Monday, July 04, 2011

Basic Idea Vara Ung Entreprenör

The purpose of combining Vara Lyftet and Rucola is to create a structured learning for young people in social media. Young people are already using social media as an arena but perhaps not for formal learning. Another aim is to put together the best information on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs on the Internet with young people and the arena for this will be social media.

Tools Vara Ung Entreprenör

When we began the project in October 2010, we planned to use multiple social media such as: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Calendar, Google Groups, Google Sites and Blogger. It realised, after some testing, that Blogger was the best tool for our purpose and that it was better to use one tool than many. Right now we use Blogger and Facebook. We also use Google Calendar and Google Documents.

Background Vara Ung Entreprenoeur

Vara Lyftet is a project funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Vara Municipality. The purpose of Vara Lyftet is to get unemployed young people in the age of 16-24 into studies or work. The project is divided into two tracks, an Environmental Education and Entrepreneurship Education. The project has 20-25 participants.

Social media is frequently used by the youth group and seemed like a natural arena for learning. We have tested various methods to develop learning in social media In the Rucola project. We have used Blogger in Vara Lyftet. Blogger is a blog feature that is easy to use and where you can make simple websites. Vara Lyftet has its own website on Blogger, as well as two sub-websites for each part of the project. The Entrepreneurship education is totally based on Blogger and the page has 13 different underpages. Each of the 13 pages is designed to develop a specific entrepreneurial skills such as creativity or I-can-attitude. The participants have also made their own pages where they document their learning, even those pages are built in Blogger.

Working in social media is a constant learning and our entire web system is constantly evolving. The participants have developed several pages on their own and the number of pages seems to be growing all the time.

The challanges with Social media in education

I have put together all the challanges we have experienced when we started to use social media within our Entreprenoeurship education. We have tried different social medias, and we have built the whole education at internet.

- Focus at one tool if the aim is to build something. Use several tools if the purpose is to do marketing. LindkedIn and Facebook is good for marketing, but not if you're going to build an education or collect a lot of information.

- If the social media doesn’t work as planned, drop it and try a new one. We tried to build an education in LinkedIn, but our participants found it to difficult to manage. It is important to have an easily administered tool. It was important for us because we wanted a lot of people to use the tool and we also wanted the participants to learn each other how to use it.

- The things you write or put into social media don’t need to be perfect, it’s simply a part of the training and it also opens the opportunity for other people to reflect, comment, and the participants uses each others skills to make things better and better.

- It is important to have a clear goal - where are we going? To have control over process is impossible when you introduce many participants into the development process. We have seen clearly how the process has taken a different path than we had expected, but we re still moving towards the target.

- This process came to an end (if processes can) in the end of may and we decided to complete
the education, with 100 steps, all published in social media.