Saturday, May 11, 2013

Follow the Things

For the last week or so, and for the next few weeks as well on and off, I'm going to be spending some time working to develop materials for the rather splendid Follow the Things website. 

The website is created in the form of a 'shopping experience', but follows the stories behind the products which sit on the 'shelves'. It explores themes related to trade justice, which are of course very raw and topical at the moment, with the rising death toll from the incident at Rana Plaza in Savar, near Dhaka.

We're working on a range of materials which will help you to engage with the website, as well as creating your own materials and stories. At the same time, there are some changes coming to the website, which will include a brand new area for teachers and students.

We'll also be creating:
- Reading lists of books that are linked to this theme, such as Kelsey Timmerman's 'Where am I wearing' and 'Where am I eating' and explorations such as Conor Woodman's 'Unfair Trade'
- Opportunities for you to get involved
- Some further missions on the special Follow the Things challenger area of the Mission:Explore website.
- Thinking on the people who manufacture items that you wear, or use - this will particularly link to the events in Bangladesh and beyond.

Go to the PRODUCTS OF SLAVERY website to find out more about this process.
You can also download a rather nice PDF of a poster (which can also be ordered as a hard copy) - donations are also welcome if you download the PDF

We'll be having one (or more) Google Hangouts later in May to give you the chance to see the updated site in action

We're covering social media too - we'll be adding links to:
- Twitter lists of relevant accounts relating to trade justice - you can also follow FOLLOW the THINGS on Twitter to get the latest relevant news retweeted out from a range of organisations
- Websites and ready made resources to extend your knowledge in this area
- Pinterest boards with relevant images from campaigns
- Case Studies of trade justice issues, and particular products which might resonate with students as young consumers:

These will focus on some of the more popular areas of the website, such as our LEGO re-enactments.
With LEGO now being the world's biggest toy brand apparently, this is perhaps a good time to focus on these, as well as the Lego School being built in Billund, Denmark.

And we'll also be developing ready-made materials for CPD sessions, so that you could spend a departmental meeting exploring the ideas on the site.

There's no shortage of interesting material and inspiration related to this issue..
For example, here's an interactive map which shows the places that supply Apple. Thanks to Karl Donert for the link here.

At a time when the world is increasingly globalised and interdependent, the work that is covered on Follow the Things is becoming more important than ever...

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