UKGovCamp happened on Saturday at the second time of asking and I think it went rather well. Take a look at the chatter on Twitter or the photos on Flickr and make your own mind up.
The mixture of attendees – government folk, suppliers, activists and the merely curious – and the relaxed atmosphere seem to create an environment that enables conversations to flow, and ideas to be exchanged.
Every year there is much talk about what happens next. Where are the outcomes? What are the measurable outputs of the event? What projects happened that wouldn’t have done if we hadn’t all met up?
Usually my answer is simply that I don’t care. It’s not about what happens next, it’s about what happens on the day and that’s it – what follows is up to individuals and self organised groups, if they want to. There should be any pressure to actually do anything. Seriously!
But often times, people do want to know what’s next. They enjoy GovCamp and want work to be like it all the time! I don’t blame them.
Of course, how you get open, collaborative working practices going within a large organisation is jolly tricky and the answers probably won’t be found in a blog post. However, start small and you can achieve great things. So, the most obvious thing to do, I think, is to run your own GovCamp.
It doesn’t have to be big or too wide ranging. It could just be your team or department. Or open things up a bit more by running a place based event that brings together public servants with businesses, civil sector organisations and individuals. The important thing is not to feel you have to replicate GovCamp, but to run an appropriately scaled event that meets the needs and culture of your organisation and of course your resources too.
SchoolofDigital is bringing together something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now – effective online training that brings together the advantages of e-learning with the benefits of face to face training.
It’s a hard nut to crack, but with some of the experiments I’ve been running recently with Steve Dale, David Wilcox and others; and following the online learning thought leadership of the likes of Donald Clark, I think I’ve come up with the best balance.
Hence SchoolofDigital – which is where I’ll be running courses on innovating online, by using innovative online delivery methods. The key elements are:
asynchronous – learners don’t have to be in the same place at the same time
social and personal – as well as shared resources, content and discussion areas, learners get one to one support from the course facilitator
responsive – because this isn’t a pre-prepared day long course, there is the opportunity for content to be created to meet the specific needs of delegates as they arise
Here’s a quick summary of how that course will work:
The course consists of eight lessons, which last for a week each. Total learner time per lesson is around an hour, which they can do in one chunk or spread throughout the week – it is entirely up to them. The idea is to provide a social, asynchronous learning environment where the learner can access materials and get involved at a time that suits them, within the framework of a weekly lesson format. We do as little synchronised activity as possible, to make things as flexible as we can.
Support is provided both to the group as a whole, with discussion and sharing of experience and knowledge encouraged; and privately through email or telephone discussion between the course facilitator and learners.
Each lesson will include some or all of the following elements:
An introductory video introducing the topic and explaining some details
Downloadable templates, resources, guides and case studies
Links to further reading and case studies
Interviews with practitioners
Screencast demos of how to perform certain actions
Learner discussion areas
One to one private email or telephone support
Additional content in response to queries and requests
Assignments to practice learning
The eight lessons in this course are:
Introductions, objectives, how the course and the platform works
What is digital engagement and what defines success?
Strategies for successful digtial engagement
Other tools and techniques
Skills and roles
Bringing it all together
The course is suitable for people already comfortable with the internet and social media, and who want to take their use of these tools to the next level in terms of meeting personal or organisational objectives.