Freedom Town is in Sierra Leone, but it’s also the name of an art project connecting schools in Birmingham (UK) with schools in Freedom Town. It’s being run by the education department of Birmingham’s Town Hall & Symphony Hall, along with a local artist and will feature the associate musicians of the organisation. The aim is to eventually enable the schools to collaborate — and a website is the ideal tool to achieve that.
I’ve really enjoyed building it, and working with the team to make sure they understand how best to use it.
The website is just starting to be used by the children this week, and they seem to be having fun already — as well as blogging for themselves (moderated by their teachers) they are being encouraged to comment on the posts of others and also write about how they are finding the project.
Some of the first work they’re doing is to make sure their School’s homepage on the site is up-to-date, and they’re also thinking about how the site should look (it has been purposely left very plain, so they can change it to suit themselves).
Technically the site is a instalaltion of WordPress, with plugins and tweaks to handle the expected use of video and audio later in the project and also the moderation issues of having hundreds of young people posting. So far it seems to be working well, and the children have found blogging quite easy. I’ll post a link to the site when it really gets going — looking forward to reading and hearing the results.