The Hay Festival is always a great calendar entry: wonderful setting, fascinating talks, and an interested, thoughtful audience ready to discuss key issues. The festival also provided the opportunity for us to launch Nominet Trust’s new £2m social investment programme to fund new ideas for using digital technology to improve young people’s economic and social participation.
Nominet Trust calls for re-think on how to support young people as new data suggests life chances are fixed at birth
8th June 2012
The British equivalent of the American Dream simply does not exist for the youngsters in the poorest parts of the UK, warns social investor, Nominet Trust. New data from Nominet Trust-funded project, Compare Futures, shows that their chances of employment or attending a Red Brick University are extremely low, compared to their counterparts in richer areas.
Young people’s help seeking behaviour on mobile devices explored for first time
31st May 2012
Online charity YouthNet has announced an innovative new research project looking into young people’s use of mobile devices.
The research, funded by the Nominet Trust, will focus on two main areas - how young people are using mobile devices as a tool to access online information and how online help-seeking online behaviour amongst 16 to 25 year-olds varies according to which devices are being used.
We all know capturing social impact is difficult, especially when you’re developing new models and trying new approaches. That’s how we all justify spending so long talking about it ;-)
If you’re working with a consistent cohort of individuals over a significant period of time then you can roll out all the nice traditional pre and post measures to track their progress. But, real life’s not generally like that. If you’re working with hard to reach clients sporadically or intermittently, how do you go about capturing and assessing the impact of the work?
When we search for and find information on the web, how do we decide what information is useful? From a researcher perspective, deciding how ‘successfully’ people have found information – whether through a search engine like google, an OER website like gooru, or a jobs portal, school site, or whatever is challenging. I think we should also be interested in how users conceptualise what they’re looking for – do they think there’s, “one answer” or many, do they think there are lots of bits of connecting information or are they more independent. Perhaps they have views on particularly authoritative websites (the BBC v. Wikipedia v. Yahoo Answers), or whether they should just take as a “given” what is said on websites, or that in order for them to have knowledge, they need to understand the information.
As part of the Digital Makers programme that we’re developing with Nesta, Mozilla and a range of other partners, I was able to share some of the challenges that this programme is navigating and looking to address at an event at Ravensbourne College on Friday 25th May.
The Design Council in partnership with Nominet Trust have just launched the Working Well Design Challenge. Designers and youth organisations are being invited to join forces to design, build and launch new digital products and services that help young people develop their talents and earn a living.
This week sees the start of my Digital Assistant Academy which will train 18 low income women from diverse backgrounds in new media skills. After a small pilot last winter funded by www.unltd.org.uk , I was lucky enough to get further funding from Nominet Trust to run the Academy again, and this time, to try a blended learning approach, combining on and offline learning.