The Nominet Trust funded 'Young Digital Citizenship' summer school ran during August 2013 in collaboration with Action in Rural Sussex and Lewes Town Council.
Undergraduate and PHD students from the School of Art and Design worked alongside 20 children aged from 8-18 years old to help establish how they might be empowered by accessible technology to communicate co-designed visions for the future of their community. This followed a 6 week classroom session ran with 35 Priory School students as part of their citizenship curricula.
The co-design workshop utilised a range of technologies including digital animation, augmented reality, geo-tagging, 3D modeling and vlogging and helped compare, contrast and critique the value of these tools in the establishment of a peer-to-peer learning toolkit for communities and community development practitioners that will be integrated into the Community21 platform.
A 20 credit optional unit to run in the 1st Semester will continue level 5 student's involvement in this research as will two continued PHD enquiries leading to publications, further product development and co-design apps to extend the value of useable technology in facilitating participatory, co-design and localism agendas in community development.
Following the project's completion in June 2014, the app toolkit and films will be published on Community21 and a giant, hybrid augmented reality media map will be exhibited publicly at Lewes Town Hall to inform and drive debate around their forthcoming Neighborhood Plan. Media and co-designed visions will also be geo-located in the Lewes area to disseminate the ideas accessible via smartphones and mobile devices, creating an augmented reality 'treasure map' for members of the public to follow, generated by the young participants.
Participants and students received certificates that outlined the skills they developed and were presented by the Minster for Transport and Lewes MP Norman Baker.
Nick Gant, the project leader, said: “I would like to offer thanks to all the dedicated volunteers and participants for their extraordinary and inspiring efforts and engagement, to PHD students Kelly Duggan and Cathy Grundy, to Susan Murray as Chair of Lewes Planning Committee who attended throughout, to Norman Baker and Action in Rural Sussex as hosts and finally a special thanks to Liz Allsobrook of Action In Rural Sussex for her hard work and insights.”.