Munch, Poke, Ping – Acceptable Use Policy for mobile phones & social Media.

Posted 26 Jan 2012

Last week I met with Stephan Carrick -Davies who released a superb report in July 2011 commissioned by the Training Deveoplemnat agencyMunch, Poke, Ping – Vulnerable young people, social media and e-safety. The focus of the research was to consider the risks which vulnerable young people, excluded from schools and being taught in Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), encounter online and through their mobile phones. The aim was to then ascertain what specific advice, support and safeguarding training staff working with these vulnerable young people need when it comes to understanding social media and mobile technology. Stephen was kind enough to sit and share some of his insights form the research in the below film clip.

Filmed interview about the Munch, Poke, Ping research.

The aim of the 2nd stage of the Much, Poke, Ping project is to create, disseminate and scale up a series of positive, creative E-safety resources targeted at staff working with vulnerable young people in PRU (Pupil Referral Units). There are 3 work packages; creation of 2 film clips; Young people to choose the theme for the film clip (identity, coping or conflict) and social media.

Stephen and I reviewed the first 2 films that have been planned, captured and edited with a group of young people from Croydon PRU. The first clip is called ‘Who’s This?’ and is about ‘Fraping’. After much discussion between Stephen and I the title of this film was changed from ‘You’ve been fraped’ to ‘Who’s This?’. As although the YP use the term ‘Fraping’, and indeed came up with the title and the subject for the film we really felt it was such an emotive term and there are dangers in re-enforcing negative language (like ‘Happy Slapping’) and sensationalising a term which although horrific can somehow minimise the impact of physical rape. The YP still talk about Fraping in the film but it is within the context of them talking about the issue and what the word means.

The below film clip is about the pupils of the Coningsby Centre Pupil Referral Unit sharing their experiences about technology, risk and the making of the short film “Who’s This”.

Coningsby Film Project from Julian Parmiter on Vimeo.

The film took 6 weeks to produce (8 sessions with the YP) and was devised with the YP. The film resulted in equipping and supporting 8 very vulnerable young people and really supporting them in not just their understanding of this issue but their acting and producing skills. In my view – ‘youth practitioners’ need to aspire to ’supporting young people to migrate from being digital consumers to digital creator’ which in turn will enable them to self advocate for their rights and future opportunities.

Stephen has invited me to help co-develop the second work package is the creation of a set of ’scenario’ lesson plans for PRU staff to use with vulnerable young people which will address the issues of risky behavior which may start online but has very serious offline consequences. The lesson plans would culminate in resource to create a PUR Acceptable Use Policy thereby allowing the young people to participate and ‘own’ the creation of the policy. The added aspiration that the deliverables will showcase how drama and film making can be used to help young people to explore their online behavior and resulting decisions off line with their friends, peers, family and school life.

In my experience of working with vulnerable young people, digital media can offer them the opportunity to access instant information regarding employment, education, health, housing and help raise their aspirations. The relationship of a young person to their mobile device is not the passive ‘lean back’ of TV or the more active ‘lean forward’ of a PC, but rather the fully interactive ‘pull it forward’ of mobile. Its up close, it’s personal and it’s always on. Each young person lives in their own personal mobile universe, and each mobile universe is unique.

Check out previous blogs to learn more about the MUNCH, POKE, PING project:
Sensationalization of online risk, Munch-Poke-Ping, Twitter & Facebook Time-line
Each young person lives in their own personal mobile universe, and each mobile universe is unique.

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