Over the next 6-months or so our team will be delivering a new digital wellbeing project for adults with learning disabilities titled i-Well, and is funded by Awards for All. As part of the project, an education pack containing a set of 6 workshops and resources have been developed that explore topics such as using social media, self-representation online, healthy relationships, and information, media, & ICT literacies. Within the activities in these workshops, transferable capacities such as critical thinking skills and emotional resilience are embedded. The workshops are designed to support people to engage positive with social media platforms and digital communication tools, and the resources and activities have been developed to be accessible to people with learning disabilities.
In terms of the underpinning monitoring and evaluation framework, the New Economics Foundation have created a set of evidence-based actions which promote people’s wellbeing, otherwise know as a the 5 Ways To Wellbeing. These are:
1. Connect – meet new people, make social connections etc.
2. Be Active – get out more, do things, explore your area etc.
3. Take Notice – start seeing the world around you, spot new things etc.
4. Keep Learning – take up a course, start a new hobby, challenge yourself etc.
5. Give – volunteer, help others, do something for your community etc.
This project embeds them into its core activities as demonstrated in the visual below.
The resources and activities within the pack have been designed around the three approaches to learning and training outlined below:
Reflecting and Discussion: A key element of the workshops is the development of critical thinking skills, such as the ability to observe, assess and problem solve. The way that such skills are embedded is through reflection and discussion. A lot of the activities ask participants to think about their own social media habits, relationships and behaviors, and share these reflections with the group to better understand the topic.
From Offline to Online: Although this is a digital wellbeing package of workshops, a lot of the activities are done offline and without any technology. This is because we want participants to link their knowledge of the ‘real’ world, behaviors in it and social practices to the online world. Once this knowledge has been identified, the workshops then move on to some core digital literacy activities.
Customising the Training: The activities are designed so that they can be customised to the participants’ learning needs. The social media platforms that the trainer chooses to explore and use in the workshops should be the ones that the participants are mostly using, or at least mostly knowledgeable of. It is also possible to repeat some of the activities, with a focus on a different platform each time.
Working with groups in Wigan, Manchester and Liverpool our team will be testing out these new resources and amending them before they are finalised and shared with the world… So if you’d like a digital copy, then give us a nod! We’ll have it on its way to you later in the year!!!