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A series of workshops about how to improve their school
lead teenagers in East London to design their own
social networking tool.
As part of the British citizenship programme, I ran a series for six workshops with teenage girls about how to improve their school. The students identified potential problems and initiated a programme of research, including questionaires and statistical analysis.
From a range of potential improvement areas the students conducted creative thinking workshops to come up with solutions.
They decided to focus on the difficulties new students have in integrating into the school. As a solution, they developed the concept for a local social web tool that allowed new students to find potential friends based on shared interests.
They undertook further research and test of concepts, including wireframe prototyping and further targeted questionaires. They final proposal was a student-only site, accessable only from the school itself, with a bullying-alert function that sent an email to the appropriate teacher.
I was then 'commissioned' to create visuals and screen designs under the direction and evaluation of the group.
The workshops were open-ended, deeply participative and designed to encourage dialogue and exploration. I was surprised both by the commitment and sensitivity of the students and also by the sophistication of their analysis and solutions.
An off-the-shelf social networking tool was adapted to suit their needs and implimented.