Exploring youth engagement in a digital age
Youth Work Online has been around for a few years now. The Network here now has over 900 members, many more visitors who haven't yet joined, and today we ran our fourth annual open space unConference event.
It's run fairly informally, and has worked well as a non-commercial and shared space for talking digital dimensions of work with young people - and I've been funding the running costs (just the domain name and monthly Ning subscription), with help from Katie Bacon in the last year to moderate and welcome new members. However, from October I'm heading on to projects new, with a PhD in Web Science, and so at today's unConference we talked about how to take Youth Work Online forward to things new. Here's the plan:
This is, of course, experimental and a learning journey. It will need people to volunteer to take on new roles - but none of the roles are onerous.
The key roles mentioned are:
One or more network administrators - people with full control over the online network, and able to deal with funds etc. To be responsible for making sure membership requests are being moderated, and the occasional update newsletter is being sent out.
Network Hosts - perhaps 5 or 6 people who are willing to (a) moderate new member requests; (b) welcome new members; (c) once every few months take responsibility for sending out an update newsletter to let members know about recent posts, resources and discussions on the network.
Resource librarian - one or more people to take responsibility for keeping a 'resource library' section of the network up to date. One of the most requested things at the unConferences is somewhere where policies, reports and resources can be curated. It would be great to have one or two people able to put a few hours a month to keeping a list of resources updated on the site.
There may be other roles like unConference organisers - and the suggestion was already made today of both exploring ideas of European exchanges and unConferencing, and an unConference up North, which the association could provide a support to.
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