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Commonwealth Catalyst for Enabling Digital Participation

Jennifer Jones, Project Coordinator for Digital Commonwealth

The Digital Commonwealth project finally wraps up at the end of the month.

As it comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on how Glasgow 2014 provided a timely catalyst to creatively engage with people within a context that they are familiar with – whilst offering the opportunity to think differently and to gain confidence to use the Internet to tell their own version of events.

My previous blog was 4 months prior to the games beginning. We’d only just started the delivery of our Scotland wide digital storytelling and media literacy programme – and it’s been incredible to look back over what we’ve achieved over the last 12 months.

A project like Digital Commonwealth has allowed not only delivering valuable (and explorative) digital media training, but also allows us to produce academic research that can help shape the future of digital skills provision.

Gaining access to schools across 23 local authorities allowed us to gain insight across a variety of educational contexts and observe existing methods of digital literacies training allowing us to begin to establish what the opportunities and potential barriers were for delivering future projects of this kind.  We’ve already had a paper accepted for publication on young people, digital media making and critical digital citizenship and delivered the keynote at the Education Scotland Social Studies Digital Learning Day back in March.

We’ve worked with creative professionals to turn the content developed by participants into resources that can be used beyond the Games. Working with our delivery partner, the Media Trust, we commissioned a short documentary to capture the thought processes and participant voices behind the project.

The original training materials have been turned into a freely accessible Handbook of Digital Storytelling that can be used as a teaching resource – and working with those who took part in our creative voices programme, produced a CD, DVD and Anthology to archive and showcase their work.

Although the project is coming to an end, the possibilities and opportunities to develop the work to collaborate further are only beginning to emerge - both within Scotland, but also at future major events. Access to technology, digital & media literacies and the digital inclusion agenda are all top priorities and being able to hook onto existing events and contexts can provide one way of engaging people in exciting and creative ways.

Find out more about The Digital Commonwealth Project