It’s a week set-aside by UK charities to reinvigorate out collective commitment to tackling social exclusion and integration in England. The campaign was birth in 2006/07 and championed by Good Things Foundation.
As the founder of a UK Online Centre (IFB Gaming), part of the Online Centres Network, set up by Good Things Foundation to tackle social exclusion and integration in England, Get Online Week is traditional and an integral arena of our digital and social exclusion strategy.
Since inception in 2006/07, the campaign has helped over 2.4 million people with basic or intermediate digital skills. That said, the campaign has not been able to penetrate Southwark areas of London.
2018. The first time a national event such as Get Online Week is witnessed in and around Southwark’s Brandon Estate.
Increasing social and learning divide
New research commissioned by Good Things Foundation reveals the extent of digital exclusion in South East London. There is no one reason for the increase, most importantly, there is a disconnection between the spheres due to technology-adoption maturity. Many people are excluded, both socially and digitally, due to the increasing disconnect.
2018. Get Online Week reveals the true extent of digital and social exclusion in Southwark’s Brandon Estate. Important critical factors that may have contributed to the manifestation of knife and gang-related violence earlier in the year.
Tech-adoption-maturity, that is, the point in human evolution when technology becomes an integral part of daily life.
Reconciliation following a summer of violence in London
A series of tragic murders rocked London the estate in 2018. Up-to 40% of the homicides and eventual arrests occurred at Brandon Estate. The most discussed include:
2018. Get Online Week at Brandon estate united IFB Gaming with Brandon library and it ran concurrently with local reconciliation campaigns. There were balloons, new courses were introduced to the local library, and local people were able to get together to talk about the events of the summer.
Get Online Week is back! This year, charities and community organisations serving Brandon unite at the Brandon library to celebrate the event for the first time in our sector.
The 7-day campaign will give local charity leaders (such as Find My Charity, IFB Gaming, Southwark library service and Online Centres Network) an opportunity to network directly with the community.
What is Get Online Week?
Get Online Week is not a new or emerging national event. More than 11 years ago, a date in October was first marked out to bring digital inclusion to national attention in the UK – and Get Online Week was born.
Since initiation, the event has grown into a week-long, annual celebration, with thousands of events taking place each year in communities across the UK, giving everyone the chance to find the help they need to improve their digital skills.
The 7-day campaign is pioneered by Good Things Foundation and IFB Gaming and it will run from 15th to 22nd of October. A wealth of information on the campaign and fit to the wider spectrum is available on Good Things Foundation’s website.
So, come along to Brandon Estate on Cooks road between the 15th and 22nd of October to:
Register at the community library
Register for Learn My Way
Get help with computer and Apps and Software SW
Be aware of the courses available through the library and Rachel Leigh
Meet local digital champions
Learn more and register for FREE technology and sewing classes
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.
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 sportsis 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:
The Barriers: Research, market penetration & tech-adoption maturity
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.
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.
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.
Taking music lessons or learning a musical instrument can benefit a developing brain in many ways. It is scientifically proven that music has magical effects on a person’s brain development and logical and perceptual skills. Children exposed to music lessons at a young age have enhanced brain functionality positively impacting their skills, development, exposure and academics.
According to Maria at IFB Gaming, music is a human phenomenon, it’s one of the few sensory experience that activates all areas of the brain simultaneously. To manifest this expressive art therapy we will use music to improve the physical, psychological and social well-being of individuals at our learning centres and through local and community events in Brandon.
(IFB Gaming’s Maria, L)
Listening to certain musical pieces can improve our physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs. Music can positively impact stress, depression, and loneliness and the new music sessions are devised for these reasons.
The sessions will feature different activities such listening to music, singing and playing a musical instrument.
It will be delivered in two phases: (1) active and (2) receptive.
In active therapy everyone takes a part in the action – creating music with instruments, voices and other objects.
A lot of times when people have some problem is difficult to talk about it. Expressing yourself in the language of music gives more freedom and free room for interpretation.
This phase settles the learner, it helps the learner/s to express their feelings and emotions freely.
Receptive therapy takes place in a more relaxed ambience where the therapist plays or makes music to the patient for creativity, to listen or for meditation.
The right selection of different classical pieces can have positive effect and improves our well-being. This phase is conducted in groups where the music is carefully selected.
Music has positive impact on discipline and confidence. It is a way to express and release emotions. There are lot of benefits of learning music, for instance: improved health; making new friends; training, discipline and patience; a stress reviler; it enhances creativity; learn new things; connect with others; and be part of a group and community.
Maria is a London-based Bulgarian violinist and music teacher and future education trustee at IFB Gaming. Maria is a familiar face in schools and colleges in Lambeth and Southwark boroughs of London. Maria’s teachings is based on Eastern European theorem. Maria holds a Masters in violin.
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?
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:
The presence of hazardous or unusual material;
A change in environment such as unexplained vapour, odd smells or tastes;
Look for inexplicable signs;
Itching and skin irritation
Itching in airways
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…
According to Dr Lorraine Hope at the University of Portsmouth, memory makes us who we are, and although memory is reliable – it is not necessary for us to be false or deliberately economical with the truth to inaccurately state a fact/facts.
Despite contemporary approach to memory and the success rate within applied psychological fields, there’s insufficient evidence to conclude that short-term and long-term memory are indeed distinct.
The only concrete evidence of a separate short-term and long-term memory is epitomised by patients with impaired memory capacity. For instance, as experienced through those with impaired short-term memory and intact long-term memory, and vice versa.
Consider the classic example;
In everyday life, we are often asked questions while our minds are on something else. We usually respond with “what did you say? or excuse me?” – before a sensational realisation that we do know what was asked.
Hope perspective: How is it unique?
Hope’s perspective skips the technicalities and the linear approach. Hope’s perspective is simplified, generalised, and representative of memory theories. In addition to its universality, I particularly admire Hope’s perspective because it shed light on how video games may be beneficial for memory. Dr Hope condenses how memory works into four the four areas below.
1. Memory is Social
According to Dr. Hope, memory is mostly social, we share our experiences with others to inform, build bridges, for fun and entertainment. The interactions we have with people, space and systems around us can have profound impact on how we can or can’t remember or recall information. According to Dr. Hope, this phenomenon is called contagion or social contagion. According to Hope and contemporary memory literature, the individual may not be aware of any contamination to traditional memory.
2. Memory is Suggestible
We can deduce from above (1) that memory is easily contaminated by the experiences that occur after the capture and consolidation of an experience. According to Hope, these distortions can take the form of minor errors to the manifestation of entirely false memories that never occurred. This support psychologists who have reported that an individual can certainly construct new models and recall false memories. It also supports any assumptions that the working or short-term memory consists of temporary activation’s from long-term memory.
3. Memory is Transient and needs help
Some people have a unique way of remembering and recalling certain types of information. There are many tools, techniques, and innovation available to aid memory, for instance, breaking down a telephone number into chunks for easy of capture and recall.
07999 888 999
Hope points out, that forgetting occurs quite rapidly, making it paramount to be able to access to information or experiences as soon as it’s encoded or required. As Memory depreciate over time, we naturally lose access to specific details and information.
4. Memory may need Space
Finally, Dr Hope points out that memory may need space to successfully and accurately complete a recall. Technically, recall often requires various and distinct, yet, connected elements to come together timely to deliver a request. Relaxation is important during the recall process or during information elicitation, which’s Dr Hope’s field. Hence, it may be necessary to revisit the space where the memory was initially captured.
Hope and many psychologists have consistently emphasised that, although resilient, memory is also malleable and fallible, and it will eventually fade with time. Hence, it makes sense that the more deeply encoded information is and the more often it is retrieved for use, the easier it is to recall, thereby reducing distortions at the same time.
In addition to everyday approach to memory (encoding, consolidation and recall), I find Hope’s Perspective to be an important ally in my ICT teachings. Learn more about Hope’s perspective here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the article, I impart with benefits of adopting social media for your hands-on passion as diffused through my work with street-market traders in Walworth (Southwark).
What is a street market?
A Street market is a temporary public market normally set up outdoors on specified days of the week. Street markets are sewed into the community’s social fabric, and often a reflection of the character and values of the neighbourhood.
For perspective and clarity, I revisit my time with Emmanuel and Eva at East street market on Walworth road.
Emmanuel CEO was convinced that he could transform his passion for trade and eggs for the benefit of immediate communities.
I concurred! He had my full attention. This is a great Idea, I thought… silently.
So often, community educators struggle to identify new opportunities for personalised further learning, for both learners and volunteers. Now they’ve acquired new digital skills or aided the digital up-skill of local people – how do we cater for their own continued development and lifelong learning?
Firstly and obviously, there is no one way to achieve as I’ve learned that the learning requirement of individuals and organisations are unique. However, I hope that by sharing Oligab eggs experience, I can highlight a starting point or possible journey for your hands-on passion.
Impact of social media on Emmanuel’s hands-on passion
1. Market Penetration & Development and Business Development: Besides the traditional benefits and routine audience, can the unknown access the uniqueness of your product and service? The opportunities for diversification swiftly manifested. Oligab is offering every edible poultry egg from under one roof, but oblivious to the team, Oligab would also be in the middle of many cafes and restaurants.
Employing social media increased Oligab’s visibility which inevitably set the organization apart from many market stalls and small businesses. Oligab sells eggs and is also a major supplier to cafes and restaurants in Southwark. The company now runs apprentice and intern programmes for young-people and underprivileged in the local community from its market stalls.
2. Personal Growth and Learning: We, community educators, often struggle to identify opportunities for tailored learning for both our learners and the volunteers. Emmanuel was clear about his goals from the offset, and he was going to use his new digital skills with or without my continued education.
Adopting social media increased Emmanuel’s sense of awareness, curiosity and thirst for autonomy. Naturally, branching out into new arenas was going to present challenges, however, Emmanuel was able to meet the learning needs with my guide and reinforcing microlearning via Learn My Way and HM Revenue and customs product and services.
3. Brand Development and Community Learning: Street traders often maintain close ties to the community and its members. Research has consistently shown that weak-ties are cultivated through single points or mediums of communications, while strong-ties require multiple-connected mediums of communication. By adopting the extra points and mediums of communication, Oligab eggs bridge and mitigate perception gaps between farmers and local communities.
Though debatable, eggs are also famed for their protein and vitamin content and vital for strong growth and development. By adapting and integrating traditional marketing techniques with solid social media infrastructures – Emmanuel is able to share and educate local communities on the health benefits of eggs – realising his passion for eggs and community learning.
The first volume in the series focused on the design and curricular considerations related to creating and using games for learning, such as designing for diverse audiences or designing for social studies, STEM, or music learning. The book also delves into specific design issues, such as aligning goals, designing for an audience, playtesting, and assessment.
The second volume focused on the challenges of creating games and implementing them in educational settings, and covered issues such as gamification, using games to support ASD (autism spectrum disorder) students, selecting games for the classroom and library, homeschooling and gameschooling, working with parents and policymakers, and choosing the right tools for game development.
A key component of the books were case studies of games, which were inset from the primary text of each chapter, and served to illustrate the concepts and frameworks described in the chapters. For instance, we had short case studies on games such as Quandary, Minecraft, Civilization, and Foldit. Volume 3 will focus on empathy, sympathy, leadership and project management.
“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…
Consider the following real-world instances compiled by the team at Learn My Way, below;
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”.
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“.
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”.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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)