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Learning tasks: On the Learning About Politics site, create your own blog. Or if you already have one access it. For each activity you should put the work you created from each activity into seperate blog posts naming them Activity 1: (Insert own title) Activity 2: (Insert own title) etc. You can embed all of the video and audio files from the respective sites, or upload the file if not already online and insert into your post. To start off create a post named something like Activity 1: My views and consider the questions
What do you think of political action or demonstrations?
Have you been involved in any political action before. If so, what?
Have you heard about any demonstrations you thought were interesting? (Consider all different kinds of demonstrations, eg. marches, online movements, boycotts etc.)
Are there any issues you would be interested in demonstrating about?
You do not have to answer these questions strictly, they are just suggested starting points.
Tools/resources: access to the politics blog, internet
Learning tasks: This activity is about interviewing someone taking action on your chosen issue.
1. Think about the topic you based your slide on and search for a group taking action. If you can’t find one, pick a group who does something similar.
2. Find an address or email and contact them to request having an interview with them. If it is not possible to meet face to face suggest using skype as a platform.
3. Conduct your interview. Video your interview or if over skype, use an audio recorder. Ask them questions about why they feel so strongly on the issue and what sort of action they take. Think carefully about your questions and be open to changing or adding them during the interview, if the person has something particularly interesting to say.
4. Next we will share the interviews on the blog. If you recorded your interview my video, upload to youtube and then use the embed code to upload onto your blog. If you used audio then you can upload straight away. You can learn more about how to do this back in Activity 1.
Tools/resources:Video recorder, skype, audio recorder, internet. (You do not need all of these, only those that are appropriate)
1. Think of an issue that you might demonstrate for or against. Make a slide on this issue and the reasons you feel it’s worth demonstrating about and whether you think demonstrating is an effective way of dealing with this issue. Feel free to include pictures as they can be a powerful medium for getting information across.
2. Then present your slide to someone. This activity is best when working in groups as each member can present their slide to the group, but it can be anyone. Grab a family member or friend and tell them all about your chosen issue.
Try not to overload your slide with lots of text, using graphs or images can be more powerful and attractive. Present only key facts and statistics on the slide and when presenting your slide add in more detailed information.
3. After this upload the slide to slideshare. You can do this by creating and account and uploading your slide. In addition if you are working in groups give your group a specific tag so that when you search you can find all slides easily.
Extension: If you are feeling really adventurous, slideshare gives the option of adding audio to your presentation. Record your description of your presentation and add this to your file on slideshare.
Tools/resources: Powerpoint or Keynote, Internet, slideshare, audio recording tools.
As a reflection activity look back at your slide and your chosen topic. Look back at the work you have done and answer the questions:
Do you think that demonstrating is a positive or negative way of dealing with your chosen issue?
Do you think that demonstrating and protesting positive or negative form of political action?
1. The topic I selected is very important to me being a student in university myself at the moment. I think that demonstrating against the cuts is important as it shows public, and more specifically student, disagreement with the decision. What I think makes the demonstrations particularly powerful is the fact that the students demonstrating are in fact unaffected by the raise in fees, but are demonstrating for future generations and their right to education. Although I don’t agree with some of the violence at the demonstrations, and this may come out in some of the articles and videos in the activities, I think this is just a few people out of the many who turned up and is less important than the powerful message that political action can give.
2. I think demonstrating can be important in raising awareness and a good way of making your voice heard. However I feel that in dealing with a wide range of issues, demonstrating alone is not enough to create change.
Don’t forget to share these reflections on your blog!
Learning tasks: At the demonstration people many people had banners with a variety of slogans. Using flickr or another photo sharing site find an example of one. Do you think this is an effective? Try and come up with your own slogan for an issue you feel strongly about.
Try to find only creative commons licensed pictures. This can be done using the advanced search options on flickr and google.
Have a go at making your own banner or poster using your slogan. How would you present it?
Tools/resources: Internet, Flickr, google images or other photo searching tools, paper, card, pens
Comments on Banner slogan
This banner slogan ‘Clegg sold out faster than Muse’ is a clever reference of how Nick Clegg changed his position on education cuts faster than a concert for the band Muse sold out. I think this is particularly clever but it includes a relevant modern day reference, in addition to getting the political point across.
For my own slogan I pick the topic of Gender: Equal pay.
‘Women Organise for Money Equality Now’
Don’t forget to share your slogans and pictures in a post!
Learning tasks: Find a video of one of the demonstrations against the education cuts in London. Do you think the students reacted in the right way? What would you have done?
Tools/resources: Youtube or Vimeo
Duration: 40 minutes
Comments on the video
This video shows people in the protest, chanting and marching. Personally, I think that although this sort of demonstration may not actually affect the political outcome, it shows public disagreement with the decision. This is important as it shows that politicians are making decisions against the will of the people and allows the voices as voters and in this case students to be heard when politicians aren’t listening.
Have a go at embedding your video in the blog and adding your comments!
Learning tasks: Find a related interview or an article in a blog, wiki or a forum and comment on the information and opinions presented. Do you think the article is biased? Do you agree with what the article is saying
Discussion of the article
This article discusses the increase in university fees to an average of £6000 per year and a maximum of £9000 per year. Being a student advising website, a slight bias towards student opinion is evident.
Give your comments and link to the article or webpage in a blog post!
Title: Political Demonstrations: Good or bad?- Using the case study of protests against higher and further education funding cuts in the UK
Description: Political demonstrations can be a great way of getting voices heard. But there are many different sort of demonstrations, whether they be peaceful, violent, online, short-term long term. This set of activities attempts to explore the positive and negative elements of political protests or demonstrations, with a particular focus on the recent student demonstrations in the UK.
In the UK drastic cuts have been made to education funding, and particularly universities. This has led to a dramatic rise in fees from around £3000 to around £9000. In reaction to this students have led demonstrations all over the country, including in London where police have reacted heavily and there has been some violence.
Activity 1: Creating a blog to use as a centre point for recording the products of the set of activities.
Activity 2: Find a related interview or an article in a blog, wiki or a forum and comment on the information and opinions presented. Do you think the article is biased? Do you agree with what the article is saying.
Activity 3: Find a video on youtube or vimeo of one of the demonstrations against the education cuts in London. Do you think the students reacted in the right way? What would you have done?
Activity 4: At the demonstration many people had banners with a variety of slogans. Using flickr or another photo sharing site find an example of one. Do you think this is an effective slogan. Try and come up with your own slogan for an issue you feel strongly about.
Activity 5: Think of an issue that you might want to demonstrate for or against. Make a slide on this issue and the reasons you feel its worth demonstrating about and whether you think demonstrating is effective in this case.