Digital Inclusion & Policy
Overview; I previously promised to write a blog post on the practicalities and way forward relating to Digital Inclusion based on upcoming events. The Curated Conversation on Digital Inclusion and, subsequently a workshop on Social Digital Research organised by UK Online Centres and held as part of Dr. Ellen Helsper’s work relating to Media Policy at the LSE. This post will pick up on some of the issues raised partly to promote awareness on Digital Day in Adult Learners Week, partly to highlight issues that a networked digital society might have to address.
At TEL (the Technology Enhanced Learning Research Programme) we have been experimenting with fresh ways of developing research-driven policy recommendations. We had tried out a series of “curated conversations” on innovation during Autumn 2011 held at the BIS Innovation Space hosted by Annabelle Simmons. They had been on Education Innovation, on Technology Innovation and on Social Innovation for a Network Society. So when Professor Jane Seale organised a research workshop for TEL on Digital Inclusion it seemed logical to hold a curated conversation, which lasts just one hour, at the end of that day.
Curated conversations had three initials inspirations. Firstly they were inspired by the collegiality of the interdisciplinary conversations that characterised the RSA Tavern Room in the eighteenth century and which pre-figured and, in part, shaped the industrial revolution. Secondly Professor Theodore Zeldin has been using a curated conversation over dinner as part of a project to stimulate engagement in deprived communities during the recession. Thirdly, and most importantly, they were inspired by Ewan MacIntosh’s development of TeachMeets five years ago as a form of condensed self-organised professional development for teachers lasting just one hour. Professor Richard Noss of the London Knowledge Lab and I had wanted to create a form of “ResearchMeet” where we could cover a wide range of concepts and discuss them in a very condensed form and produce policy recommendations as a result.