Exploring Open Data

One of the reasons the Practical Participation blog has been so quiet of late is that I’ve been immersed in a full time MSc Course at the Oxford Internet Institute, where my recently shared dissertation focussed on Open Data from government.

Over the coming months I hope to explore how best Practical Participation can offer support to local authorities, government agencies, community groups and enterprises who are interested in understanding how to share or use open data, particularly uses of data with an impact for civic engagement.

Look out for more soon – but if you’re interested in talking right now about open data and what it could mean for your organisation, you are more than welcome to get in touch.

Two opportunities to explore social media & work with young people

[Summary: Two day course, and six-month action learning set on social media in youth work and youth participation] (Reposted from Tim’s Blog)

Getting started with digital youth work, or with using digital tools in youth participation, can seem daunting to many. It’s not enough to just talk about how digital skills are essential assets needed in the youth-serving workforce, or to point to tools and approaches that professionals should be using. Training opportunities, capacity building, and ongoing action learning to inform that training are all needed. Which is why I’m really pleased that 2010 will see the return of two key opportunities.

1) Social Media and Youth Participation Action Learning Set

Building on the Action Learning Set I co-facilitated last year, this six-month (one meeting a month) action learning supports participants who are working to increase their own organizations engagement with social media. Through expert inputs, workshops and shared action learning projects with peers – the action learning set aims to develop the skills of individuals, and the capacity of organizations, to engage with social media in youth participation.

Last year’s set resulted in a printed and online guide; and supported a wide range of local projects – ranging from those focussing on social media and youth engagement around commissioning, to projects supporting the use of social networks to engage young people in care in decision making.

You can find out more about this year’s action learning set (first session taking place at the end of January) and details of how to book in this flyer: Social Media and Youth Participation Action Learning Set

2) Two-day training for Youth Work Professionals

After a successful pilot, Katie Bacon will be leading a number of two-day trainings in 2010, on ‘Social Media for Youth Work Professionals’. Katie & I have developed the course together, and initially we’ll be running a number of sessions in partnership with LECP Training.

This two-day training is designed to support youth professionals from a wide range of backgrounds to develop their understanding of social media and how to use it as a tool in their work. Including hands-on activities to learn to use different social media tools – it’s a practical training that grounds the use of social media tools in professional values and practices.

You can read about the pilot training day in this reflective blog post from trainer Katie Bacon, and keep an eye on the LECP Training network for details of when the public course dates are announced (join the network to get training alerts).

We’re also exploring how this training might be offered as in-service training in individual local authorities, or offered on a regional basis – so if you might be interested in having Katie and/or I come to train with your service/region, then do get in touch.

I’m also hopeful that 2010 will bring the completion of a couple more digital youth work resources I’ve been working on. More on that some other time…

Creating a Right Space

Update: Booking form now available for 26th October 2010 Event: Book here.

A new project in partnership between Practical Participation, Investing in Children, Durham and the Centre for Social Action, De Montfort University.

Totally Draft LogoIn times of political, social and economic change how do we hold onto the progress that has been made to promote social justice for young people? How do we deepen the practice of listening to and involving young people in dialogue that leads to change? As organisational structures shift and practitioners are working in more challenging environments –  how can we create space for children, young people, practitioners and managers to reflect and learn together?

These are some of the questions we want to explore through a new project in 2010 in partnership with Investing in Children and the Centre for Social Action at De Montfort University – and involving a wider community of practice of people involved in work with children and young people.

The project will have its own online presence at soon, but to get discussions started, take a look at the two video clips below from Liam Cairns and Bill Badham, and use the comments below to share your reflections on the issues discussed.

We look forward to more dialogue with you in the RightSpace in 2010.

Liam Cairns discussing Children’s Human rights

Bill Badham on key themes for RightSpace


Emerging on the web

The previous one page site.

The previous one page site.

Somewhat ironically, for most of it’s existence, Practical Participation hasn’t had much of a website of it’s own.

We’ve been busy interacting right across the web – but our own site was a little neglected.

But as the Practical Participation team changes – with Tim stepping back for a year of full time study at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Bill Badham joining as co-director to drive forward all things youth participation and children’s rights, we thought it was time to get a web presence properly up and running.

So, here it is.

Part about us. Part portfolio. But most of all, through this blog, a space where we hope to share useful and practical ideas and resources, and constructive critical thought.