We’ve seen a rising number of young people completing their Arts Awards digitally in recent years, in a variety of different formats. So many that it can all be rather daunting if you haven’t worked digitally or online much before. That’s why we’ve produced a great new resource showcasing some of the platforms we’ve seen successfully used to create Arts Award portfolios.
We briefly mentioned this resource in our MozFest roundup, but we wanted to properly highlight it this week, since we know this is something that advisers have questions about.
The resource – which you can download for free – looks at different digital platforms, featuring real-life examples of how other centres have used these platforms to deliver Arts Award. These tools are not designed with Arts Award – or any other subject – in mind specifically, but their functionality makes them well-suited to the way that many young people like to work.
It’s worth noting that these are only a selection of digital platforms. There are others which young people you work with might prefer to use, and that’s great! Hopefully this resource can give you some guidance on how to organise Arts Award work digitally and the confidence to support young people on any digital platform.
It’s a fair question as a lot of art forms require no digital input. Young people can dance, play music or paint, without the help of a computer and if someone lacks experience working digitally it could be seen as an added complication.
But digital portfolios can work for any art form and young people are becoming increasingly comfortable at using a range of online platforms as part of their everyday lives. According to a study conducted for the UK Safer Internet Centre, 84% of 8-17 year olds had shared a photo online. When asked what they’d done in the last hour, responses included: using YouTube (31%); using Instagram (22%); and 4% of young people had even livestreamed something. Young people’s digital literacy is growing, and we here at Arts Award are keen to embrace this!
Are digital portfolios safe?
This is a key issue when working with all young people, but some groups will be even more vulnerable. The survey mentioned above suggests that while young people are confident with digital platforms many need support managing their privacy, with 56% of 8-17 year olds admitting to sharing images or videos on a public profile.
It’s vital that any adviser working with young people online takes steps to ensure their safety and privacy, which is why security is a key part of this resource. The platforms listed in the resource all come with information on how secure they are, including the level of control that young people and advisers have over who can access their files. And remember, for levels where sharing work is part of the requirements – for instance Bronze Part B – this doesn’t necessarily mean a wholly public sharing. Work can be shared within a closed group or with select individuals.
What does the resource cover?
This resource looks at six platforms which enable young people to build their portfolios digitally. For each platform, we’ve included information on how centres have used them, some providing links to the work itself and tips to support your own delivery.
The platforms cover straightforward file-sharing sites such as Google Docs or blogging platforms such as Wordpress, where creating the site itself can be a creative activity! We also highlight whether the platforms can be used offline or on mobile devices, meaning that young people have options for working on their portfolio wherever they are.