Social Media in Education – on BBC Radio Sheffield

On the 30th June and 1st July, a fantastic couple of linked events were held on Social Media in Education at Doncaster College. Organised by Rob Wilmot, who is Chair of Governors of the College, among his many other roles, and featuring the renowned Chris Brogan, who flew in from Boston, Massachusetts, especially for the event, the Social Media Podcamp, was followed by a seminar delivered by Chris the following day.

Ahead of the event, I appeared on Radio Sheffield to talk about some of the issues it raised. My appearance at 7:20am, was followed an hour later by Rob Wilmot and Chris Brogan who amplified the themes further. Both segments of the programme are presented here;

Day three of (unofficial) Yorkshire Social Media Week

Sheffield Social Media Surgery - 3rd Feb 10

It’s Wednesday, so it must be Sheffield! (sorry United fans). The third Social Media Surgery on consecutive days in Yorkshire took place tonight in the Showroom Cinema, Sheffield. Another well-attended event, with lots of positive conversations. The fact that the Surgery was organised, by the indefatigable Jag Gill to run immediately before one of the regular Sheffield Geekup events meant that there was a very good turnout of surgeons, and there we plenty of willing patients, despite the heavy snow which fell outside throughout the Surgery.

Sheffield station in the snow

Shortly, I hope to be able to reflect on the three Yorkshire Surgeries that have happened this week, but in the interim I will simply bask in the cumulative positive glow they produce, and look forward to the York Social Media Surgery, which is scheduled for 1st March.

Day Two of (unofficial) Yorkshire Social Media Week

Leeds Social Media Surgery 2nd Feb 10

Just back from Leeds Social Media Surgery, the second of three Yorkshire Social Media Surgeries this week. It was quieter than Huddersfield on Monday, but the snow and ice may have been a factor.

Nevertheless, as usual at Social Media Surgeries, the conversations were uplifting and inspiring. I feel privileged to be experiencing these feelings on a regular basis.

Leeds Social Media Surgery 2nd Feb 10

We have plans to increase attendance at Leeds SMS, by gaining access to offline channels which have been denied us to date. Watch this space for news.

And so, it is on to Sheffield on Wednesday for the third consecutive Yorkshire surgery.

Day One of (unofficial) Yorkshire Social Media Week

Huddersfield Social Media Surgery - 1st Feb 10

Huddersfield Social Media Surgery - 1st Feb 10

First of three social media surgeries on consecutive days in Yorkshire took place in Huddersfield last night. It was the second such event in the town, and the organisers were rewarded with a very good turn out. In fact, when I arrived at the Media Centre, a few minutes after the planned start time of 4:30pm, there was a queue of people waiting to see surgeons.

Huddersfield Social Media Surgery - 1st Feb 10

It was another excellent night, lots of positive feedback, lots of happy surgeons, and the added bonus from my point of view was that it was walking distance from my house.

Congratulations to Steven Tuck, Diane Sims, and Mari Browne who have been instrumental in getting the local Surgeries off the ground. I am sure that their hard work will result in these events being a permanent part of the scene for a long while to come.

The next Huddersfield Social Media Surgery will be on Monday 15th March.

Surgeons De-brief after Social Media Surgery

Surgeons De-brief after Social Media Surgery

Now it’s on to Leeds for day two of Social Media Surgery week.

An Exciting Week for Social Media in Yorkshire

Central Birmingham Social Media Surgery -1st Anniversary

At the end of my presentation at last year’s National Digital Inclusion Conference I said that we were aiming to make Yorkshire & the Humber the “Social Media Region”. I think quite a few in the audience realised that I hadn’t really thought through the path to this objective at the time. However, I think we may now be well on the road, as this week sees Social Media Surgeries in three of our major conurbations on consecutive nights.

Huddersfield Social Media Surgery is on Monday 1st February, Leeds SMS on Tuesday 2nd, and Sheffield on Wednesday 3rd. With the second York SMS imminent, and plans in train for surgeries in Hull, Grimsby, Barnsley and Hebden Bridge, the idea spawned in Birmingham by the amazing Nick Booth and Pete Ashton is taking root around Yorkshire & the Humber.

It promises to be an exhausting week for those of use involved in all three of this week’s Surgeries, but the cumulative satisfied glow that always follows a successful event will make it all well worthwhile.

Preparing for the Social Media Train

In preparation for the Social Media Train, I conducted a signal test on the Barnsley-Huddersfield stretch of the Penistone Railway line on 14th December 2009.

This was in no way a scientific test. I simply took the three different devices I normally carry around with me and watched their signal meters. The devices were:

• Apple iPhone 3G on the O2 Network
• Blackberry Bold 900 on Vodafone
• Nokia N95 on Three

I recorded every time the signal changed on at least one device, plus I recorded the state of the signal at each station. It could well be that the Network performance was affected by the properties of the different devices.

Nevertheless, this test suggests that the idea of getting some sponsored mifis connected to the Three network for the Social Media Train could offer us the best prospect of connectivity.

All three devices had different methods of recording the signal, and not all were able to distinguish between HDSPA and 3G, or Edge and GPRS, so I have used the broad categories of 3G, GPRS, GSM, and no signal, although there may have been gradations between these.

Time

Station

Three

Vodafone

02

17:03

Barnsley

3G

3G

3G

17:05

 

3G

No signal

3G

17:06

 

3G

3G

3G

17:09

 

3G

GPRS

3G

17:10

Dodworth

3G

GPRS

3G

17:12

 

3G (weak)

No signal

GPRS

17:13

Silkstone Common

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:17

 

3G

GPRS (weak)

GPRS

17:19

 

3G (weak)

No signal

GSM

17:20

 

No signal

No signal

No signal

17:22

 

GPRS

No signal

No signal

17:23

 

GPRS

GPRS (weak)

No signal

17:25

 

GPRS

GPRS

GPRS

17:26

Penistone

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:28

 

3G

GSM

No signal

17:29

 

3G

GPRS

No signal

17:30

 

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:32

Denby Dale

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:33

(Tunnel)

No signal

No signal

No signal

17:34

 

3G

No signal

No signal

17:35

 

3G

No signal

GPRS

17:36

Shepley

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:40

Stocksmoor

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:41

(Tunnel)

No signal

No signal

No signal

17:43

 

3G

No signal

3G

17:44

Brockholes

3G

GPRS (weak)

3G (weak)

17:45

 

3G

GPRS (weak)

GPRS

17:46

 

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:47

Honley

3G

GPRS

GPRS

17:49

 

3G

3G

GPRS

17:50

Berry Brow

3G

3G

3G

17:51

 

3G

GPRS

3G

17:52

Lockwood

3G

3G

3G

17:55

(Tunnel)

3G

No signal

GSM

17:56

Huddersfield

3G

3G

3G

The Social Media Train?

Sheff01

This is a fanciful idea at the moment, but it may come to fruition.

The idea is this. To coincide (roughly) with the opening of the new station bar at Sheffield station (after a 40-year break without one) in December, we run a Social Media Train on the Penistone Line between Sheffield and Huddersfield.

The Penistone line is a beautiful scenic railway, which wends through Pennine countryside. But, I hate it, for three reasons:

1. It takes an hour and 20 minutes for a journey which, by road, is 26 miles and can be driven, at off-peak times in 40 minutes

2. It is populated by some of the oldest, dirtiest, most uncomfortable, rolling stock on the UK rail system; and

3. Although it runs through beautiful countryside – after dark, this benefit is lost completely, and, as much of the journey is through areas with no lighting, you can sit there for ages not being able to see anything outside the train. The experience of sitting on a dirty, rattling train, hurtling through total darkness, is what has led me to call it the Ghost Train.

HPIM0671

The Penistone Line Partnership does a great job of making life a little better for the people who use the line, running music and beer trains on a regular basis. My idea (which is not really my idea, but taken from an original concept of @timdifford ) is that we run either a Social Media Surgery, or, perhaps a Social Media Cafe on the train one evening in December.

My concept was that we do this on the 18:36 from Sheffield; returning on the 20:13 from Huddersfield, and finishing up in the new Sheffield station bar.

Brockholes Station

What do YOU think?