Teach us a Lesson

I’ve been working with BIS and Becta quite a bit recently on the Learning Revolution project, which is all about improving access to informal adult learning – that is, learning which doesn’t generally mean a qualification. So, stuff like book groups, choirs, yoga classes, basic computer skills. That sort of thing.

One part of this project was helping to manage the delivery of a DirectGov hosted website, ably put together by the Dextrous Web team, which provided an interactive calendar and map for the Festival of Learning throughout October. It’s a lovely looking site with a load of interesting features. We also have been running an online community, on good old Ning, for providers of this type of learning to get together and share knowledge and information.

But there remains a question over how a national, permanent directory of informal learning might work, and what it would look like. To try and find out, Becta have launched a competition, called Teach us a Lesson.

It’s based on Show us a Better Way, and allows ideas to be submitted from anybody. These will be vetted for filth and stupidity, before going live on the site, and other users will be able to comment and rate them.

As the ideas flow in, we’ll be organising an unconference in November, to get everyone together to connect and collaborative on ideas that fit well together. After that, the best projects will be judged, with a pot of £25,000 being split amongst up to five projects, so that prototypes can be delivered by March 2010 at the latest.

If you have any ideas on how such a directory might work – which could be anything from “I think it ought to be blue!” to “I know the SQL syntax we need to make this work” (I know, I know, I haven’t a clue what I’m talking about…) – then do submit them into the site and be a part of this exciting initiative.

Social reporting at All Together Now

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, as a gang of folk from DIUS‘s engagement team (led ably by Steph) and I will be spending the day reporting from the All Together Now event in London.

Hosted by Channel 4, DIUS and BECTA, the event’s convener, Steve Moore says:

the focus of this event is not specifically about next media or future technology it is instead focused on what people – particularly young people – are doing now with the tools and platforms that exist NOW! In my view the scaffolding has come down. We are the tools to connect with millions of people, access to most of our accumulated knowledge with two clicks of a mouse and ability to give voice publicly to our thoughts and ideas without permission. The egalitarian ideals that drove the development of networked computing that helped foster the internet and helped created the Web have now been matched by an infrastructure of massively popular technologies. Altogether Now resolutely focuses on what people are doing with these new affordances, how they bringing themselves and their peers into experiments in what is possible and all of this is happening now. It is teenagers that are at forefront of these developments. It is students who are pioneering and making amazing stuff so this event is about watching, listening to what is happening out there right now. Participatory culture is alive, vibrant and it’s implications are at once profound and present.

It should be a great day. We are going to be videoing, photographing, twittering and blogging away like nobody’s business, and all the results will (wifi permitting) be published on the event’s social network as soon as we can.

All together now

You are of course welcome to join the network and add your stuff, or if you prefer working in your own space, just tag your content with atn09 and we’ll pick it up.