RadioActive: Informal Learning and Employability through Internet Radio and Social Media

Presentation by Andrew Ravenscroft at the CALRG 2012 conference.

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Rebecca Ferguson
19 June 2012

This research and development project is a new approach to conceptualising, designing and developing social media for informal learning within ‘lived communities’.  It embodies the key pedagogical ideas of Paulo Freire and his notion of transformational (or emancipatory) learning through lived experience.  These are applied to promote the engagement, informal learning and employability of disenfranchised young people through internet radio and social media. The project is also inspired by musical revolutions as varied as the birth of blues, punk, hip-hop and acid-house, and what Orson Welles called ‘the confidence ignorance’.  Exploring rich and varied personal and community identities, and promoting their articulation, expression and positive transformation, are pivotal to RadioActive. It embodies a new approach to social media design - that is conceived as an intervention in existing digital and mixed-reality cultures. The fundamental idea is to catalyse, organise and legitimise the digital practices, content production and critical and creative potential of disenfranchised young people to provide a new and original community voice. This voice will combine the intimacy, relevance and ‘touchability’ of local radio with the crowd sourcing power of social media. Critical and creative cultural development, embracing the underground and challenging the status quo through the expression of lived experience are all at play.

 “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under” (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, 1982).

This talk will:  describe the rationale and pedagogical approach to design; the methodology for developing the RadioActive platform; our experiences and insights from a pilot project and a larger project (funded by Nominet Trust); and the broader implications for this and similar projects, when we consider the reality of designing learning for ‘lived’ communities cultures.

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