Digitally Agile Scotland Seminar
Mind Waves attended the Digitally Agile Scotland seminar on 29 March, at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow. We joined a host of community organisations to share ideas about how we can use social media effectively. Thirty delegates took part in a mix of team discussions and talks, throughout a packed day. The event highlighted the crucial role that digital tools play now, in community engagement.
The event began with a presentation from Derek Robertson, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning to Education Scotland. He demonstrated a range of digital resources that community initiatives can use to reach a wider audience. Using some excellent web and video examples, to illustrate his points, Derek also covered some reasons why digital agility will become an increasingly important skill for us.
Perhaps his most effective video captured an infant using an iPad. With a natural affinity, the child could touch and swipe the screen, play games and view stories. When her tablet was substituted for a magazine though, we saw her become confused and frustrated. Why did its pictures fail to animate under her fingers, as she now expected?
Derek invited us to imagine how in tune with technology that child will be, by the time she is a teenager. Community groups will need to adapt, if we hope to engage her, at that age.
The seminar was part of a wider research initiative that will also include a skills survey, case studies and a literature review. The Scottish Community Development Centre, YouthLink Scotland and Learning Link Scotland are working in partnership to deliver the Digitally Agile Project which aims:
“To provide Scottish Government, Education Scotland [and partners] with a picture of current practice and skills in the sector and the…enablers to be put in place for future opportunities, resources and upskilling for the community learning and development sector.”
Two community development groups presented case studies. The Dharma Project, South Lanarkshire is developing a virtual world. Young people can meet there to chat, play games and vote on issues that matter to them.
The other case study, K-Town Radio, is an FM radio station based in Kinglassie, Fife. It is supported by Digital Fife and staffed by volunteers. The station uses Facebook and Twitter to engage with its listeners, as well as more traditional phone-ins.
Delegates broke into sub-groups to discuss ways to get the best out of social media and digital tools. The groups considered what support community organisations, like Mind Waves, will need in future. All of the great ideas and views were collected. They will contribute to the Digitally Agile Project’s findings.
Mind Waves aims to use both new and established media to promote positive news about community groups working to improve mental health. At this seminar, we learned more about how other community projects are using new technologies. We also took the opportunity to add our experience so far, to the Digitally Agile Scotland Project.
story by Community Reporter