Posts Tagged ‘Alan November’

Policy 2.0 An Overview

Nigel and I started developing some digital approaches to policy development whilst working in the UK Government for Becta, then the  government’s e-learning agency. This is a short overview of those developments with links to related online resources

lastfridaymob; In 2001 & 2002 a large Advisory Group of 168 Civil Society organisations were involved in a UK govt project to “solve the digital divide” called “Cybrarian.” We came up with a prototype “social network,” but the term didn’t exist then. We were aware of the need for a high-concept description of what we had come up with, however we called it an “Amazon for e-gov” when our client (the UK govt) understood neither Amazon nor e-gov. When our proto-Facebook was rejected (they decided on commissioning a search engine instead – yeah I know) a bunch of us from the technical committee formed lastfridaymob as a silent protest. We were smart enough to realise that the problem was that government didnt understand how to evaluate new Web2.0 technology projects, so we thought we would help by coming up with the criteria for them.  We came up with 7 key points, but simplified it to 1; “Encourage innovative, creative and participative uses of ICT within government initiatives.”

An Information Architecture for Civil Society; One of the more laughable (OK, hilarious) aspects of the “Cybrarian” project was when we handed the project management over to a highly-paid management consultancy. It was quite clear they had no idea of nascent Web2.0 tech projects, so I wrote a piece called An Information Architecture for Civil Society in 2003 to explain how a national civil society tech project needed to be designed. I was concerned that business corporations design social infrastructure using what they understand about business systems architecture. Civil Society, the social DNS of cultures, operates differently, and we need to understand the social information architecture that enables social discourse. (We are currently a facing the same real problem with smart cities).

Learner-generated Contexts Research Group; however our plan to explain to government how to deal with the post-Web 2.0 technology back in 2004/05 foundered so we decided to re-configure as a research group interested in post-Web2.0 models of learning. We accepted that social media, Web2.0 and user-generated content was a given (as would an interactive, creative and participative education system) so we thought of developing criteria, descriptors and pedagogies that allowed for all that. We decided that the way to describe post-Web 2.0 learning was that it would entail Learner-generated contexts (shaped with learner-generated content) where “coincidences of motivations” led to “agile configurations” of learning systems. We held some public events, developing the Open Context Model of Learning. At our event on learning spaces Nigel & I were asked to develop an interactive policy forest so we could identify the policy elements that would enable the social construction of learner-generated contexts.

Policy2.0; Nigel Ecclesfield and Fred Garnett also spent 18 months working with (more…)

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