Practical Design for Social Inclusion Gauteng Online Schools Programme

AndyDearden's picture

Steve Thompson
Invited presentation at the Prato CIRN 2008 Community Informatics Conference:
ICTs for Social Inclusion: What is the Reality?

Practical Design for Social Inclusion Gauteng Online Schools Programme


How can we use ICT and digital media in a way that support and enhance social inclusion? I’ve been working with a group of Academics and Practitioners known as PraDSA (Practical Design for Social Action) and have taken from them ideas that I have applied back on my home ground in Teesside. In return I’ve taken some ideas from Teesside back to the PraDSA table. I’ve learned that free and open source software along with a smattering of Web 2.00 can be great and effective tools for social inclusion. That is, provided they meet the participant group’s needs. There can be no one size fits all and one has to adopt a fluid approach and go with the flow. For the past two years I have been delivering on a project called Social Inclusion demonstrators (SID) one of only 20 in the UK. I’ll talk about this project and I’ll conclude by sharing the conclusion of the project with you.

I will tell how a group of quite disadvantaged young people mounted an exhibition called “Dreams Hopes and Wishes” and then rose to the occasion and grew into the space that had been made available to them. These young people became someone other than what their background and environment might have modelled them to be. Even their vocabulary became different. Even their teachers talked about a possible new approach to teaching I was so mesmerised by this that I almost forgot to record it. Luckily I recovered long enough to record a few video clips which I will share with you.

Thompson-CIRN.pdf100.19 KB