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Gamification and the many attempts to scale and define it


Sebastian Deterding defined gamification as ‘the use of game design elements in non-game contexts’. His definition is most widely used definition. It’s often recommended by professionals and scholars as it captures ambiguity and complexities.

History of Gamification

The use of game thinking has been around for as long as man was required to formulate plans and strategies to make ends meet.

Although it’s impractical to track its origin to a fixed time and space in evolution, McGonigal was able to trace game-use in non-game context back to 546BC. Furthermore, many scientist, such as Albert Einstein, when he suggested the games are a superior form of investigations. 

Consider the following examples by Yu Kai Chou and this article published in the guardian on how video games are contributing to science, with examples.

Finding a Definition

Though Oxford dictionary condenses Gamification to;

 the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service…

…and Deterding’s definition (2011) is widely employed and accepted…

The earliest attempt to scale Gamification is seen in the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) where he described an emerging type of engagement. According to Mihaly; 

“… during this kind of highly structured, self-motivated hard work we regularly achieve the greatest form of happiness available to human beings; intense, optimistic engagement with the world around us” – Flow 1990.

…It was not until 2002 that a solid definition manifested…

In 2002, Nick Pelling proposed the first definition, though impressive at the time, Gamification did not become a buzzword until Gartner added it to the hype cycle in 2014. Following Deterding’s contribution, there have been several attempts to claim definitive rights to Gamification.

They include;

photo
Gullietta @UoP

Nick Pelling 2002 –  Applying game-like accelerated user interface design to make electronic transactions both enjoyable and fast.

Yu-Kai Chou 2003 – The craft of deriving all the fun and alluring elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities.

Andrzej Marczewski 2005 – The application of game metaphors to real-life tasks to influence behaviour, improve motivation and to enhance engagement.

Peter Jenkins 2010 – The use of game design metaphors to create more game-like experiences.

Sebastien Deterding 2011 – The use of game design elements in non-game contexts.

George Cotcha 2016: The concept of applying game mechanics & game design techniques to engage & motivate people to achieve their goals.

Brian Burke (Gartner) 2014 – The use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

Kevin Webarch 2010 – The use of design techniques from games in business or some other context.

Michael Wu 2015 – The use of game attributes to drive player-like behaviour in non-game context.

Karen Cham 2017 – At Gamification Europe 2017, professor Karen Cham defined gamification as a design mechanic, she said it is …

“… the implementation of game-style incentivisation mechanics, such as motivation, jeopardy and reward, into non-game environments, such as business and services, to increase engagement and/or performance – often as part of CX, UX and EX”.

 

How Gamification works

Gamification involves selecting from an inventory of mechanics to plan and configure a product or user journey/s. There are 13 primary game mechanics, the popular game mechanics are points, badges, levels, rewards and leaderboard.

Gamification provides several benefits; however, much depends on the mix that is used, how it’s used, and the vendor/s. Like traditional project management, it’s pivotal to investigate and seek expert advice before venturing into any Gamification project.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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Top 7 Cybersecurity risk predictions for 2021


As the end of 2020 draws closer, it is imperative for both organizations and individuals alike to reflect and gear up for cybersecurity and cybercrime in the new decade. Organizations and individuals should consider new and innovative approaches, but most importantly, a pro-active and deliberate approach that’s deliberately directed to identify, capture and neutralize threats is essential. Considering the frequency and sophistication of hacking and ransomware attacks in 2019, not to mention, the pandemic and urgent adoption of remote learning by organisations around the world – skilled resources and smarter measures should be of consideration in the new decade.

For this reason, I distilled 30 independent reports dedicated to cybersecurity and I have compiled the 7 most interesting projections in this article.

Internal/External Sabotage – The global proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) and connected devices, usage of public cloud, PaaS (Platform As A Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure As A Service) greatly facilitates business and enables rapid growth. Concomitant, and often unnoticed, is the increase in an organization’s external attack surface. As you cannot protect what you don’t know, the vast proportion of these digital assets are not properly maintained, monitored, or protected in any manner. The situation is exacerbated by rogue mobile apps, fraudulent, phishing, and squatting websites, detectable by properly implemented domain security monitoring that now starts paving its road to popularity among cybersecurity professionals. As organizations upgrade their IT and leave behind a trail of obscure digital unknowns, whether in-house or external, the easier and faster it is to break in. According to CSO Online by IDG, 61% of organizations experienced an IoT security incident in 2019.

Compliance Fatigue – The mushroomed regional, national, and transnational regulatory and political climate may exacerbate compliance fatigue among cybersecurity professionals. 2020 may just be the year when current cybersecurity compliance begins to erode and start its rapid downfall. In light of the slow judicial system on one side, and insufficient cybersecurity skills and scanty budgets on another, cybersecurity professionals may start flatly disregarding the wide spectrum of superfluous regulations. Thankfully, in the UK, GDPR data subjects are empowered with a bundle of rights to control their personal data and its life-cycle.

Third Party Breaches – In 2019, many businesses displayed a high level of proficiency and specialization by concentrating all available resources to attain excellence in a particular market, playing ti their strengths. To achieve this, they outsourced most of their secondary business processes to skilled suppliers and experienced third-parties, thereby reducing costs, increasing quality, and accelerating delivery. Cybercriminals are well aware of this low-hanging fruit and will continue to purposely target this weakest link to get your data, trade secrets, and intellectual property.

Enterprise collaboration – According to ImmuniWeb, over 21 million of valid credentials were exposed on the Dark Web in 2019. The dark web is increasingly becoming popular and fashionably lucrative for rogue individuals and criminal enterprises. In 2021, we may witness new enterprise models and ways of working via the dark web. To this end, organizations may need to invest in understanding the dark web, and counter and mobile-based applications that deter or directly attack cyber-threats.

The Cloud – In July 2019, the world media reported a breach of Capital One, being presumably the largest data breach within the US financial sector and affecting approximately 100 million individuals in the United States and 6 million in Canada. Reportedly, the attacker exploited a mis-configured AWS S3 bucket to download extremely sensitive data that was left unattended. There are already signs that suggest that cloud mis-configuations will expose millions of records in 2020 and beyond. In 2020 and the foreseeable future, cloud security incidents will stay atop of data breach root causes. Furthermore, we are yet to experience an attack on the cloud providers and applications such as One Drive and Google Drive and many trusted brands for that matter. Will cybercriminals exploit this trust in 2021?

Password reuse and Phishing – Even if the passwords found or purchased by the attackers on the Dark Web are invalid, they provide a great wealth of ideas for ingenious social engineering campaigns, facilitate phishing and smart brute-forcing attacks. There are already creative and innovative methods being exploited within certain industries, e.g. fingerprint scan, and facial and voice recognition. But, even if many organizations finally managed to implement a consumable Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, with strong password policies, MFA, and continuous monitoring for anomalies, few external systems are included in the safeguarded scope. Such grey-zone systems range from SaaS CRM and ER Such grey-zone systems range from SaaS CRM and ERP to elastic public cloud platforms. According to DBIR, phishing was responsible for 32% of data breaches and 78% of cyber espionage in 2019.

Ecommerce and targeted-ransomware – According to IBM, the average time to identify a breach in 2019 was as high as 206 days. Still, even worse, such attacks are infrequently detected both due to their sophistication and lack of skills amid the victims, eventually being suddenly reported by security researchers or journalists and flabbergasting the data owners. 2021 will see a significant increase in organized ransomware activities under the umbrella some sort of support or professional service. They are often deployed through Trojans (through an email attachment) and they are extremely difficult to detect or prepare for.

History has shown that the period from the moment when an attack is launched to until when it is detected has the most devastating impact. Organizations and individuals should consider new and innovative approaches, but most importantly, a pro-active disposition, deliberately directed to identify, capture and neutralize cyber-threats before manifestation.


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Why closing Maddock surgery is bad for the community’s heath


Maddock Way Surgery

Brandon Estate’s only GP surgery, Maddock way surgery, is set to close at the end of March.

The borough’s CCG’s (Clinical Commission Group) PCCC’s (Primary Care Commissioning Committee) has asked patients to register at another local practice. Local people have also been advised to register after an upcoming consultation with residents and stakeholders. The consultation has been scheduled for the 28th of January 2020.

A critical success factor lay in the notable lack of interest from any other surgery or group to plug the gap the closure leaves behind. Locals are not aware of any active procurement consultation, and according to local paper, (Southwark News), the surgery is considered too small for any sustainable impact on community health and local economy. Thankfully, the same paper recently reported that “another GP practice has now expressed interest in the space and will pitch its business case on the 28th of January”.

But what do local people (young, middle-ages, and elderly) think? My work on the estate reveals the reservations below:

  1. The surgery’s proximity to local shared services, its location, and the ease of use.
  2. The surgery is old, unhygienic, and the service is poor.

Though many of the discussion surrounding the closure remains silo-d, a report from Southwark Primary Care Commissioning Committee, indirectly highlights the surgery’s unsustainability – both financially and non-financially.

Personally speaking, closing Maddock Way surgery jeopardises our collective effort and achievements on Brandon Estate, till date – Here are my 3 top reasons why:

1. Opportunity cost – Some have reported that the “closure would ‘save £21,000 a year“, while some suggest that Maddock Way’s surgery closure can “potentially deliver savings of £17,282 a year for reimbursable rent” and “£4,000 per year for rates”. The thing is, no one can say for sure if the decision is good or bad, it depends on the next-steps. Let’s not forget, Southwark is one of the few boroughs in the UK still employing Pharmacy First, only!

2. Elderly and ageing population – Although young-people have said that they prefer the service of Commercial Way surgery, while some are not aware of the surgery. The nearest surgery is seven minutes’ walk away from Brandon Estate, the closure of Maddock surgery would have a negative impact on the estate’s ageing and elderly population.

3. Social prescription & shared services – As I mentioned earlier, Southwark still employs Pharmacy First. From a geographical perspective, Maddock Way is a fine blueprint for any future social prescription and shared service design. This is due to the location, and proximity to local services and supporting community organizations.

The decision has come at a pivotal point. At a time when the community looks to put violence of recent years behind and build on a better 2019.

Personally, I hoped to see more local organizations connect to provide new shared and social prescription services. I hoped to see Google Digital Garage’s route-master buses on Maddock way supporting locals with technology.

Southwark is one of the few boroughs in London and the UK still employing Pharmacy First only. At the moment, it is quite difficult to ascertain whether the closure is for the better, or for the worse – at least, until we know more about potential take-overs and the vision of any take-over.

We did it!! Appreciate the local MP, Neil Coyle, for his support and good work in the community.


Feature course – Improving your health on-line

There are lots of ways you can use the internet to support your health. You can make appointments online, order repeat prescriptions and find advice on specific symptoms and conditions.

EXPLORE FREE COURSES ON LEARN MY WAY

Further reading

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Guide to event marketing and promotion at Brandon Estate


Event marketing is the communication and methods of communication employed to promote of an event or activity. Event marketing should not be confused with Event Management: The process of organising and delivering events.

Event Marketing’s focus is primarily to convey a message, often place, location, and benefit, to the right people, at the right or at a time of opportunity. An event can be to build stronger relationships in the community, Universal Credit webinars, play-day or outdoor classroom for local children, or a live-streamed video-game-play. Events can be held online, offline, or both.

In the article, I’ve extracted and gathered a list of free and effective ideas for you to try for your local events in Southwark this year.

Some Critical Success Factors (CSF) to consider:

  1. The purpose of your event 
  2. The scope of your event
  3. The location of your event
  4. Space and people 
  5. How will the event be promoted?
  6. Does the event require a Budget?
  7. Security and safety of volunteers and attendees

How to get the best out of your event’s marketing

  1. Find My Charity: Firstly, register your Charity/CIO with “Find My Charity” to get on the radar. FMC is a NEW depository for Southwark helping people find fun and support in their local community. The Community Interest Organisation exist to ensure that all fun, fitness, and enterprising community-based events are in one place, open, and accessible to the right people, and at the right time. It’s FREE to join Find My Charity.
  2. Your Website: Your website is your door to the entire world, if you have one, then add a pop-up advert to your website. Together, your website and Pop-up Ad are efficient partners for developing listings, engaging prospects, and for any email marketing in the future. If you don’t have one, why not start exploring with a FREE website from Google Sites (Great if you already own a gmail account) or WordPress.
  3. Word of Mouth: Naturally, you want as many people as possible to know about your event and the inherent benefits of participating. Word of Mouth is still one of the best tools for reaching people. Research shows that 64%of experts believe that WOM is the most effective marketing strategy, while 92% of consumers trust recommendations that come from people they know.
  4. Local Networks and Press: Search, investigate and contact your local press and journalists who frequently write about you community and/or topic. You can also involve you local councillors in community-based events. Locate your local councillors on your local council’s website or ask at your local library. For Brandon Estate, Katherine Johnson of Southwark News is passionate about citizenship and community development in and around Brandon. The local councillors for Brandon Estate are: Councillor Eleanor Kerslake; Councillor James Coldwell; and Councillor Alice Mcdonald. Kindly ask for a quote or ask them to tweet about your event.
  5. Posters and Flyers: Offline is still very much as important as the online counterpart. When used correctly, offline posters and flyers can catch the eyes of people and make them aware of a product or service that they wouldn’t otherwise have known about. This powerful ability to stick in people’s minds can have huge advantages for your event. They are cheaper, visual, support scaled targeting, and encourage active participation. Just one thing, endeavour to remove your posters and flyers after your event’s expiry or end date, if applicable.
  6. Social Media: Social media is particularly effective for marketing and networking. Through mediums such as Facebook and Instagram you can both network and promote the theme of your event. When you carefully and deliberately mix the page and group features on social media you have a powerful networking, engagement, and marketing tool at your disposal. For example, Facebook: Facebook Page is open to the everyone – while a Facebook Group provides distinct space and a medium to engage customers. A FB Group empowers community development and reinforce local networks and Press.
  7. LinkedIn: There are mixed opinions about what you should and should not use LinkedIn for. Personally, I don’t see why you can’t employ LinkedIn to promote your events to your connections, and for further interest networking. If you do not want to affect sensibilities, create a page on LinkedIn for your events.
  8. Eventbrite: The web-based platform allows you to browse, create, and promote local events. The service charges a fee to event organisers in exchange for online ticketing services – unless the event is free. Eventbrite is state of art and it is easy to use. One of main and profound features of Eventbrite lays in the processes – Eventbrite let’s you concentrate on the other elements important for your event while it caters for your ticketing.
  9. Southwark’s event page: Southwark council has its own advertising platform for Charities and Community Interest Organisations. It is FREE, intuitive, and easy to use. You can also visit the Southwark employee page on the council’s website to identify like-minded council employees. Ask them if they’ll like to promote your shared passion in the borough – ask for a quote or tweet.
  10. Community Southwark: CS is a cohort of local charities in Southwark. Submit blog articles promoting your event to Community Southwark to be noticed by charities in Southwark. You can also get access to local volunteers through the organisation’s Community Action Network.
  11. Hashtag: Finally, create a unique hashtag for your event that will be shared with posts and updates across all your marketing channels. The hashtag should be short and simple and easy to recollect. Use your hashtag: before; during; and after your event. An example of Hashtag for a continuing event called find my Event could be: #FindMyEvent. Lear more about Hashtags on Twitter.

Bonus! Google: Google is great if you have a Gmail account and you’re familiar with Google Apps. However, there is really not much need for PPCM (Pay Per Click Marketing) for small community events, except, you are charging for the event. If that’s the case, you will also have to factor in the costs and returns for your campaign. Consult with an expert before employing paid Google products for your local events. While Google sites are perfect for small businesses and Charities, Google Ads are more suited to large companies and profit making endeavours.

Related articles

  1. Acid and substance attacks: How to react in an emergency
  2. Get Online Week at Brandon library: Open report
  3. I/We need help with digital skills: Locate your nearest online centre
  4. Office desks and Hall for Hire Southwark’s Community Brandon
  5. Eventbrite’s 2019 Guide to event marketing

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Why SiLL may be a game changer for London libraries


In recent years, our local libraries have been subject to closure and large cuts, this at a time when we should actually be upgrading them. This unusual form of democracy undoubtedly birth related-innovations such as co-working space and social hubs. While many of these related-innovation are timely and necessary, they lack the community and political ingredient required for emerging fluid and digital society. For me, this is the simple reason why the local and community library remains an inextricable part of the puzzle.

As citizen institutions, I believe libraries have a gluing role in sustainable developments, and as such, they are essential for integration and cohesion. Being a fan and advocate of the library, it’s quite the excitement to learn that London libraries are introducing a NEW SiLL programme.

SiLL is a three-year project will include tailored workshops, networking events giving local people and businesses access to the Library’s business collections and resources. A feat epitomised by Online Centres Network through Get Online Week celebrations at Brandon Estate in London.

In this article, I share some inherent social-economic benefits of the SiLL programme. To reinforce my lens, I revisit 2018’s Get Online Week celebrations at Brandon Estate.

What is SiLL?

SiLL stands for Startup in London Library. SiLL is a business support programme led by London Libraries to support start-ups and entrepreneurs across London. The programme aims to help local people and charities develop the insight, skills and confidence they need to start and grow successful businesses. 

For scale, SiLL will be delivered through, and by, a network of 10 London borough authorities with each London borough having its own SiLL Digital Champion. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

3 benefits of the programme for Online Centres Networks

Despite austerity cuts and closures, libraries continue to deliver citizen-centred innovative community solutions at local levels that contribute to both local and national economic growth – as epitomised through Online Centres Network. As founder of an Online Centre myself, I’m pleased about the development, and convinced it will improve my centre’s abilities and capacity by removing the 3 barriers below.

  1. Organisational structure

In my first article in 2018 I highlighted the slowing impact organisational structure has on sustainable change and transformation.

NEW SiLL has no direct reports, this inherently adds some agility and fluidity to a rigid structure. Instead, SiLL champions will report directly to the Principal Strategy Officer on the Local Economy Team. 

2. Integration and cohesion

A lot of work has been done in the UK on improving the terms for individuals and groups to take part in society. Many inclusion-based initiatives have either:

1. empowered poor and marginalised people to take advantage of rising opportunities in emerging forms of economies;

or

2. developed ready-made open, ubiquitous and accessible spaces through strategic partnerships. 

SiLL has arrived at a time when many charities and community organisation’s source partnerships with local council for practical and sustainable scalability.

3. Future workforce and economy

Libraries can’t be ignored any longer. My research and fieldwork at IFB Gaming identifies the library as an important and often ignored asset for identifying and engaging the most digitally excluded. 

For instance, IFB Gaming’s online centre partnered with “Find My Charity” and “Southwark libraries” in 2018 to employ the Brandon library’s resources to help local people with digital skills. However, when we arrived at the library, we learned that local people’s need was different – it wasn’t basic digital skills. At Online Centres Network we’ve also manifested the libraries vitality for continued political ‘education and engagement’. This through innovations such as VoiceBox Cafes.

Personally, I’m keen to see how SiLL can:

  1. intersect with higher education institutions to educate and empower the next generation of community advocates and politicians;
  2. improve project selection.

Final word

At IFB Gaming, we work on a day-to-day basis with lots of great community organisations, including libraries, and citizens. 

Following our report, Good Things Foundation is now developing new business development courses for Online Centres Network. The project is supported by organisations such as BT, Lloyds, Google, and the Government’s Equalities Office.

Personally, I’m confident that SiLL will be a powerful example of the role digital can play in addressing social challenges and Bridging The Digital Divide. We look forward to working with the SiLL champions at IFB Gaming’s online centre in Southwark.

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VoiceBox Café: Giving Women a voice in politics and public life


Good Things Foundation was recently awarded one of eight grants to deliver NEW “Use Your Voice” through VoiceBox Cafés in England. The project is funded by Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme, it is part of Bridging The Digital Divide, and it exists to give Women a voice in politics and public life. In the article, I introduce project “Use Your Voice” and examine it’s inextricability from social inclusion. 

2018 has been particularly plagued with uncertainty, this year: we Brexit-ed; witnessed austerity cuts; gaming is classified as a mental health disorder; there was gang-related violence on London streets; and uncertainty surrounding the future of the NHS leaves us with many unknown-unknowns. Let’s face it, we simply don’t know what living, working, doing business, and playing, is going to be like in the future.

One thing we do know though, Women are at the forefront, and they are leading the debates and discussions around sustainable developments and they’re doing so with profound results. To celebrate Women’s achievements in 2018, we unite at the House of Lords this December for NEW “Use Your Voice” (VoiceBox Cafés) pioneered by Good Things Foundation. 

 

Imaged shared by Emily Redmond & Harriet Brown (Good Things Foundation)

  

What are VoiceBox Cafés?

Project “Use Your Voice” is delivered through NEW VoiceBox Cafés. It is one of the many ways Good Things Foundation promote and mitigate digital inclusion in England. The project is part of Bridging The Digital Divide programme and it focuses on Women and community advocacy and politics. According to Helen Milner, CEO Good Things Foundation and ‘pioneer’ of “Use Your Voice”:

 

“…It’s been 100 years since women won the right to vote and we’re going out to engage those who are disengaged from democracy across England with the NEW VoiceBox Café project…”

— Helen Milner OBE.

 

The project is delivered through regular events designed to access, engage and support excluded women to understand, participate and celebrate democracy. There are currently 36 online centres in the UK participating in project “Use Your Voice”.

 

VoiceBox Café is a fantastic project providing women with an opportunity to learn about incredible women, be inspired to do amazing things and be empowered to challenge the norms.” 

— Go Alliance Women. West Midlands, UK.

 

From VOIP to VoiceBox Cafes

Consider a multiplayer online game of Call of Duty or Battlefield 3 with up to 24 player voices blearing through your one headset. VoiceBox Cafés provides a systemic conduit for Women to make their voice heard. This is quite significant, as observed through my virtual ethnography in gaming paradigm, some Women:

  1. simply can’t perceive their voices getting through the traffic;
  2. are intimidated by the confidence, status, and the achievements of other players;
  3. are not loud enough to cut through the traffic;
  4. simply do not know how to join the traffic;
  5. hide their true identity behind voice-changers and avatars in order to make their voice profound and/or to avoid negativity.

VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol

Project “Use Your Voice”, through VoiceBox Cafés at online centres network, can provide a holistic and circular conduit for educating, engaging and inspiring Women and Girls in future-politics and emerging fluid and digital society. VoiceBox Cafés: 

  1. provide a secure and open space for political discussions and debate;
  2. offer free courses and guidance on democracy;
  3. celebrates and rewards Women and Girls for community and political participation.

 

Who Can Get Involved?

Single medium of communication breed weak-ties while multiple mediums of communication cultivate stronger bonds and ties. As we approach technology-adoption maturity, many Women are turning to new and traditional media for the issues that matter to them. This is why every Woman and Girl in England can join and participate in “Use Your Voice”  through their local or closest VoiceBox Café

Research has also shown that the women who often have the most to gain are the ones that are missing out on the inherent opportunities and benefits of participation. Consider Helen Milner’s commentary, below:

“…there are certain groups of women who are less likely to engage with democracy, in particular women from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, young women, and women with low levels of educational attainment…” (See Full text on Good Things Foundation’s Website)

Corroborating our NEW experience and opportunities, below:

…we participated and celebrated Get Online Week at Southwark’s Brandon Estate’s library for the first time in 2018. During the 7-day campaign we set out to help local people and charities with basic digital skills, but instead, we met local Women who required help with business development or how to employ digital skills efficiently in every day-life or having their voices heard following a summer of violence in the sector….

 

Sandra Evans. Founder and CEO of Find My Charity.

 

How it works

There are many ways to get involve. Women in England can become more politically active and make their voices heard through Online Centres Network participating the project. Good Things Foundation’s website also boasts resources and website links to help Women get involved both locally and nationally. The resources section is separated into 3 core sections: EducateParticipate and Celebrate

The Educate section explains elections and voting, and shows how women fought for the right to vote in the UK. The Educate section explains elections and voting, and shows how women fought for the right to vote in the UK. The Participate section shows how you can make a change about things that matter to you.

The Celebrate section has ideas about how you can get involved in events and activities marking 100 years since women got the vote. Finally, Share! Share your findings, progression, and achievements with the network by visiting Voicebox Cafes pageVoicebox Cafés Tumblr and by following #VoiceboxCafes on Twitter!

 

Get Online Week at Brandon Estate. Access Open Report.

 

Some Challenges To Consider

Social inclusion and Memory are functionally similar. Like social inclusion, the art of remembering requires different, yet, connected parts, to come together in a timely fashion to deliver a recall request. If 1 or more part/s arrive late, perhaps due to pain, intoxication or excitement, the individual simply forgets.

In Helen Milner’s commentary here, she emphasise the challenges involved in accessing black Women – a feat successfully achieved during 2018’s Get Online Week – opening NEW access for integration and continued participation.

As Natalie Thrope (Good Things Foundation) points out, “to shape a future that works for everyone we all need to be involved in the political debate”. So, instead of speculations and assumptions, and considering the open, ubiquitous, and connected foundations of the project, I conclude with 3 ideas for consideration:

  1. Can the project benefit from digital-champion and female mentoring?
  2. Does it have a role beyond politics and for entrepreneurship, local economy and everyday life?
  3. Can it inspire and develop the next generation of female politicians and community advocates?

The Voicebox Cafés programme is funded by the Government Equalities Office through the Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme. Find out more about the Voicebox Cafés project 

 

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Digital skills for older learners


People, over the age of 65, those on low incomes, and disabled people make up a large segment of the population who remain digitally excluded. These groups are unable to fully benefit from the vast opportunities that the internet and technology manifests.

Today, I am particularly interested in the ‘people over 65’ above, and to bring my focus to light, I revisit investigations conducted by Good Things Foundation, BT, and Talk Talk.

The investigation in context involved 23 Online Centres who were tasked new activities in order to reach people who are the most digitally excluded in the UK. They found that: “47% of people who have never used the internet in the UK are over 75, despite over 75s making up just 7.78% of the total UK population”

But, Why do older people avoid technology?

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Tutor-Learner Relationship for Older People

1. Competence.

Learners admire open, competent, and knowledgeable teachers and educators. The fear, mistrust, and disinterest that some older learners display around the internet can be an outward reflection of what is actually a mistrust in their own abilities. Older people can suffer from a perception that their age means they will be less successful at learning. This may be compounded by previous negative learning experiences throughout the life-course.

A competent educator is empathetic, and he/she seizes every opportunity to encourage learning, believing that no one is above learning. Competent educators are lifelong learners and they take every opportunity to improve their own professional practice, in order to provide quality learning.

2. Space & Trust.

Trust, space and respect are three important components of the learning environment. A lack of trust and respect can cause learners to feel unsafe and uncomfortable in the environment and the educator. In many cases, failure to develop spaces that nurture trust and respect may lead to certain, negative, behavioural anomalies.

Digital inclusion with older people should focus as much on a tutor’s relationship with the individual as on hard technical skills. Take time to build trust with a learner. This is likely to take a significant amount of one-to-one interaction, so if you are working in a classroom setting, try to enlist some volunteers in other to facilitate personalization and encourage individual interaction.

3. Patience.

The Internet defines patience as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. Older learners might take a longer time to become confident in understanding a task or process. Naturally, as we get older, we are more cautious and we tend to check for risks more often.

Ensure that you explain every step clearly and double-check and confirm that the learner understands before moving onto a next step. Be empathetic and patient, and be prepared to repeat messages and information, over and over again.

Get the full toolkit for old people here

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Video games, gaming and the social and economic benefits of Esports


Video games have come a long way since the early binary instalments, the arcade system, and the first multiplayer trials at M.I.T. Today’s gaming consoles are basically to portals to infinite social and entertainment worlds, just like ‘social media’. 

As science and technology transforms the way we live, the way we vote, and the way we do business – it is pivotal to resist inclinations that it will not transform the way we play. 

E-sports is all about play, fun, networking and video gaming – It is competitive and collaborative video gaming. In my previous update, here, I impart ‘benefits of gaming and contemporary gaming console’, such as Xbox One and PlayStation4. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IFBGaming.jpg

What is esports?

Once upon a time! Players converged at an agreed location, and on a specified date, to enjoy gaming. Today, players can coordinate and enjoy competitive and collaborative video-gaming from the comfort of their sofas.

The phenomenon is enabled by technology-adoption maturity and connected mediated-technologies underpinned by the Web. This new way of organising and enjoying video games paved the way for electronic sports or sporting – popularly known as e-sports.

Esports or electronic sports is competitive multiplayer online gaming. Esports can be staged in front of a live audience and millions more online, as epitomised during 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. 2018’s Winter Olympics also manifest its capacity for reconciliation as North and South Korea put the past behind them to enjoy the event as a whole.

As a form of sport, esports has been brewing in the background for decades, and it is far from a new or emerging. However, before imparting with economic benefits of esports, I believe its imperative to open-up on the barriers that hindered its manifestation, below:

Indian players prepare for esporting. (Image credit – Arash, K. IFB Gaming.

The Barriers: Research, market penetration & tech-adoption maturity

1. Research

Game developers, such as, Microsoft and Sony, have invested heavily in connected, immersive, and ubiquitous gaming constructs with relational themes. Similarly to social media, people are connecting, learning, and innovating at a universal scale. While brands capitalised on the emerging trend,  it was impractical for science due to the connected and multiverse dimensions in gaming, due to science protocols, and due to parenting. Nowadays, researchers include parents and guardians in their investigations and data collection processes.

Further, stereotyping in the past meant social exclusion, as knowledgeable players and specific genres were omitted from the discussion. This meant that while scholars continued to recruit and remove people from the spaces that define them for studies, a parallel form of community was in development and brands could be part of the development.

2. Market penetration and data

While brands and multinationals transformed new audiences for competitive advantage, science and academia could not due to research protocols, evidence, and parenting. What we’ve witnessed so far are early penetration strategies by brands and organisations to establish a presence and voice in gaming communities. This, through hyper-branding, sponsorship, and advertising initiatives.

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Chart showing the world’s top earners (Pic – Business Insider)

3. Technology-adoption maturity

Technology-adoption maturity simply refers to the period in human evolution associated with a holistic adoption and use of technology in daily life.

The digital-non-digital or social-technology mix magnifies complexities with contemporary gaming research and applied sciences. Gaming industry integrates unique and diverse industry sets, as well as, sophisticated computer mediated-communication infrastructures, held together by AI, the Cloud, and the Web. According to Gartner, gaming industry is on course to becoming the largest single contributor to the entertainment and education industries. 

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UK Fast employees enjoy a night of gaming at work. Credit: Lawrence Jones on Twitter

The benefits Of E-sports

1. Economic benefits

According to British Broadcasting Corporatione-sports will generate more than £1bn in global revenue and almost double its global audience to nearly 600 million people by 2020. In a corresponding national report, Ukie estimates an increase in UK audience to a staggering 8 million by 2019.

The anticipated and confirmed inclusion of e-sports at 2018 winter Olympic epitomise the national benefit of esports. The immediate economic benefits of esports fall under: job creation; international relations; learning infrastructures; and new tourism.

2. Social Benefits

Like most sports events, e-sports impacts every level and culture that co-habitats the society. At a local level, e-sports may facilitate cohesion and integration in deprived areas of the society. Video games are one of the favourite pastime activity for both children and adults.

Esports can play a pivotal role in sewing broken social fabric and bridging cultural and national barriers, as players can interact directly and learn in self-configured spaces with some freedom of operation.

3. Research and applied science benefits

Online gaming has been contributing to science for decades, and we also have our own game/citizen science project (Galaxy Zoo) at the University of Portsmouth. The manifestation of e-sports in non-game context is particularly beneficial to science because it brings distinct industries together. Many of these industries would otherwise not enter any form of discussions if not for the maturity of technology-adoption.

An international coalition of Game studies scholars have openly called for new and connected research methods that reflect the complexity and ambiguity of contemporary living and playing.

Future of e-sports

Though esports present unique opportunities to engage and capture an untapped audience, it is not a substitute for traditional and outdoor play. E-sports is a unique way to reach excluded young people. In the near future, we should expect to see some e-sporting in colleges, higher education institutions, and in the workplace.

Esports to have global audience of 600 million by 2030: Business Insider

Note:

Gaming and e-sports are not substitutes for outdoor play and real sports. See my e-Learning industry article: Online Gaming Safety: Top Tips For Parents, Guardians, And Players on eLearning industry’s blog.

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Acid and substance attacks: How to react in an emergency


The use of chemicals and substances is on the rise in London. In response to a freedom of information request by CNN in 2017, data from the London Metropolitan Police shows a sharp rise in substance attacks, with 465 recorded in 2017, up from 395 the previous year and 255 in 2015.

So, if you think someone has been exposed to hazardous material or substance, what do you do?

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If you are like me, your first instinct will be to jump after a tablet falling from the balcony of a two-storey building. Well, this is not good, It’s important to remember to think and manifest caution at all times. It may also be necessary to maintain a safe distance in-order to avoid exposure yourself… remember, exposure is not always obvious – space is your friend.

The signs to look for include:

  1. The presence of hazardous or unusual material;
  2. A change in environment such as unexplained vapour, odd smells or tastes;
  3. Look for inexplicable signs;
  • Vomiting
  • Itching and skin irritation
  • Itching in airways
  • Itching eyes
  • Nausea
  • Twitching
  • Extreme sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Breathing difficulties

How you can help

Firstly, call 999…

Look for signs of contamination in the environment… If there are no visible signs of contamination in the atmosphere, help the person/s with caution. Use a mask if you carry one in your briefcase or handbag.

Remove outer clothing …Ask the individual or group if they can remove their clothing from a safe distance. If they can, ask them to remove their outer clothing. If they can’t, approach with caution and help the individual remove outer clothing…

Do not pull clothing over the person or persons head. Cut through clothing if you have to.

Do not attempt to remove clothing that’s stuck to the skin/flesh.

Ask the person/persons to keep their eyes open.

Remove themselves …Ask person/s to remove themselves from the area or substance. Sometimes, this is not pleasant to observe, have some patience, and guide the individual out of the infected zone…

In the absence of visible contamination help the individual out of the contaminated zone.

If it’s an Acid attack, rinse out the contaminated area with water until the arrival of emergency services (usually under 30 minutes).

Isolate substance …Isolate the substance by removing all players from the zone…

Do not give the victim food or water as you don’t know what might be going on internally…

Exit contaminated environment …Move to a safe zone and await the arrival of emergency services…

Tell Emergency services all you witnessed.

Important Telephone numbers

Emergency
999
Emergency (work on any mobile phone)
112
Non-emergency for Police
101
National Non-Emergency Medical
111
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Effect of video games and gaming on my online and offline social life


Gaming Stuff CEO shares his thoughts with us…The pros and cons of gaming and gaming-related connections.

Let me first introduce myself; my name is Matthew Timberlake, and I have been properly gaming since around 2008 when I got my first console (PlayStation 3) as I started life at University. I had always enjoyed gaming, however, my parents weren’t keen on the idea of me staying indoors and playing video games, and so they never bought me a console as a kid.

So, where to begin. Gaming to me has had many different impacts on my life, both positive and negative. The first, probably the most notable impact, is the great friendships I have built up as a result of playing games. Not only is this with friends I know personally face to face, but also those new friendships I built up through the Online PlayStation Network, that’s still present today, nearly 8 years later.

This started back with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but grew to its peak firstly with Battlefield 4, and then Destiny. The days on Battlefield 4 were a major highlight of my gaming life, as I created a platoon from nothing that over time grew and grew into a competitive fighting unit. The bonds we had with each other were great, and I’m glad I can call them my friends.

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With the evolution of the platoon group, I went on to create an entire Facebook community of fellow Battlefield 4 platoons, with the sole purpose of meeting other teams, and arrange platoon matches. This was very popular, and led to a handful of self-run Tournaments, with up to 24 teams participating. The organisation and leadership skills that I learnt from running a team, and then managing a group of teams in tournaments, is invaluable, and whilst it may not seem like much coming from a personal gaming background, it really does give a good insight of challenges you may face in the real world. The bonds we had with each other were great, and I’m glad I can call them my friends. With the evolution of the platoon group, I went on to create an entire Facebook community of fellow Battlefield 4 platoons, with the sole purpose of meeting other teams, and arrange platoon matches. This was very popular, and led to a handful of self-run Tournaments, with up to 24 teams participating.

The organisation and leadership skills that I learnt from running a team, and then managing a group of teams in tournaments, is invaluable, and whilst it may not seem like much coming from a personal gaming background, it really does give a good insight of challenges you may face in the real world.

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The evolution of Destiny for me was similar to Battlefield, however on a much larger scale. For those that don’t know, Destiny is very much a social Online Multiplayer game, and so naturally, getting the most enjoyment out of the game requires playing with friends. I met a few guys whilst playing online in the early days of the game, and from there we created a Facebook group solely for PlayStation 3 Destiny players. The group grew like wildfire, and before we knew it, we had 300+ members.

This was a completely new challenge compared to the Battlefield group I had to advertise to get members, but none the less, the experience of managing different people in that group massively helped us with this one. The group was a success, hitting over 1,200 members (solely for PS3, there was also a smaller group solely for PS4 players). This is where the love tale ends for the group and me, and starts us on the path of negative impacts of gaming.

I made a lot of close friends from the Destiny group and made many of them group admins. As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”; unfortunately the responsibility of those friends I may admins came to clash between a few of them on numerous times, and ultimately put me in the middle of it as I had to choose between friends who was on the right and in the wrong. I was perhaps too quick to grant the power of admin over a group so large to a lot of friends, and in the end, it caused some people to leave the group, including myself.

This was not helped by the fact Destiny has many flaws, and the nature of large social groups is that some people will moan about it and cause trouble, however, had it only been the original 3 or 4 players having control over the group and what the rules of the group were, I’m sure it would be in a better situation that it ended up being before I left the game completely.

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Even the smaller Battlefield social circle I had created was not without its problems; we had occasional moments of infighting, players saying things and falling out. It even caused problems outside of the game, in my daily life with my girlfriend. To say running a platoon can be difficult is an understatement; perhaps it was just because I wanted to put my all into it to make it grow, but the amount of time it took up for me was phenomenal.

I would spend a lot of my free time talking to the friends I had made from the game, sometimes during the times, I was supposed to be spending with my girlfriend. I would spend hours during the day, even whilst at work sometimes, trying to recruit new players to the team, or keeping the Battlefield Platoon Facebook group up to date, or even creating/running a new tournament to host.

It got to the point I was spending every bit of free time doing something Battlefield 4 related, that naturally, it caused arguments with my girlfriend….it even almost caused us to break up as she perceived the game was more important to me than she was. As fun as the game was, it was also addictive, due to the competitive nature of the game and the competition we had, and the amount of time and effort required to stay at the top.

I have since stopped playing Battlefield as new games and consoles have been released. My gaming time now on PlayStation 4 is taken up mostly by offline games, with the occasional stint on multiplayer games like Elder Scrolls Online, linking up with old friends I had lost touch with since dumping Destiny and the group I helped build.

I enjoy collecting trophies of the games I play, and now do that more than the competitive side of playing. Gaming has taught me many things, notably how to socialise and make friends, how I should organise my time and what should take priority of my time, and also the successes and failures of creating something special, and managing small and large groups of strangers and friends alike – hopefully one day in the future, the latter experience will serve me well when I am able to manage employees in my job.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my piece.

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Blissful productivity #1: What it means to be a digital champion


“A digital Champion inspires, empowers and guides others to make the most of my 6-pillars of digital democracy”.

Whether that’s helping a neighbour to send an email, handing out leaflets for computer classes or helping a friend to set up their new computer or laptop…

6 pillars of digital society by John Adewole

Consider the following real-world instances compiled by the team at Learn My Way, below;

Jobs

Current research revealed that 72% of employers wouldn’t interview someone without basic digital skills and 25% of job opportunities are advertised only online.

Source: ICM Research, (2012), “UK online centres – Online jobs research project”.

Fundraising

The internet provides great opportunities for charities and community organisations. Since 2010, the average online donation in the UK has risen by 32% to almost £70.

Charities can raise thousands of pounds online. One small charity that supports families with Down’s syndrome children managed to raise £9,000 while its whole income for a year was £47,000!

Sources: The Guardian, (2011), “Online fundraising is great for smaller charities – but which site? ‘; The Guardian, (2014), “Getting your charity online – live Q&A“.

Shopping online

Did you know that internet transactions, including online shopping, contributed almost £180 billion to the overall economy in 2015 in the UK?It’s not a surprise because being online gives you a better shopping experience.

You can use many additional services such as Click&Collect and loyalty card apps. You can also get a real bargain using websites like eBay or Gumtree. More shops now offer free WiFi, self-service checkouts, and other digital services to their customers.

Source: TechUK (2015), “UK’s digital economy is world leading in terms of proportion of GDP“.

Using public services online

More and more public services are moving online. It’s expected that 90% of public services will eventually become solely online. For example, in some areas, residents can only apply for school places online.

Source: Skylogic, “Rural Digital Exclusion: the link between Internet Access and Economic Output”.

Saving online

Research has shown you can save a total of £440 a year by being online. You can access price comparison websites, get information about online promotions and vouchers and subscribe to emails about sales and special offers.

Source: Centre for Economic & Business Research, (2014), “Consumer cost of no internet access”.

 

What’s it got to do with digital champions?

Inspire

The knack of being a good Digital Champion is to find an online activity or a website that interests the person you’re helping. Whether it’s cats, gardening or fishing, try to inspire them to get online and find out more.

Develop

Help people develop their basic digital skills. You can volunteer at a local community centre to help run classes or outreach sessions. You can also help your colleagues learn the basics at work.

Support

Through your job, you might be meeting people who don’t have basic digital skills. They might need your help to access your organisation’s online services. You can also signpost them to their nearest UK online centre for more help.

Donate

If you have spare IT equipment, don’t let it gather dust. Why not donate it to a friend or family member who’s new to the internet?

Involve others

If you’re a Digital Champion you can encourage others to become one too, you could also get your employer involved.

Have you got what it takes?

Take the free Digital Champion course on Learn My Way (Register with centre I.D 8002589)

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Excessive gaming is a mental health disorder? There’s no need to panic…


If you are just joining the conversation, World Health Organisation recently classified excessive gaming as a mental health disorder. In my prior updates, I explain why the classification is good for game studies and impart with my top tips for parents, guardians and the players. By now, many should be familiar with the traditional benefits of gaming, such as: hand-eye coordination; team-working; and modelling; just to mention a few.

If you are not familiar with the traditional benefits of gaming, here are some benefits of playing video games that will surprise you. Finally, I impart with my perceived benefits of gaming for lifelong learning here.

World Health Organisation’s Draft

Gaming, not video games, is a tentacular and reverberating phenomenon, and in my opinion, the draft is timely and a much-needed checkpoint for game studies. The draft does not interfere with current and everyday approach to game studies, rather, the draft intrinsically facilitates due diligence and resourcefulness. 

There hasn’t been much of a significant development in gaming for the past decade. Simply, nostalgic mental models that continue to employ ancient data-sets and data models. Many of which presume that only children indulge in gaming activities. The draft inherently sets a collective path for game scholars, media providers, geographers and game enthusiast.

The draft is quite straight-forward and in line with contemporary approaches to game studies and gamification. The draft reflects the challenges with contemporary gaming. Today’s gaming devices are portals to infinite social and entertainment worlds, identical to common social media platforms.

As with many things in life, excessive gaming may suffice as evidence of an underlying issue in one’s life. These cases are rare, and rightfully, the draft emphasises that only a few are at risk. Below, I condense how to make sense of the draft:

1. Everyday Approach To Research

The classification is based on a review by a diverse and multi-disciplinary group of experts from distinct geographies – this is a reflection of emerging research methods. British educators, for example: Lynda Kaye (Edge-Hill University) and Tara Woodyer (University of Portsmouth) have openly called for collaboration, further understanding, and for public engagement.

2. Connectivity and The Web

The classification is driven by the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristics of gaming disorder. The initial focus of WHO’s study was smartphones, tablets, PC and the cloud and the web. Rightfully, gaming encapsulates the subjects of WHO’s study. 

3. Only A Few Affected

The draft does not in any mannerism imply that everyone involved in gaming are susceptible to the disorder. The draft explicitly states that only a few are threatened and the classification is not a reflection of the whole. The draft alerts and focus the attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to galvanise research methods and public engagement.

4. Awareness and Time Management

Finally, the draft also highlights the importance of space and time management in the discourse. The psychology of space and time-management are simple but critical success factors. We seldom forget that gaming is about both Children and adults, and male and female.

Discussion

Consider the finance, time and space that research cohorts committed to Tetris in the past – was it not wasteful? Whatever your perspective to Tetris, I’m sure you have your reasons. Thankfully, you don’t have to seek afar to identify with a sense of urgency that traditional current methods won’t suffice for the learning that’s going to occur in the future. 

Gaming devices are more than a box where you play video games, they are cloud and web-enabled portals to many social and entertainment worlds. Research shed light on how increasingly difficult it’s becoming to separate gaming discussions from everyday discussions on social media. The risk (opportunities and threat) of escapism is real in gaming paradigm. 

Final Word

We have done a marvellous job in including gamer’s and gaming in digital discussions, our achievements are exemplary. Due to the smart work of scholars, practitioners and enthusiast, we now know more about gaming than we did demi-decades ago. The draft is timely and has arrived at a good time when game studies are plagued with repetitions, persuasive rhetoric, twitter scholar-celebrities and pseudoscience. The draft does not alter research proceedings, rather, it encourages due diligence, public engagement, collaboration and resourcefulness. 


Thank you for visiting my blog!

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Excessive Gaming Is Now A Mental Health Disorder


The W.H.O has classified excessive gaming as a mental health disorder in the draft for 2018 diagnostic manual.

According to the health organisation, a gaming disorder is characterised by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline.

Manifested by;

1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);

2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and;

3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

– World Health Organisation

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The Spence’s

I was particularly drawn to World Health Organisation’s  draft due to the initial focus of their study; tablets, smartphones, computers and social media. Like WHO, if you bear any apprehensions for social media networks, smartphones, tablets and the whole online thing – perhaps you should be worried about gaming. 

The video game is merely an object, however, contemporary gaming devices are windows to many social worlds and universes of discourse, and it encompasses all the concerns mentioned above.

The Spence’s

Gaming is not so disparate, and how a video game is used relatively depends on the player, motivation and space, and the possibilities are vast. It is widely known that consumers do not necessarily interact with products in a manner the developer intended. The holistic adopting of social media as a bridge in gaming changes the scope of game studies. This is the primary motivation for including parents/guardians and gamer’s in my longitudinal game study at the University of Portsmouth.

Personally, I welcome the World Health Organisation’s draft and I think that the draft is a much-needed wake-up call for scholars, practitioners and enthusiast, everywhere. My support for the draft is succinctly condensed into the two areas below;

(1) Research Development

(2) Market development and penetration

1. Research Development

Gaming as a field of study is loosely defined and not understood. This is due to many factors, for instance, misplaced funding, diversity and lack of skills and experience in the distinct and connected fields that make efficient game studies. 

By now, most are aware of the early benefits of gaming such as hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking, creative thinking, executive functioning and employ-ability, just to mention a few. That said, modern gaming is so much more than eye-coordination, today, gaming devices are portals to infinite social and entertainment worlds. People/players can now play games, enjoy movies, share music and much more with their friends and relatives around the world via their gaming devices. The essence of my story, there hasn’t been a significant development in gaming studies in the past decade – since Galaxy Zoo in the UK.

2. Market Development and Penetration

The proliferation of computer-mediated-communication in our daily lives has transformed the way we live, the way we love, the way we do business, and the way we play. The change has prompted calls for new and responsive models in most walks of life.  There is an emerging sense of urgency that traditional methods may not suffice for the learning that’s going to occur in the future.

Gaming devices have come a long way from the early handheld and arcade systems to powerful consoles underpinned by cloud and web communication technologies. There is a ton of contagion and distortion going on as brands penetrate what is largely an untapped market with unregulated and persuasive models. For instance, as we experience with eSports, where brands and individuals with historical and sometimes nostalgic mental models of gaming seek profitability through hyper personalised models.

Gaming is not a topic that can be tackled behind the walls of a classroom, with mere questionnaires or by taking players out of the space and geography that defines them. There are many lessons that we can diffuse and adapt for gaming paradigm. As an abstract system, gaming paradigm is an excellent print for emerging digital and connected economies. Understanding gaming paradigm requires new collaborative research methods that include academia, media service providers, lawmakers, parents and guardians, players and the third sector.

I think the draft is a good start and inherently sends out a strong signal that echoes gaming is very much part of online, social media, micro-learning, digital literacy and mental health discussions.


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My top tips for guiding and empowering high-performing teams


High-performing teams are creative, social, innovative and deliberate. They have deep trust in each other, their purpose and in their abilities. They are often connected, and constantly seeking new ways to improve and celebrate and reward the improvements.

Have you come across the saying, “No one size fits all”? This saying is particularly correct when it comes to teams and groups. There is no one way to lead a high-performance team – however, there are though guidelines that can assist you in your new role.

 

1. Pay attention, ask more than tell or change

It’s not always about change unless expressed in your contract and statements of work. At this stage, I recommend asking and connecting, rather than telling and changing. The connectivity gained and the lessons captured will prove invaluable for future projects.

2. Roles, styles and accountability

Separate growth from development by managing performance development and individual development. For instance, by setting goals with employees and following-up with personal development planning and appraisals.

3. Be Agile

Agile is being nimble, responsive and able to work quickly, with ease and flexibility without losing efficiency. An Agile structure surrounds a leader with influential players in the workplace. It’s also a responsive and continuous form of feedback and data collection. 

3. Empower action

Empowerment catalyses continuous improvement, knowledge management, and transformation by removing the barriers to creativity, problem-solving, and innovation. By empowering colleagues, a leader encourages the team to feel free to express their ideas, feelings, take risk and problem-solving.

4. Responsive communications, feedback mechanisms and connectivity

Weak-ties are cultivated through single mediums of communication, while strong-ties rely on the use of multiple mediums of communication. Inspire an open, transparent, continuous and responsive feedback culture with corresponding mediums of communications and support infrastructures.

5. Be social and fun

Diving into a big project, day in and day out, can create a superficial impact on bonding in the workplace – spontaneity and fun is a good icebreaker. We can learn more about a colleague in a short amount of time, over a meal or video game, than we can learn from attitudes towards rules and policies for 6-years.

7. Acknowledge, reward and celebrate success

As a form of gratitude and mental feedback, it allows for reflection and evaluation of the team’s collective achievement. Organisations have different themes and styles, experiment with perks till you find the right social-technology mix for your organisation.

 

In conclusion, successful deployment of the skill-set available to a leader relatively depends on how well they integrate and can complement other areas of the business. The thing is, if a leader is not trusted, they can’t be seen as inspiring or trusted to resolve conflicts and develop talent.

Ensure that you (1) posses the knowledge and expertise (2) are prepared to learn (2) build relationships  (3) are empathetic (4) are open and transparent (5) are consistent (6) and you reward and celebrate success when it’s due, and vice versa (7) are fun and social.

 

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Team UKFAST prepare for an evening of gaming

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Community Brandon: The benefits of using your local library


Research consistently shows that when we teach children life skills at a young age, they grow to become smart men and women. The library is a partner in child and adult development, lifelong learning and community cohesion. Personally, I’m convinced that the library has a gluing role in social cohesion and integration.

Below I impart with my top 6 reasons why we should all be using our local library.

 

1. Benefits for Children

The library introduces children to the dictionary at an early age. It expands children’s capacity for vocabulary, research and independence. Libraries instil the love of writing and reading in children which can positively alter their reading, writing and research skills. Using the local library is crucial during child development and the local library exists to ensure that children can continue learning while away from school.

The library is a controlled space for connecting with children while allowing them space and time to make own connections. Children can now enjoy many free activities with their parent/s or guardian at the local library. For example, an animation course with their parent/s or guardian at the local library.

 

The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library.

— Maya Angelou

 

2. For Further Education and New Skills

The library is a treasure trove of free programs that may support learning away from school. The library offers various free courses, activities, and resources for both children and adults. The courses provided at local libraries are part of a national backed scheme.  Visit your local library to learn what’s available.

 

3. Saving Time and Money

Save both time and money on services in your local library;

    • hiring work-spaces and group rooms
    • advice starting-up business
    • finding work online
    • living and doing things online
    • affordable printing

 

4. Make New Friends 

The activities offered at the local library include reading clubs, game clubs, movie clubs and science clubs. These activities have a social and community theme, the library is an efficient space to meet people and grow a network in the local community.

 

5. Political Values

The library champions and reflect values as part of the community life. The library is a community and citizen learning institution for diverse citizen populations. The local library is centrally positioned to bring community issues to social agencies, lawmakers and third sector. Keep up-to-date with community events and initiatives through the local library.

 

When a library is open, no matter its shape or size, democracy is open, too.

— Bill Moyers

 

6. Relaxation & Comfort

I’ve never left a library feeling stressed out or low. It is such a relaxing environment with so much more to offer than books, and it’s just around the corner.

 

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.

— Jorge Luis Borges

 

There are so many benefits and enjoyable things that we can do and achieve through the local library. Many of which policymakers and citizens are yet to explore. These are my top 6 benefits of using your local library.

 

Benefits of partnerships between NHS Digital and Community Organisations in England


The pandemic painfully exposed the need for involving the users at every stage of health and social care products and services design and development. It highlighted the need for deliberate attempts and approaches that can access marginalised voices and the need for inclusive research and a diverse dataset. However, the pandemic also showed us what our fantastic NHS, local governments and Third Sector can achieve when they work together.

Just in February of 2022, NHS Digital agreed and embarked on a new partnership with community networks. The reason is to better understand the users and to be able to develop health and social care products and services that work for everyone.

This is not the first time that NHS Digital is working with community organisations and networks in England. In the summer of 2021, our organisation joined other community partners to conduct the first Usability Testing of the Covid 19 content on the NHS website and App.

In March of 2021, IFB Gaming also supported NHS Digital to design research methods for British Sign Language Users (BSL) and IFB recruited the participants for the NHS Language Project.

There has been a notable rise in the number of partnerships since the peak of the pandemic in 2021, and this article focuses on the partnership between NHS Digital and Community Organisations and Networks in England.

Benefits of the partnership between NHS Digital and community networks

According to NHS Digital’s user research team, the NHS is committed to being user-centred, ensuring that the products and services it develops meet user needs and conform to NHS guidelines and Government Service Standards.

As an organisation, the NHS has successfully reached out to many communities as part of our standard research practice. However, the NHS also understands that they have not always engaged with some parts of the population; often those in seldom-listened-to groups and communities and people who are less engaged emotionally and digitally.

To address this issue, NHS Digital has established an ongoing partnership with community networks and groups in England and here are the benefits of the partnership below. 

Inclusivity and diversity

This approach will enable NHS Digital to learn more about the communities we serve, get a better understanding of how to work with them, and help us include a diverse range of voices in our activities. 

Quality and value for users of our products and services

Working with local community groups and networks will ensure that our products and services are designed to be accessible and useful to all audiences.  Enabling these groups to pilot our materials, offer feedback on our plans and act as a sounding board will help to improve the quality of our work. 

Value for Money

This approach makes the best value of public funds by reimbursing local community groups for recruiting seldom heard participants (to reinvest in the communities they serve), rather than paying fees to private recruiting agencies. 

Engagement and empowerment

The partnerships could enable NHS Digital to give back to the communities we serve, supporting engagement, skills and empowerment of individuals who may not usually engage.

Collaboration

Sharing information and knowledge about the workings of the health and care system may be beneficial to members of the local community, and help to signpost them to appropriate services.

Benefits of partnering with community organisations (NHS Digital, 2022)

The government wants more patients to receive better care through strategic partnerships between the NHS, local government and social care systems. The government’s latest white paper titled “joining up for people, places and population” sets out measures to make integrated health and social care a universal reality for everyone across England regardless of their condition and to level up regardless of their background or location.

But first, we will need to manifest conduits that access the disparate members and cultures in England and Wales. Despite our collective efforts, the current system means that too often patients find themselves having to navigate complex and disjointed systems, or they do not have the essential digital skills for health, or their voices are not efficiently represented within the current construct.

Personally speaking, the call-to-action is another step in the right direction for health and social care in England and Wales, and we will see more and more partnerships in the future as we continue to design for a nation where everyone can fully participate and reach their potential during technology adoption maturity and beyond.

Why we support GOW at IFB Gaming


It is almost that time of the year when we get together to reinvigorate our shared vision for a prosperous, fairer, disinterested future society where everyone can reach their full potential.

Every October, during Black History Month and immediately after Libraries Week, the Online Centres Network review our shared goal to tackle digital inclusion in England, and we use the opportunity to encourage more organisations to join the cohort while supporting more citizens to get online.

The Online Centres Network

The Online Centres Network is a cohort made up of thousands of grassroot and hybrid organisations amalgamated by Good Things Foundation to tackle digital and social exclusion in England and Wales.

The Online Centres Network achieves its purpose by providing people and organisations with the insights, skills and confidence they need to fully participate during technology-adoption maturity and beyond.

The Online Centres Network has supported over 13 million people in England and Wales, Australia, Kenya and IFB Gaming diversified to Nigeria in 2020 to support education through the Digital Inclusion Tour.

Get Online Week is a key part of our design and work at the Online Centres Network. In addition to supporting people with digital skills, it is also an essential motivator for the organisations that constitute the cohort. For instance, during the lockdown, member organisations were able to access funding and devices and broadband to support people and organisations in our communities through the Online Centres Network.

British Council ISA at Scholars’ Crest International School (Connected Educator Programme)

Get Online Week

Get Online Week is a digital inclusion campaign by Good Things Foundation. The campaign sees thousands of local events take place each year hosted by community organisations, giving everyone the chance to find the support they need to improve their digital skills and get motivated to learn more.

In 2007, a date in October was first marked out to bring digital inclusion to national attention in the UK – and Get Online Day was born. In 2010, and for every year since, the campaign became a week-long, annual celebration, 

According to the figures released by Good Things Foundation in 2020, 400 community organisations in the UK held events for people with low digital skills, reaching over 20,000 people. This year’s Get Online Week campaign will take place from 18 – 24 October 2021, and you can be part of it too.

IFB Gaming

IFB Gaming is a hybrid games-based research and learning organisation focused on the intersection of play and lifelong learning and social inclusion.

At IFB, we believe that if people, communities or organisations don’t “mix” and “play” (integrate), then their ability to continue to learn in the future will evaporate and they risk being excluded.

IFB Gaming met Good Things Foundation at the launch of WebRoots Democracy at Whitehall in 2015 but we did not become a member of the Online Centres Network until 2018. Meeting Helen Milner, founder of Good Things Foundation, set IFB up for an epic digital transformation journey. At the time, she was basically doing what we were doing in gaming paradigm and with gaming clans and communities at University in real life, and with real organisations and charities.

Through the Online Centres Network, IFB Gaming has worked with prominent organisations and trusts such as NHS Digital, HMRC, Smartlyte, Learn For Life Enterprise and Park View Project.

Since joining the network in 2018, IFB has participated in four (4) Get Online Week campaigns and we are currently a health and wellbeing specialist within the network.

IFB Gaming joins the Online Centres Network (Get Online Week 2018)

Benefits of being part of Online Centres Network

Being a health and wellbeing specialist at the Online Centres Network could easily lead to the assumption that it is a mandatory campaign and as such we are obliged to participate. No! That is not the case and you can get involved too. All you have to do is follow the instructions to become a member of the Online Centres Network and register to either host an event and/or simply support the campaign.

Below, I impart four (4) benefits of joining the network as experienced through my leadership at IFB Gaming.

1. Focus – Being a member of the Online Centres Network provided a focus and guiding point for IFB Gaming as we navigated the transition from longitudinal virtual ethnography to a hybrid learning and research organisation.

2. Awareness and reach – Being a member of the UK Online Centres Network has provided us with a conduit to channel our uniqueness and offerings to the English communities and lawmakers. The Online Centres Network creatively creates a voice for the thousands of grassroot organisation in the coalition.

3. Further B2B and B2C opportunities – Being a member of the network has exposed IFB to sophisticated business conduits and prominent personalities in England and Wales and in Australia. Through the Online Centres Network, IFB Gaming has been able to access new business opportunities bringing opportunities back to English communities and to the organisations that serve these communities.

4. Exposure to funders and investors – Being a member of the UK Online Centres Network has exposed us to funders and investors that we could not have imagined and designed for. Pre-membership, community and hybrid organisations in our sector often competed for the same fund-pot, and often for identical objectives – social and digital inclusion. Since becoming a health and wellbeing specialist for the network, we have been exposed to funders, investors and lawmakers that we did not imagine possible, at least, not any time soon.

IFB Gaming was able to out tablets during the lockdown

The pandemic inherently catalyses technology-adoption maturity ushering in the new decline that puts on the path on new AI (Artificial Intelligence) making social integration an utmost priority. Today, 3.7 billion people are digitally excluded worldwide (ITU, 2020) and over 13 million people in the UK lack the digital skills they need for work (Lloyds Consumer Digital Index, 2020).

Hidden Middle (Future Dot Now)

A lack of digital skills and access can have a huge negative impact on a person’s life, leading to poorer health outcomes and a lower life expectancy, increased loneliness and social isolation, less access to jobs and education. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s how vital digital and social integration are to the nations health and wellbeing. Personally speaking, I think the work that we do at the Online Centres Network is essential. Organisations such as the Online Centres Network are as important for reporting at the top as they are for accessing excluded communities and citizens at the bottom, but we cannot do it alone.

Learn how you can get your organisation involved on the Online Centres Network’s website.

Simple tips for parents/guardians of young gamers


The New York Times published a pretty bleak look at what quarantine induced screen/gaming time is theoretically doing to kids in January of 2020. But this is not a new topic or issue. Silent movies were said to provoke crimeViolent TV and, later, violent video games said to cause violent crimes. War games have been said to cause mass-shootings.

In fairness, every generation has its own social and moral panic about emerging technologies and technology adoption, and it is far from over for video games and gaming discussions.

The issue is that no one actually keeps their eye on the ball. As each new technology comes out, we forget the last one. In recent years, we have been easily excited and distracted by emerging technologies, rhetoric, and ‘experts’, most of which has now come to light following the sudden manifestation of COVID-19. It is therefore pivotal to maintain focus and not only see the pandemic as a disruption, but also as an opportunity to bridge certain gaps and re-calibrate for tech-adoption maturity and beyond. In the article, I address a concern from a parent in London below.

as a parent with an artistic child I see him losing all his other interests, if I let him play everyday there would still be an argument when it’s time to stop! I personally worry about too much time staring at a screen.

A Concerned Mother

Gaming is a joint leisure time activity for many people around the world. When humans share leisure time activities together, they often initiate, build, and foster diverse social relationships. For more on the social and economic side of gaming, read my top tips for parents and guardians here and the socio-economic benefits of gaming and eSports here.

Contemporary online gaming devices are not so different from a personal computer or a smart phone and the internet. Contemporary gaming devices and access are pretty much portals to infinite social worlds, applications, and engagement.

At IFB, we believe that computer games (digital games or video games) are great and as we approach tech-adoption maturity and the final phase of the 4th industrial evolution, more and more things will be game-like. Have you played a game on Facebook recently and shared with your friends?

We have found that many people believe that there is a scientifically established relationship between violent video game play and violent crime, when in fact there is no research to indicate such a link. There is also strong misperception that just because someone plays a lot of video games, they are addicted to them. Disregarding the fact that there is currently an open debate as to whether or not video game addiction exists at all.

Pre pandemic, WHO classified gaming as a mental health disorder. Some leaders openly voiced their concerns for gaming addiction and its inherent link to violence – for example, the mass shootings in the USA. In the UK, the top mental health nurse has warned that video games are pushing young people into ‘under the radar’ gambling. It is far from over for gaming, but for now, here are some simple tips for parents and guardians of young gamers.

Simple Tips For Parents & Guardians

Be aware of the 3Cs, communication, connections and context of communication and connections during multiplayer-online gaming.

Off-line, use framing to focus on time and activity planning and management more than screen-time.

Gaming must not be his/her only social, playtime and relaxation activity.

Be present and interested and participate when he/she is gaming.

Finally, it costs to purchase a v-box for a young person every week to play video games such as FORTNITE. This partnership and privilege should be positively framed and transferable to developments at home and in real life.

IFB Gaming joins FutureDotNow Coalition


It delights me to announce that IFB Gaming has joined Future Dot Now Coalition.

Building the digital and data provisions, accessibly and capabilities of BAME communities is key to our digital transformation. However, we do not always have to wait for the problem to escalate before we start any planning process. The pandemic has created a sense of urgency highlighting that old ways may not suffice for the future and that we should amplify digital inclusion and eradicate data poverty. But no one organisation or government or community can do it alone. This is why we are delighted to take the pledge and join Future Dot Now coalition to tackle digital inclusion.

Digi Evol 2019

Future Dot Now is a coalition of organisations focused on boosting the UK’s workplace essential digital skills. The coalition is championed by Liz Williams MBE who is also the Founder and Chief Executive of Future Dot Now. There are currently 133 members, including organisations such as Good Things Foundation, IBM, Microsoft, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, and PwC, in the coalition.

Fostering a digitally-enabled culture is crucial to our success as a nation, which is why we are proud to join the Future Dot Now coalition, to share insights that will help other members while also learning from the other fantastic organisations in the coalition.

About IFB Gaming

IFB stands for International friends bureau. IFB is a games-based research and learning organisation focused on the intersection of play and lifelong learning and digital inclusion.

At IFB, we extract the elements that make gaming paradigm engaging, alluring, fun and social for digital and non-digital product and service. IFB was formalized in 2019.

What being part of the coalition means to us at IFB Gaming

Based on our market positioning as a games-based and bridge research and learning organization, the coalition will support our mission realisation in the following ways.

  1. To gain support from big names (individual and organizations) already tackling digital inclusion in England & Wales
  2. To share insights and acquire new insights and know-how that will be tailored to digital inclusion from the bottom-up
  3. To bring the coalition up-to-date on the benefits of Gamification and emerging trends
  4. To create new awareness programmes for the wonderful application readily available for Third Sector organisations and community organisations
  5. To share new opportunities and devise conduits that will continue to manifest the UK as the number one through strategic partnerships in the commonwealth
  6. To promote the Essential Digital Skills Framework in BAME communities and from the bottom-up
  7. To support organizations with volunteering opportunities in the community
  8. To provide free and affordable workplace digital training and products for the members of the coalition

EDS – Essential Digital Skill Framework

The Essential Digital Skills Framework (above) outlines five key skills and provides examples of tasks that people should be able to complete to demonstrate each skill. Each skill has a distinct focus, but the fifth skill – being safe, legal and confident online – is also embedded across the other four. Read all about Essential Digital Framework on Future Dot Now’s website.

EDS framework was particularly effective during our Digital Inclusion Tour (when we supported 10 schools and 200+ teachers with remote learning and digital inclusion) in 2020. The headteacher of Hubert Ogunde Memorial Montessori school shares her experience in the YouTube video below.

The pandemic has highlighted old gaps and exposed new gaps. The thing is, there is a lot of work going on in UK communities similarly focused on a prosperous, connected, fairer, and a sustainable digital economy. However, a lot of the work often exist in silos and largely go unreported and unaligned to systemic conduits.

I am convinced that we now need a robust, comprehensive and circular strategy held together with strategic partnerships and deliberately driven from the bottom-up with humans/communities at the core.

According to the City of London News Room, the UK is at the forefront of the digital revolution, with the pace of growth for technology, media and creative businesses outperforming the wider economy. Yet the speed of change is leaving many behind:

  • 53% of UK employees do not have the essential digital skills required for the workplace
  • 4.1 million adults in the UK are still ‘offline’, with 75% indicating that ‘nothing’ could motivate them to change
  • 11.3 million UK adults still lack the essential skills to access the internet, communicate and solve problems online

The Future Dot Now coalition have therefore committed to the following pledges – and are encouraging other organisations to join in and do the same. Only together, will we successfully develop fluid, connected and sustainable solutions that are fit for the task and challenges that lay ahead.

The Foreign Office 2021’s Integrated Review: Yay or Nay?


The Pandemic has certainly changed the face of society as we know it for the foreseeable future. Although ‘cataclysmic’ in nature, the Pandemic has not only disrupted every walk of life, it has also exposed certain societal gaps – that should be addressed. The inherent lockdown has highlighted certain health and learning inequalities and we are keen to support the public and emergency services to bridge and close the gap and to build the inclusive UK that works for everyone. This is why we welcome the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Integrated Review Report, 2021.

The Integrated Review

The Review is a comprehensive articulation of the UK’s national security and international policy. It outlines three fundamental national interests that bind together the citizens of the UK – sovereignty, security and prosperity – alongside the UK’s values of democracy and its commitment to universal human rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and faith, and equality. (GOV.UK)

The latest report (2021) stresses the importance of deepening the UK’s relationships with allies/partners at home and around the world, as well as moving more swiftly and with greater agility.

The report suggests:

  • an emphasis on openness as a source of prosperity
  • a more robust position on security and resilience
  • a renewed commitment to the UK as a force for good in the world
  • an increased determination to seek multilateral solutions to challenges like climate change

Achieved by:

  • Sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology
  • Shaping the open international order of the future
  • Strengthening security and defence at home and overseas
  • Building resilience at home and overseas

Read the full report here

The final report is the product of a year of work that included government agencies and consultation with a wide range of external organisations and thinkers through a call for evidence. The call for evidence was initiated on the 13th of September 2020, and it is part of a wider effort to ensure the Integrated Review is informed by a strong and diverse evidence base. The report sets out a vision for Global Britain up until 2025. Read the call for evidence with the link.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REVIEW

Read the full report here

Broadway Junior School, Apapa

The Benefits of The Integrated Review

The review informs the UK’s future policy-making for all government departments. It will also inform future spending reviews, offering further and improved opportunities to align resources with sovereign ambition and values over the long term. The Government has promised to ensure that all Government and Third Sector instruments will work together, coordinated by enhanced strategic capabilities at the core, to achieve the set objectives.

Abroad, there are also benefits for the Commonwealth Nations that we serve dearly. For instance, the Union Jack fly next to the Nigerian Flag in 26% of Private (and Montessori) schools in Lagos State, Nigeria – and the British Council is actively Connecting Classrooms in the country. This is where our interest lay.

Hubert Ogunde Memorial School, Ogun State

What it means for IFB Gaming

In 2020, we supported 10 private schools and 100+ teachers with digital inclusion and remote learning design in Nigeria. This year, we have partnered with NHS Digital and we actively supported the usability testing of the COVID-19 content on NHS.UK and GOV.UK websites in March 2021. We aim to amplify our calls for partnership in the coming months with the next call scheduled to begin in the first week of May (the 4th).

At IFB Gaming, the report supports:

Continuity and Sustainability Planning – Something reassuring about knowing that there is support for our Commonwealth (West Africa) programme back at home in the UK

Connectivity and Reporting – Opportunity to once again align our activities and field operations to national goals and value systems.

NHS Digital has taken that all-important first step – we should now follow NHS Digital’s footsteps.

Cohesion & Integration – There is a lot of work going on in our communities but they often exist and achieve in silos ending up unreported

Following our collective experience of the Pandemic at home and abroad, we welcome the holistic focus on strategic partnership and allies and we hope that our collective efforts are diverse and positively deliberate with solid evidence-bases.

We especially welcome the development because of the continued focus on evidence, education and science and technology. This inherently has its own benefits as the UK finally withdrew from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community at the end of 31 January 2020.

Scholars’ Crest International School, Lagos State

DISCIPLINE – Finding the right approach.


He was three at the time. He did something wrong – cannot remember vividly what exactly that was. Then he was summoned by his mom… “Did you do it?” she kept asking, obviously very displeased at what he did. “NO!” he insisted, with that innocent look on his face. But she was sure he did it. So she got really upset and said, “Listen! I will use this” (she was holding a tiny whip) She must have whipped him twice or thrice. Then she called him over a few minutes later for a conversation. “You know I whipped you because you lied. Not because you did that.. I have always said to you, you must tell the truth at ALL times, even if what you did is so wrong…”

She was training him to some good morals, so she believes – As parents/adults, we are usually obligated to!

Ever watched some kids reaction when they do something wrong? Their mood changes totally.. When you quiz them, they could come up with statements such as: “My Mom/Dad is going to beat me.” Or “My Mom/Dad is going to be crossed” or “My Mom/Dad wouldn’t be happy with me, they wouldn’t buy me..”

It’s always about pleasing the adult, isnt it? Rarely about the child being-in-a-self-sorry state(own reflective mood) Why is that? what is wrong with that? we should ask.

Recently, I stumbled on a statement by Kerwin Rae:

“My goal when I’m disciplining my son is not to make him wrong, it’s to make him think.”

He added, Teach your child to think, rather than force behaviours onto them and they will display good behavior on their own without the need for constant warnings or conditions.

He continued, Always remember to remain calm. Don’t yell. And be open to having a discussion about the effects or consequences of their actions.

This got me thinking about the subject matter of child discipline.

I needed to carefully analyze Kerwin Rae’s suggestion considering the fact that it is an evolving discussion. So I started with the dictionary; Finding out what these key words mean: Discipline, correct(ion) and punishment

The Oxford Advanced Dictionary defines these words thus:                                                                                                    

Discipline (Noun) the practice of training people to obey rules and orders and punishing them if they do not. (Verb) to punish somebody for something they have done.

Correct (Something) make something right or accurate for example by changing it or removing mistakes. (Somebody) to tell somebody that they have made a mistake

Correction (Noun) a change that make something more accurate than it was before.

Punishment (Verb) to make somebody suffer because they have done something wrong. To inflict. Rough treatment.

I have taken time to search out these words for the following reasons..

  1. What are we really hoping to achieve when we discipline a child?
  2.  What is the right thing? who determines that?
  3. Is disciplining for the child or the gratification for the adult who is punishing?
  4. How about the adults?

These definition will help us lay the foundation to what exactly we are doing, when we say, we are training children.

As African parents, a large number aim at raising children who would not bring shame/disgrace to the family name. Children often get severely punished at even the slightest misdemeanor, just to instil certain behavior they believe to be right, in their children.

Quite expectedly, some children yield positively to this kind of training, some, negatively. For some, it forms the foundation for building further life skills. This positive outcome makes it impossible to rule out this form of/approach to training. But a large number of the 21st century parents disagree on this. While a few will continue unto this kind of training for their kids, others are seeking a different/better approach instilling good morals/certain behaviour in their children.

The purpose of this publication is to discover if there is and what the right approach to disciplining children are, and revisiting why training is particularly essential at home. Even Teachers today, have challenges understanding the appropriate approach to instilling good behaviour in pupils under their care.

In a follow up article, we will critically look at:

  1. Why partners disagree on what’s appropriate punishment for the child
  2. What age do you start disciplining a child
  3. What really alerts a child when he or she does wrong
  4. What’s the best ways to instil right behavior in children
  5. Is Kerwin Rae’s advice something to consider

What are you hoping to achieve when disciplining a/your child-ren?

In Loving Memory of Mrs. Nnenna Onche (January 9, 1978 – January 3, 2021)


The flag off of Digital Championship in Nigeria was both timely and much of a success because of the enthusiasm with which the educators embraced it. Mrs. Onche Ajah Nnenna was one of the educators.

We met Mrs. Onche at Broadway Junior School – a member school of Digital Nation NG – where she coached grade level 4 and 5.

She joined Broadway in 2009, her contributions to the growth of the school is immeasurable. A 2005 graduate of English/Literature from Oju College of Education, Benue State in Nigeria, she is passionate about teaching and the opportunity to help students learn.

As the Pandemic hit the Nigeria Education system, Nnenna quickly embraced digital literacy and showed that in her dedication to attending all trainings we offered her school.

As a founding member of the Digital Nation NG, her passion for learning quickly made her grow in a short time to become a Tier 2 Digital Champion supporting citizens with digital skills in her community and in her workplace.

Nnenna will be greatly missed not only for her contribution to her immediate community, Digital Nation NG and Broadway Junior School, but because she was a wonderful human being, nothing was too big or too small for Mrs Onche. Mrs Onche always put the welfare and wellbeing of people around her before her own, always.

She leaves 2 children, her parents, siblings and her spouse behind.


Children: Odeh Williams Onche, Princess Omago Faith Onche

Parents: Edwin Ajah (Father), Josephine Ajah (Mother)

Spouse: Mr Onche Jonathan Inalegwu

Siblings: Emaka, Julie, Blessing, Bethel, Ijeoma, Uzoamaka, Ogbonna


Our hearts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. “It is not the years in a life that counts; it is the life in the years.” ~ Adlai Stevenson (US Ambassador to the United Nations, 1961-65)

Nnenna led and lived a good life, we will all miss her.

Goodbye and rest well, Mrs Nnenna Ajah Onche.


Please get in touch via email using joshuaofunmi@gmail.com to learn what Digital Champions NG are doing to support Mrs Onche’s family.

Mrs Onche Nnenna

Become More By Championing Digital: Home, Community & Workplace


Hello Everyone! I hope the Holiday is being friendly to you. It was no doubt a challenging year for many people and personally speaking, I was unable to build on the successes of 2019. That said though, while the pandemic was disruptive, I think you may find that it also presented opportunities for new, further and continued learning in many arenas of life.

Though the lockdown restrictions have been significantly relaxed in many Nations, the unpredictability and uncertainty surrounding the Pandemic and expected-vaccine remains. So, try to imagine how I felt when I received an invitation to join a prominent community called Become More Tribe right at the end of the year. I was well chuffed!!!

Before I proceed, I want to apologise because I cannot tell you much about the learning organisation’s culture and structure, except for the wonderful work Become More Tribe does in Nigerian communities epitomised by its successive reach, outcomes and impact. However, having followed the learning organisation with passionate-inquisitiveness for several months, I am convinced that Digital Champions can learn more and further benefit from Becoming More. Digital Champions can systematically support any holistic initiative aimed at helping our communities to become more and better.

So, why am I so excited about Become More Tribe?

You are probably wondering, what is so exciting about being invited to a group? I know, people are invited to and join groups every other day.

In 2020, I supported 10 schools and 100+ teachers with digital literacy, digital inclusion, digital literacy and remote learning. For optimal goal and benefit realisation, I employed a concept called Digital Champions. It was highly successful. However, bringing into the context the unpredictability of the pandemic and geographical disparities, I have struggled to visualise a continuity plan with an happy ending favourable to all the stakeholders.

Digital Champions are often appointed by their network, communities or by their workplace to help them promote the benefits of learning technologies and an inclusive and blended learning-organisation. Digital Champions are people of all ages and from all backgrounds and communities.

They help others understand the benefits of using the internet and technology and can show them how to do simple things online that can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Read all about Digital Champions with this link.

Mrs Yinka Ogunde

Firstly, Mrs Yinka Ogunde, who I have mentioned severally in my discussions champions the initiative. Mrs Yinka Ogunde, a dedicated Educator, Mother, Wife, and passionate Lifelong Learner was recently, and in my opinion, rightly, credited in Nigerian media for her role in the continued transformation of the country’s education system.

In my last tele-conference, here, I exclusively gave a shout-out for her work in Nigerian grassroot communities. In the same video, here, I impart with my concern that while there’s a lot of work focused on a prosperous, equal and fairer Nigeria, there is not enough connectivity, downwardly impacting collaboration. Please watch the tele-conference here and do let me know what you think – thank you!!

Becoming a member of Become More Tribe exposes me and my team to like-minded persons and relationships and fundamentally, collaborative spaces where “we can continually expand our capacity to create the results we truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where we are continually learning how to learn together” ~ Peter Senge.

Secondly, and perhaps most important to me, I do not want Digital Championship to become a fad. Joining Become More Tribe can creatively elongate the sustainability of Digital Championship in Nigeria. You can revisit the first Digital Champion Meeting in Lagos State here.

FREE Digital Skills For Beginners

Thirdly, the UN suggests that there are three levels to Social Sustainability, namely; Digital Inclusion; Digital Integration; Digital Cohesion. In my experience working in England & Wales, Nigeria, Kenya and Australia, I find it pivotal to understand the three stages, know your current stage, and to know when to move from a stage to the next. The thing is, we have now reached tech-adoption maturity in our respective countries. The maturity was unwittingly escalated and catalysed by the sudden emergence and swift spread of the Pandemic. At Digital Nation NG, we are now at Stage II of the UN’s Social Sustainability Framework and we couldn’t have asked for a more promising start to (Digital) Integration than an invite to become more with Become More Tribe.

Fourthly, educators played a pivotal role during the peak of the Pandemic in several countries. In my opinion, they were as essential as many tagged groups of essential citizens during the peak of the Pandemic. Suddenly, there is a certain sense of urgency that CPD – Continuous Professional Development and PDP, Personal, as well as, Professional Development Planning can no longer be treated as a luxury, it has become a must. In response to this knowledge, Digital Nation NG initiated the Connected Educator project in December 2020. Through Become More Tribe’s thought-leadership and outreach, Connected Educators can actively participate and strategically inform Knowledge Exchange, Knowledge Management, Policy Development.

Finally, all the above are inherently and readily available through Become More Tribe: a shared and mutual sense of space, culture and purpose. As the name may suggest, Become More Tribe empowers people to become better and they also empower the people with the tangible and intangible resources and know-how to empower other people.

Connecting Educator’s Connecting Classroom Project at Scholars’ Crest International School, Omole, Lagos State

I truly believe that Become More Tribe will breed new life into our programmes at Digital Nation NG. At Become More Tribe, we can participate with agility and independence, as an individual or as an organisation while developing meaningful, constructive, reinforcing and purposeful relationships and a shared sense of place and culture.

At Become More Tribe, we will also be exposed to the latest industry news, trend, and policies and we can actively participate in policy development through purpose-driven and person-centred social research and innovation.

I look forward to 2021 and to learning from, as well as, working with a group that continually strives for a fairer, prosperous, equal and sustainable Education in Nigeria. You may have heard the saying “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change a Nation” ~ Nelson Mandela

6 lessons teachers can take away from the pandemic


Hubert Ogunde School

COVID-19 did not only disrupt learning as the pandemic manifested new opportunities for more and continued learning through personal and professional development initiatives. The Pandemic offered a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to address the gross inequalities and inadequacies in the Educational system.

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