Week 9: I’m not going to class tomorrow, and I’m the teacher…

I’m in Scotland at the moment for other-work-related things. Which means I can’t be in class for teaching commitments tomorrow. But taking a page out of the Jon Hickman school of teaching, I am not going to be around either. Which should be bad, I should arrange something for the 2nd years in the same way I am for the 1st years, who are getting one of those online classroom discussions via our VLE, moodle. All the technological sophistication of a chatroom in the early 1990s. But that’s e-learning for you. But it’s 10.50pm on a Monday night (at the time of writing) and I’m still working, working on preparing teaching that I won’t even be around to witness. Who said teaching ever had to be in a classroom?

So, here is a sneak peak of my teaching brief for tomorrow, that Paul Bradshaw will hand out to the alternative media students at the start of the class (which they share with his online journalists) – they are going to do something that pulls together *everything* we have talked about and experienced through a 3rd party in the last 9 weeks. Look forward to receiving the invitation.

Welcome to Week 9

We are going to hold an event.

And you are going to plan it. And then host it after Easter.

But don’t be worried, I’ll help you.

So far, every #media2012 hub (there are 6, maybe 7 now across the country) has held an event, reflected in the style and the approaches of the partners involved – usually an educational, arts and community partner involved. Some are high profile, like the launch event in Manchester in October 2010 as part of the Abandon Normal Devices Festival, others have been low-key, but important networking opportunities, like the first meeting in the South West at the Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol – and some are part of larger, community events, showcasing local talent like the Citizen’s Eye Olympic-inspired launch during Community Media week 2011. Some events have budgets, budgets (and audiences) connected to the Cultural Olympiad, others have none, working with partnerships instead to provide space to debate and discuss related issues (such as the recent launch of the #citizenrelay project in Scotland, funded by Creative Scotland but part of a no-budget festival called @UWSInteractive) But they are all connected to each other through the #media2012 network, and allow important opportunities for people who would usually connect online using social media, to meet face to face and discuss the opportunities and challenges of running a citizen-media network for an event as big as the Olympic Games.

Your task this week is to research, plan and pitch an event idea that you will go on to organise over Easter and deliver in the weeks when we return. You will find a venue (using partners such as somewhereto.com or the University), invite core partners and design the content and approach to the intervention. You are the event organisers, you dictate the process. You will not have a budget, but you do have my network and contacts through other projects that are occurring as part of #media2012 – you just have to identify them.

By the end of tomorrow, I would like you to decide what you will be doing, delegate roles and responsibilities and to pitch the idea as a short youtube video that can be shared to the #media2012 network as an invitation to the West Midlands. You will also be expected to carry on with your existing roles in the group (so there is also a workshop to be delivered tomorrow and content to be found and uploaded), working to your strengths and promoting the production and the delivery of the event online. I will be available online @jennifermjones or can be called 07738865651 (between 11-1) to advise on specific points.

The video pitch/invitation needs to be uploaded to by end of tomorrow (5pm).

Tips:

  • Have a look at unconference formats, here is a post to get you started.
  • Think about your objectives, you are in the position where you are curating and forming a network that needs to be in place for during games time – beyond the timescale of the assignment. Who do you need to be there? Stakeholders? Potential Volunteers? Partners? Other hub members?
  • Look at other projects which are part of #media2012, what are they doing and how are they doing it?
  • Can you involve others from the class in return for skill sharing?
  • Will your event allow for you to generate online alternative media content? This could be a good opportunity to move from attending and covering other peoples event to getting others to cover yours.
  • Is there possibilities to find funding/sponsorship either internally/externally? It is always worth looking at funding streams but also pitching the importance of your event to the right people. Funding doesn’t always come directly as spending money, sometimes you can gain support through people’s time, useful partnerships and collaboration. Can you provide a platform for others in return for getting the tea and coffee paid for?

Look forward to seeing what you come up with.