Note. The content and ideas on this site are a little out of date at the moment. Broad Bean Productions is regrouping and planning something new.
We’re currently travelling some of the World to get some new ideas for ventures, to meet people, make contacts, but also to chill-out, relax and get a different perspective on the World.
Broad Bean Productions is an initiative started by Mike Harris and Alex Stonor originally way back in the Summer of 2008 when we were asked by a drama teacher friend to run some workshops in Internet radio as part of her school’s art week. We went along and ran a four-day workshop for fifteen year 10s and 11s that culminated in a morning of live radio broadcast over the school’s tannoy, much to the chagrin of some teachers and the delight of the kids! We had different groups of students working in the various areas: planning the programme content, writing scripts, finding tracks to play, devising and conducting interviews, running the studio, hacking the school’s PA system and traversing the schools’s firewall. It was very successful and everyone involved, students, teachers and ourselves included, had a great time.
Revelling in our having seemingly hit upon a successful and fulfilling recipe for engaging 14 to 16 year olds, we put together details of some workshops that we could provide and sent some promotional material expunging our idea along with a covering letter to ICT, music and drama teachers of secondary schools in our home county of Oxfordshire.
The response: nothing. Not a bean!
We realised afterwards that we´d made one glaring oversight: our workshop proposals didn’t take into account the busy schedules of today s teachers and omitted to present them in the context of the National Curriculum. The lack of response perturbed us somewhat and our already busy schedules meant that we decided to put the idea on the back-burner for the time being and put it down as a lesson learned.
Alex currently works as a self-employed lady carpenter and as a DT technician in a local Oxford school, and this year started a course to become a qualified forest school leader. Mike works as a freelance project manager for on-line projects, has also been involved in running workshops and outreach for campaigners and social agitators through the HacktionLab and Tech Tools for Activists projects. Working with Bristol Wireless, both Alex and Mike previously helped run solar-powered Internet spaces at various festivals and events, such as the Big Green Gathering, a home education festival and the Camp for Climate Action, and so have experience of being on the road with computer technology.
This site is here to document our ideas, gather interest from others who may be interested in doing things along the same lines, or who are already doing similar or compatible projects as well as be a diary of relevant stuff we find out there on the web, and finally to be a point of contact and discussion. Some of ideas are pretty well developed, others are embryonic, but they are all based around engaging and teaching young adults.
Broad Bean Productions, 22nd July 2012