Do Penguins have knees? Or is pineapple on pizza ok? Simple questions like these spark discussions no matter where you go, where you are from or your background. We used questions like these to engage young people from different backgrounds to come together to learn about and create vlogs.
We partnered with Beam Creative Network and Corrymeela on this project to create an impactful and thought-provoking experience for everyone involved. The POD (Peace On Demand) project, which is funded by Peace IV and Mid Ulster District Council, had the aims to bring young people together from different backgrounds to build good relations through creating podcasts.
Our role during the residential weekend was to teach the young people the basic skills needed to create a vlog or podcast, both presentation and technical skill. Firstly, we had to get the young people from different schools into small groups of 3 or 4 to create their POD Teams. We did this by finding out about each young person and their hobbies, their musical tastes, favourite movies, and as much as we possibly could, and then joined them up with other like-minded young people. Finding commonality with a person they may never have met before was the key to the success of their podcasts.
From this jumping-off point we worked with the young people to devise and create their content for their 10-minute broadcast. We worked with them to fine-tune their presentation skills by working through what skills they would need to become a good presenter and how to create strong content.
In our purpose-built pop-up studio, the young people learnt about the technical equipment including camera work, sound engineering and the many roles within a production team. They were able to practise using all the equipment and to experience what it was like to be in front of the camera by taking part in a one-minute mock pod. In this session, they also created individual team jingles for each team.
Filming and Watching
Once the training was completed, it was time to record their vlogs. Every vlog was different and they were informative, entertaining and at times hilariously funny, which further showcased their individuality. That evening we sat together as a group to watch and review each one. We came together as a true team and community to share the experience which gave us the ability to be able to offer each person and team feedback on their content and their presentation skills so they could continue to vlog after the weekend if they wished to. Many of the vloggers addressed their thoughts and feelings on inclusivity, breaking stereotypes, individuality and, at times, made some truly profound statements. Watch all the vlogs to see what these inquiring minds had to say. All are available to watch online here.
The residential weekends are an intensive and rewarding experience for everyone that takes part. Over the last two years we completed 13 residential weekends and this project has reached nearly 400 young people, who have created over 85 vlogs lasting approximately 14 hours. And finally, to answer your burning question. Do penguins have knees? Yes, they do!
If you have an idea for an education programme that you think our team of experienced and skilled facilitators and qualified educators could help develop and/or lead, including OCN qualifications, then it’s the perfect time to get in touch!