A social media game without an evening lost laminating

cardimages.jpg[Summary: Using Moo.com to make workshop resources]

(This post is mainly for those who have spent far too long laminating little bits of card late at night in preparation for a workshop the next day…)

I’ve used variations on the Social Media Game in workshops before. The game, which works by setting scenarios, and getting workshop participants to explore how they would use different tools or approaches to respond to those scenarios is a really effective way to encourage knowledge sharing and practical learning in a session.

However, preparing the game cards for a workshop always turns into one of those nightmare jobs. Simply printing them on paper or card isn’t enough – they’re too flimsy – and it’s always surprising how much the quality of a resource affects people’s interaction with. So, up until now – that’s always meant an evening of laminating little bits of printed paper to create good quality cards. And I know I’m not the only one who suffers this small but significant laminating challenge – @davebriggswife has rendered great services to social media in this country through laminating little bits of social media game card.

So, this time, as I started putting together the ‘Social Network Game’ for the Federation of Detached Youth Workers’ conference next Friday I though I’d try something different. And this morning a set of wonderful ‘Social Network Game’ postcards arrived on my doormat courtesy of Moo.com.


Picture 21.png

All I needed to do was to create each of the cards as an image, upload them to Moo, pay a few quid, and ta-da – high quality postcard-size workshop resources ready to go.

Why bother blogging this?

Well, asides from trying to save others who loose evenings to the laminating machine – I’m really interested by the potential that Print on Demand solutions like that of Moo.com can offer for:

  • Creating high quality resources – I’ve always been struck by how having good quality resources for workshops affects people’s responses. But often getting things professionally printed for a one-off workshop just isn’t viable… but can be with Print on Demand.
  • Resource sharing – Using the Moo.com API I could provide an easy way for anyone else to order a set of the Social Network Game cards I’ve designed. (In fact, once I’ve tested them out in a workshop I might try and create a set for others to get hold of…)
  • Promoting positive activities – Could the Information and Signposting project make use of the positive activities data and multi-media it’s collecting to make it really cheap and easy for activity providers to order promotional postcards to hand out?

Definitely something I’m keen to explore more. Would be great to hear about any other ideas or experience that you have…

Reflecting on social reporting or enabling social reporters

Picture 25.png[Summary: A personal learning reflection on digital reporting from events – enable people to report, don’t report on their behalf…]

I’ve facilitated young people as ‘roving reporter‘ and ‘digital journalists’, or even, in the terminology David Wilcox is developing, ‘social reporters‘, at events before – and I’ve acted directly as the digital reporter at a few events in the past.

However, trying to blog and digitally report from the annual conference of the Association of Principal Youth and Community Officers on Monday I found it surprisingly challenging to tap into the buzz of the event and build up a coherent blog record of what was going on. That’s not to say we haven’t managed to provide a good foundation for online discussion and networking between APYCO members in the future – but it did get me reflecting on the difference between being the reporter and facilitating the reporting process.

Supporting young people to be the digital reporters at events about young people has always made sense. Given the skills to operate video cameras and update the blog – young people are then able to go out into a conference or event and use their insights into the issues that affect them to ask the right questions. Holding the camera or the Dictaphone, and being in control of the blog, alters the usual balance of power between young people and adults in the conference setting – and generally produces great results.

So why didn’t I work with APYCO to equip a number of the youth service managers there to be the social reporters – to go out an interview their colleagues and to talk about the issues that affect them? Time & resources perhaps. And also not having yet had the experience of digital reporting from a managers event to reflect on. But I’ll certainly make sure I take the enabling others to report approach in the future rather than taking on the reporting role directly.