programme also supported discussion on how Web 2.0 can support creative work for documentation, presentation and networking, as well as choosing the right tools.

Another important learning outcome identified by the evaluation was in developing transferable skills. The evaluation interviews completed with the Oasis staff and LINKS-UP team suggested that participants had improved in three main areas: teamworking, independence, creativity.  The survey carried out with participants confirmed these findings, and most participants also reported improved confidence and self-esteem.

A third important learning outcome was supporting increased social awareness. There was much discussion and debate about the role of social media in the riots and whether it was exacerbating the situation. The young people mentioned that there were a lot of rumours and untruths circulating on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, which were then picked up by mainstream media. Some participants voiced concern that social media made it easier for rioters to organise themselves, particularly using Facebook and Blackberry Messenger. In this context, participants were able to explore issues around ICTs and their social context which they had not previously considered.

Finally, the evaluation suggested the programme could have a future impact on improving labour market prospects for participants, though this evidence is limited. A concrete outcome of the programme was that the skills learned on the course enabled the young people to achieve an accreditation in radio production. In turn, one young person was encouraged to ask the local reporter at the Enfield Gazette for work experience. The programme was on the whole perceived to have value in getting participants into work in creative and media industries in the future (a field shown by a number of studies to be particularly under-represented for ‘at risk’ and ‘excluded’ youth). As one participant observed:

In terms of this radio course we’re getting an accredited award in radio which will help with our job prospects. I wouldn’t mind going into music, you know, so this could boost my career.

3.4          Inclusion effects

The focus groups, interviews and survey suggested that LINKS-UP had contributed to reducing ‘risk’ of social exclusion in two main ways: firstly, by supporting confidence-building, leading to greater empowerment of the young people, and secondly by reducing social isolation.  One of the main ways in which the programme encouraged confidence-building and empowerment was through its pedagogic approach. This was based on a ‘collaborative co-production’ methodology. The project was youth led, with young people deciding on ideas and content for the live radio show, podcasts and film and workshop leaders and youth workers took on a ‘mentoring’ role. This enabled the participating young people to rationalise, organise, vocalise and present their views on important current events at a crucial time. The pilot experiment succeeded in engaging young people during the riots, and helping them to understand the different aspects of what was happening. The use of Web 2.0 showed them that other people are interested in what they have to say and also helped them to find out what other young people think (for example through designing and implementing a Facebook poll). In turn, participants reported feeling more ‘empowered’ as a result of gaining ‘followers’ on Soundcloud of the debates they had recorded, and views on Vimeo of the videos they had produced.  As a Youth Worker observed:

the young people were so focused on the tasks given and enjoyed using the media equipment. They were also keen to record their opinions and get involved in the blogging.

This had a ‘multiplier effect’ in that it gave them the confidence to interview local residents, youth workers, adults and other young people, as they could see the outcome of their work. Moreover, they were also able speak to the media about their opinions, including participating in a BBC Radio interview, which gave them confidence in public speaking.

The evaluation suggested that the programme had helped to reduce feelings of social isolation in two ways. Firstly, by involving them in collaborative working, which involved a high level of team-working and social interaction, participants reported that, as a result of getting involved in the programme, they found it easier to work with people they didn’t already know. As one participant put it:

“I feel I have become more confident and can work with people without finding it too difficult.”

Involvement in the programme also fostered inclusion in a broader societal context. One of the most positive outcomes of the workshops was that participants were able to get their voices heard at a time – in the middle of the worst rioting seen in English cities for thirty years - where the mainstream media were, in general, presenting young people in a negative light.  They were able to do this through Web 2.0 on the Soundcloud podcast and Vimeo channel, and also through traditional media, as the participants felt confident enough to speak about their views on national radio (BBC Radio 4) and in the local press (The Enfield Gazette).  As a visiting Reporter observed:

As I entered one of the youngsters was being interviewed by their peers about the riots and their response was being played throughout the building.

3.5          Innovation and institutional effects

One of the LINKS-UP objectives, and a key research question for the project, was to assess the extent to which ‘Learning 2.0’ was associated with changes in the institutional structure and process of the educational enterprise – for example whether the introduction of Web 2.0 is associated with a shift from traditional ‘didactic’ methods of teaching and learning to more collaborative and ‘transformative’ teaching and learning.  On the whole, it was not possible to explore these issues in any great depth. There was a clear objective in Wandsworth to transform the operational approach of the museum from a transmissive to an interactive learning organisation, and this objective was valued by staff. However, because the pilot was not successfully implemented, there were no institutional changes to be assessed.  In the case of Oasis Hadley, the timeframe of the pilot was too short to detect aspects of organisational change. However, the pilot introduced some new uses for Web 2.0 which complement Oasis Hadley’s existing inclusion policy. Staff at Oasis are very aware of new developments in technology. The organisation already uses social media – including Facebook and Twitter - as a way of engaging with young people and promoting its activities to a wider audience. There is some evidence that youth workers at Hadley Youth Centre are now more likely to use Facebook more often as a way of staying in touch with young people (as well as by mobile phone). Youth workers stated that they would be keen to incorporate Web 2.0 and creative media into future projects:

The young people are more likely to continue attending the youth centre project, engaging in positive activities and will be keen to focus on a media project in future holiday activities.

3.6          Main challenges identified

The evaluation highlighted the following main challenges encountered by the pilot experiment:

  • Low turnout. As noted above, 20 young people had signed up for the workshop, but only a core  group of 6 young people attended all of the workshops, with 12 participants attending at least once. This is mainly attributable to: low motivation generally; reluctance to attend ‘educational’ activities in vacation time; insufficient time available for promotion and marketing.
  • Time constraints. Due to the riots, local headteachers were advised to close schools early and the workshops were only allowed to run until 3pm, which meant a loss of two hours a day
  • Access to ICT. The time constraints also contributed to less access to ICT. There was not enough time to set up equipment and for two of the sessions the programme had to move to an alternative location where there was no wifi/ethernet access.
  • Low level of ‘intermediary’ support. There was not enough ‘buy-in’ from the youth workers, which made it difficult to successfully integrate into the workshop programme.
  • Sustainability. Participants were interested in the NING platform, (especially seeing their work published and being able to discuss it) but there was not enough time dedicated to using the platform and they did not take ownership of it which would allow it to continue after the workshop.

4.        Key success factors and lessons learned

They key success factors identified by the pilot experience, including the two unsuccessful phases, and the transferable lessons and ‘good practices’ that were learned can be summarized as follows:

•       Institutional buy-in is essential for success. In the case of ‘FreqOUT’, the withdrawal of a key contact in the organization effectively led to the abandonment of the pilot. In the case of Wandsworth Museum, despite extensive promotion and publicity locally, the involvement of key institutional actors within the local Council, and the enthusiasm of Museum staff, lack of funds and resources meant that Museum staff had little time to devote to the project and did not take ownership.

•       The participation of intermediaries is essential for success. In the case of Wandsworth, initial interest from community leaders (e.g. the migrant workers group, the Somali network, the youth worker at South Thames College) was short-term and they did not engage with the project due to ‘lack of time’. This led to loss of contact with core groups of prospective participants.

•       ‘Learning 2.0’ tools and pedagogic methods work best when they are relevant to users’ everyday lives. In the case of Oasis Hadley, the severe losses to property and livelihoods associated with the London riots were to some extent LINKS-UP’s gain, since they provided a powerful focus for participants to work with.

•       A ‘collaborative co-production’ methodology is a more effective way of maximizing learning outcomes in ‘Web 2.0 for inclusive learning’. When participants are allowed to participate equally with ‘mentors’ in designing and managing their teaching and learning process, it supports confidence-building and empowerment.

•       ICT can only produce limited results on its own. To be most effective, Web 2.0 tools need to be embedded within a ‘practice-based’ and ‘action learning’ approach, which allows for ‘double loop learning’. A ‘blended learning’ method – for example, blending on-line with face-to-face creative workshops, is particularly effective in promoting positive learning outcomes.

•       Using ‘Learning 2.0’ with ‘at risk’ groups requires a ‘scaffolded learning’ approach. Users work much better when they are supported by ‘hand-holding’ from mentors in the initial period, when they need to acclimatize to the new environment.

•       Users become more motivated, and report greater benefits, in terms of learning and inclusion outcomes, if their efforts are rewarded through some form of accreditation.

 

5. Pilot Profile and Evaluation Summary

This final section presents the summary of the pilot, following the template provided in the LINKS-UP Methodology Guidelines.

LINKS UP London Pilot

Pilot Name: Future Now! (Oasis Hadley)

SECTION A

1. Overall Pilot Description

Name

Countries covered

User groups and number of users

Learning sector (school; higher; adult etc)

Learning scenario (on-line; school-based; work etc)


Future Now!/Oasis Hadley


UK


20


Secondary school


Local youth group and online

Brief summary of experiment (what it aims to do)

The London LINKSUP pilot aimed to deliver a series of summer workshops for young people to develop their skills in creative media and offer advice on making the most of social networking and other Web 2.0 tools for creative practice

How is initiative funded

LINKSUP, Enfield Council

Data on costs/cost effectiveness

No data

Duration of initiative and current status

June – September 2011

Stakeholders/partners involved

Arcola Research, Wandsworth Museum, Hadley Youth Centre

2. Innovation features

Technological

Pedagogic

Organisational

Economic

Social

Mix of ‘standard’ web 2.0 with media tools

Co-production collaborative learning

Learners involved on equal footing with ‘trainers’ (who acted as mentors)

None

Community-based initiative

Brief summary of why this experiment is innovative

Used innovative ‘blended learning’ approach involving higher-level digital skills acquisition and ‘co-production’ model of collaborative learning.

3. Technology features

Delivery platform

Web 2.0 tools

Non Web 2.0 tools

Learning technologies

Collaboration tools

NING site with media platform for video, photos and audio, forum, chat, blog and social network

NING, Vimeo, Soundcloud, Tumblr,

Facebook

Audio recorders

Handycam

Mac laptops

Microphones and radio broadcasting equipment

NING

NING social network, blog, media sharing sites

Brief summary of distinguishing technological features

Integration of several Web 2.0 platforms for documenting, presenting and sharing creative work.

4. Learning features

Learning approach/model (e.g. blended; transmissive; constructivist)

Learning scenario (how is learning delivered)

Learning content

Intended learning outcomes

Learner engagement (e.g. tutors; mentors)

Blended learning approach, constructivist

Online tutorials (NING site) and workshop sessions. Discussion, debate, peer learning.

Radio and film production, podcasting, blogging, using the most appropriate Web 2.0 tools for creative media: documentation, presentation and peer review.

To learn basic skills in running an online and live radio show

To structure and record interviews/ debates

To gain confidence speaking into a mic and to camera

To run a radio show and TV station with a group of peers

To be inspired to create own media projects at home

The workshops were youth-led, with participants deciding on the content and output.

Workshop leaders acted as mentors, guiding and supporting learning, rather than using traditional teaching methods.

There was an emphasis on collaboration and peer learning.

5. Skills focus

Conventional e- skills taught

Innovative e-skills taught

Technical/transferable skills taught

‘Soft skills’ (e.g. citizenship)

Labour market skills

The focus was on Web 2.0 skills, but there was some use of word processing and Internet searching

Embedding Web 2.0 media across different platforms, blogging, podcasting, media literacy

Media literacy, Web 2.0 skills

Citizenship, social interaction

Teamworking, management, leadership, time management

6. Web 2.0 features

How is Web 2.0 used to support learning?

How is collaboration supported?

What kind of collaborative learning happens?

What role does user play in collaboration?

What outputs are produced by collaboration?

Web 2.0 elements are integrated into the whole workshop series, from discussions on the blog, chat and forum, to the use of Soundcloud and Vimeo to publish and share creative work. Presentation, documentation, discussion and collaboration.

Through use of Web 2.0 tools to encourage social interaction.

Each participant decided on which role to take on, (eg. Director, editor, producer) and these roles were rotated so each participant encouraged others to take part.

The use of NING for social networking encourages collaborative learning online,  reflecting the ‘realworld’ teamworking and collaboration which was necessary to effectively produce the live radio show. Facebook was also used so participants could collaborate with young people who were not present at the Youth Centre during the workshops.

Participants actively collaborated on all aspects of the project.

They worked together to create content for the podcasts and radio show.

Podcasts, live radio show, film

7. Learning outcomes

What outputs are produced?

What learning outcomes can be identified?

What impacts on individuals can be identified?

What wider impacts can be identified? (e.g. on community; social capital)

What unforeseen/negative impacts can be identified?

Podcasts and Soundcloud radio channel

Film and Vimeo channel

Live radio

Project booklet

Documentary film

Pedagogic model and content modules

i) Improved digital and media literacy, particularly higher level e-skills,

ii) citizenship skills

iii) journalistic skills

iv) creativity and documentation

v) improved speaking and listening skills

vi) accreditation in radio production

Confidence

Social interaction and teamworking

Opportunity to get their voice heard

Opportunity to build CV and consider a ‘creative’ career

Work experience with local press


Contribution to raising public awareness about anti-social behaviour, rioting and young peoples’ perspective


Increased motivation and participation in learning activities at the youth centre


Contribution to expanding horizons and aspirations of young people

Lack of engagement by community leaders.

Youth officers more interested in creative media than Web 2.0 aspects of the project.

8. Inclusion scenario

Excluded groups targeted

Exclusion aspects addressed

Inclusion objectives

Inclusion scenario (how users are engaged)

How Web 2.0 used to promote inclusion

NEETs, young people with SEN, young people with low educational attainment, behavioural problems, migrant youth

Engage marginalised young people in learning through creative media

Improve low attainment and labour market prospects


Improve confidence and self-esteem


Empowerment through web 2,0 tools

Blended e-learning environment

Encouraging collaboration

Increasing self-confidence and self-efficacy

Cognitive social-learning methods (peer reinforcement of tasks)

Brief summary of how initiative promotes inclusion

The Youth Centre is based in an area of multiple deprivation, with many low income families. The profile of young people who visit the centre is very broad and some learners have SEN or present challenging behaviour. The initiative sought to foster an inclusive and creative environment, where all young people were engaged in learning through media and Web 2.0.

9. Inclusion outcomes

What specific outputs are produced to support inclusion?

What inclusion outcomes can be identified?

What impacts on individuals can be identified?

What wider impacts can be identified? (e.g. on community; social capital)

What unforeseen/negative impacts can be identified?

Interactive Learning 2.0 tools and methods to support co-production of knowledge.

Modular teaching and learning content.

Improved image of young people in the community.

Reduced ‘risk’ of parrticipants

Increased confidence; empowerment; social skills; public speaking; social interaction

Not enough evidence

None









 

Pilot evaluation summary

Pilot research questions

Sub-questions

Conclusions and Evidence

Does web 2.0 facilitate the social appropriation of technology and digital inclusion?

How and to what extent users have participated to the implementation of the experiment?


How participant have used the web 2.0 tools?

•       The project was youth led, with young people deciding on ideas and content for the live radio show, podcasts and film

•       Workshop leaders and youth workers took on a ‘mentoring’ role

•       They learned how to upload audio and video to Soundcloud and Vimeo and embedding media into other sites

•       Facebook polls to canvas opinion and support debate

•       Most, but not all, participants signed up to and used the NING platform

•       Discussion on how Web 2.0 can support creative work for documentation, presentation and networking, as well as choosing the right tools


What factors explain the different reactions/behaviours among participants? (eg age, gender, cultural background, socioeconomic status, digital skills etc.)

•       The group was a mixed age group, some participants were as young as 11, whilst others were in the middle of GCSEs and thinking about A Level subjects. Overall, however, the group dynamics worked very well as all of the young people were focussed on creating the podcast and live radio show.

•       Range of experience using Web 2.0 tools: Some participants were already very confident using Web 2.0 tools. All had Facebook accounts and regularly used YouTube for watching videos, over half used Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and some used Twitter. 2 participants used Tumblr for blogging. This influenced their behaviours in using new Web 2.0 tools, e.g. more experienced found it easier to pick up new tools


Are there differences between the way in which the use and objectives of the web 2.0 was originally designed and the way in which it was actually appropriated and used by the participants?

•       Unfortunately the young people did not use the NING platform as envisaged.

•       There simply wasn’t enough time to get buy-in from the youth workers or the young people.

•        They did not engage with the site as much as expected and therefore did not take ownership/ invite other young people to view their work.

•       Unexpectedly, the most successful Web 2.0 element was the Facebook poll to canvas opinion for the debate - participants really saw a lot of value in this activity.


What are the outcomes and impacts associated with the use of Web 2.0 for inclusive learning?

What have been the benefits for them, in terms of supporting inclusion; developing ICT skills; developing other skills; supporting learning and labour market participation?

•       Improved ICT and creative media skills – using industry-standard music programs such as Logic, to make a jingle, as well as learning how to use free software such as Audacity to put the podcast together

•       Recording, audio effects (reverb, compression, etc), filming, live radio (production and presenting)

•       Improved Web 2.0 skills – social networking, as well as encountering and using more ‘specialist’ Web 2.0 tools such as Soundcloud and Vimeo – also learning to work across Web 2.0 platforms to embed and link to content (eg. embedding a Soundcloud player in a website, embedding Vimeo and YouTube clips in the Video section of the NING site)

•       Developing other skills – teamworking, independence, creativity.  Most participants also reported improved confidence and self-esteem

•       Supporting learning – the skills learned on the course enabled the young people to achieve an accreditation in radio production

•       Labour market participation – improving prospects in creative careers. One young person was encouraged to ask the local reporter at the Enfield Gazette for work experience

•       “Something to do!” – A positive experience during the riots, safe place for young people to get their voices heard and “keep off the streets” (quote from workshop participant)

•       Overall, the workshops helped them to rationalise, organise, vocalise and present their views on important current events at a crucial time. Able to engage young people during the riots, and help them to understand the different aspects of what was happening

•       The use of Web 2.0 showed them that other people are interested in what they have to say – empowering (eg. Soundcloud followers, views on Vimeo) and also helped them to find out what other young people think (Facebook poll)

•       This gave them the confidence to interview local residents, youth workers, adults and other young people, as they could see the outcome of their work

•       They were also able speak to media about their opinions, BBC Radio 4 and the Enfield Gazette. (see Powerpoint)


Do the experiment and the outcomes produce an impact in terms of institutional and organisational change? How the decision makers have reacted to this new situation?

  • There was a clear objective in Wandsworth to transform the operational approach of the museum from a transmissive to an interactive learning organisation but this was not possible due to the factors above.
  • The timeframe of the pilot at Hadley Youth was too short to encourage organisational change.
  • Some evidence that youth workers will use Web 2.0 more extensively.
  • Some evidence that this kind of ‘blended learning’ will be tried in the future

Have the innovations introduced by the experiment amplified and/or specified the potential effects in terms of social inclusion if compared with the previous situation/previous approach?

•       The pilot introduced some new uses for Web 2.0 which complement Oasis Hadley’s existing inclusion policy. Staff at Oasis are very aware of new developments in technology. The organisation already uses social media as a way of engaging with young people and promoting its activities to a wider audience – use of Facebook and Twitter

•       Youth workers at Hadley Youth Centre already use Facebook as a way of staying in touch with young people – (as well as by mobile phone)

•       They showed some interest in the platform and were positive about the potential of Web 2.0 for inclusion, but did not dedicate much time to it during the workshops.

•       Youth Development Officer: “The young people are more likely to continue attending the youth centre project, engaging in positive activities and will be keen to focus on a media project in future holiday activities.”

What can be learned from the use of Web 2.0 to support inclusive earning?

What problems have been encountered and how have they been addressed?

Lack of institutional buy-in.

Low involvement of intermediaries (in first phases).

Not enough time.

What success factors can be identified in relation to outcomes and impacts?

•       Institutional buy-in is essential.

•       The participation of intermediaries is essential.

•       ‘Learning 2.0’ tools and pedagogic methods work best when they are relevant to users’ everyday lives.

•       A ‘collaborative co-production’ methodology is a more effective way of maximizing learning outcomes.

•       To be most effective, Web 2.0 tools need to be embedded within a ‘practice-based’ and ‘action learning’ approach, which allows for ‘double loop learning’.

•       Using ‘Learning 2.0’ with ‘at risk’ groups requires a ‘scaffolded learning’ approach

•       Users efforts need to be rewarded through some form of accreditation.


What are the main indications to support future policy and initiatives in this field?

Support for intermediaries.

Skills for trainers and mentors.

Support community ownership and investment in community-based initiatives.




Characteristics

Keywords
Country United Kingdom

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