Social Media Action Plans – what and why?

Social media is a constant in modern society, but are we using it effectively?

Within the WEA, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blogs and other social media platforms are being used to promote, inform, educate and engage. The WEA is connecting with existing and prospective students, colleagues, partners and influential policy makers. The Yorkshire and Humber Region is a part of this, making notable strides to extend its digital reach.

Today in Leeds staff and tutors are gathering to develop social media action plans relevant and appropriate to their work and the WEA. The session will explore different social media platforms, marketing objectives, target audiences, proactive steps to achieving marketing goals and give participants chance to develop their own social media action plan. The action plan is an opportunity to think about the most appropriate social media platforms and the actions necessary to achieve those goals.

If you are attending the session please add your thoughts and comments.

We would also love to hear from others on their views of social media and their own social media action plans.

Promoting Community Arts

An exciting new WEA course has been launched in Huddersfield to promote community arts. The course is based at the Packhorse Art Gallery in Huddersfield, which is run by the mental health charity S2R. The course provides the opportunity to learn new skills like blogging and creating a digital book, with a view to students being able to apply them to a community project or interest of their own. In addition, the group are contributing to the creation of an iBook about the Packhorse Gallery and the artists who exhibit there, and the role of art and creativity in mental health and well being.

The course has already introduced the group to how to use an iPad, set up blog accounts and commented on blogs, and begun to plan the iBook content. The feedback has been incredibly positive, highlighting the unique learning environment of the class being held at the gallery and the supportive learning environment that the WEA provides. Below are just a few of the comments the group made (on their iPads!):-

No matter what your starting point is, the WEA provide courses that engage and challenge:-

“I have not done anything like this before and I think I will benefit from it”

“This course is very interesting, even though I am familiar with the use of computers there is always something to learn and on this course I have learned how to create a blog”

A positive learning experience:-

“I was just browsing and luckily came across the I pad course which I enrolled on – I’m loving the course and have introduced my friends”

“We find Sarah (the tutor) very understanding, patient and very good at her job”

“I have found it to be very informative and friendly, with a very patient tutor”

“I am finding it very exciting and informative.We have a very lively bunch of ladies doing the course and the atmosphere is buzzing with intellectual energy”

Interests and Aspirations:-

“I’m looking forward to the visit to Ashley Jackson’s gallery”

“We will be able to write about the Gallery and it’s artists and their work and talk to some of the artists about their work”

“We will be learning to upload pictures”

“We will also be able to support the WEA and the marvellous courses that they provide for the Community, like this iPad course”

“I hope to learn how to book holidays and look up information and generally find my way around the iPad”

“My aspirations are to become an avid blogger!”

The learning environment – the Packhorse Art Gallery:-

“The course is held in the S2R Art Gallery, which is a wonderful place to learn due to the relaxing creative atmosphere”

“The Gallery itself is the ideal place for this course as we are going to be contributing to the WordPress blog!”

“I love the gallery”

“I love the different crafts displayed around the gallery”

The group would love to hear your feedback – have you run a similar project, are you thinking of blogging or creating an iBook, or have you simply reflected on the group’s experiences – please leave a comment letting us know what you think and what your experiences have been. And follow the progress of the iBook and the group’s ventures into digital technology and community arts promotion. Please visit the Packhorse Gallery blog as well:-

ICT Tutor Event

On Thursday 12th September 2013 the ICT Curriculum group held its annual ICT Tutor Event at Sheffield Learning Centre. The event was well attended and thanks to the support from JISC ( delegates had a great opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with a range of apps for the iPads. I know I personally found this very engaging and has given me plenty of food for thought, what did you think?

As well as the hands on elements there were some very useful discussions taking place throughout the day, not least over the use of this blog as a tool for tutor, staff, volunteer and students engagement. Some delegates are already well versed in blogging while others are still to be convinced of its benefits. So with that in mind let’s open up the debate, what are your thoughts? How can you use this blog as a support mechanism?