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Reaching a wider audience – the cost of quality

Innovation in technology and design means money and time. Nothing that Digital Explorer does is radically new nor are the methods we use different from what thousands of others are doing. So what’s the difference?

Quality.

I have watched YouTube videos that pupils have made. It’s always quite exciting to see which teachers have been secretly filmed. If you’re a teacher and never searched YouTube for your school, it can be quite revealing. The quality of these videos is pretty poor, and not just the content. Sound quality, framing, narrative, soundtrack, etc. are all out of the window. However, for a small group of people they are interesting and amusing. Quality in web video production gives you access to a greater audience.

There are blogs that I read that are easy to navigate, well laid out and full of interesting content. On some blogs, the design really adds to the content, giving a sense of place, ideas and inspiration. Others are truly shocking, full of garish fonts and mis-sized photographs, with dull headlines and lack of decent opening paragraphs. Again, unless you have a very particular interest in the person/people writing the blog or the content, you will not browse, but move on.

When Digital Explorer started, the inspirations were the model of the broadcast news journalist reporting from across the world, and the rigour of the professional expedition. Digital Explorer remains adamant that no compromise should be made in terms of quality, but that costs money.

A curriculum for the digital global citizen would include…

  • the skills to shoot, edit and upload a quality digital video (nothing more complicated than an establishing shot, a few interviews with proper framing and decent sound quality, and maybe an appropriate cut-away or three)
  • the skills to create or identify an engaging, appropriate and accessible online platform (blog, ning, social networking group or page, etc.) and the ability to write engaging content with a mix of digital media to back it up (photos, video and maps)
  • an appreciation and knowledge of digital mapping technologies and how they can help to inform and contextualise issues online
  • the ability to apply these skills to learning in Citizenship, English, Geography and Science taught curricula, so that any digital content has proper rigour in terms of research methods and young people understand how to create change

This curricula involves money and time. Who will build this capacity outside of the current taught curriculum? Where will the money for additional hardware come from? Who will link these new skills to local, national and global issues?

In the future, Digital Explorer wants to grow its current programmes to become a techno-eco-scout movement for the 21st Century.

Give young people the skills they need to become leaders.

We are failing them if we don’t.

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