Channel 4 has unveiled a slate of "high risk and experimental" projects based around social networking sites that it says will tackle the crisis of motivation in education.
"High risk and experimental" That makes us sound edgy. Which is good, I suppose!
And then we've got
Gaming projects include City of Vice by Littleloud, which invites the user to solve historical crimes from Georgian London and Six to Start's project The Ministry, which explores privacy and identity online.
which is us! How exciting! And even divulges the codename for our project, which makes us sound terribly, um, edgy again. Brilliant!
Anyway. The beginning of the article starts like this:
The new commissions for 2008 - announced today - are part of the £6m educational budget for 14- to 19-year-olds which involves Channel 4 dropping much of its TV programming in favour of online projects. New projects cover entrepreneurship, careers, media literacy, the transition form school to work and, later in 2008, political engagement and citizenship. "The thing that we are concerned with, one of the ongoing crises in education, is motivation," said Janey Walker, the Channel 4 head of education. "At the moment, 14-19 educational content is not high profile because teens are in school when it is on. We feel we have found very good projects to take it a step forward. These are all high risk projects, but we know this is a good thing to do." "In all conscience," Walker said, "Channel 4 could not continue to spend £6m on programming that is not engaging people." The channel had to find ways to be relevant to its audience, she said. "We are experimenting with finding content that is engaging and entertaining as well as educational. And it is only by experimenting can we find ways to reach and engage this age group."
and while I wouldn't go so far as to say that education projects are all that we do (not by a long shot), ARGs really do have the potential to educate in a more interesting, different and easily measurable way than tv programmes for some subjects.
Oh, and before anyone asks: no, we're not making a Facebook widget.