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Rockhaq | April 28, 2017

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UK Music Hubs and Schools

HOW DOES ROCKHAQ WORK?
JOIN THE COMMUNITY

The Basics

What is Rockhaq?

Rockhaq was the UK music journalism community for schools and colleges, but now the community is open to all users outside schools aged 11-21, with no formal upper age limit. Rockhaq is a safe online community with built-in gaming features, blogging tools and real-life music assignments (we call them Rockhaq Missions) for community members to win.

Team Rockhaq offer limited human services to make Rockhaq more fun for students, including workshops, lectures and journalism training sessions. Rockhaq is a groundbreaking new online learning community that engages students to write at all hours, just because they love it!

You made a music community solely for schools a while ago. What's changed?

A lot! Back then, we built the Rockhaq community with a lot of great features for teachers and students to use, such as private feedback on students work from teachers and journalists, constant monitoring to ensure that no cyberbullying took place, lots of publicity and more. Our limited pilot during the 2011-2012 academic year was even more successful than anyone could have anticipated – we received approximately 500 reviews in a few months from less than 35 community members. That’s an average of nearly 15 reviews each!

We know we’ve proved that the Rockhaq community works, but were not convinced that all UK schools are ready to embrace real-life digital learning, so while we’ve moved away from working only with them, we are only promoting Rockhaq for school-aged users. We won’t necessarily turn all older users and teachers away, but we believe that young people in the UK want a safe online environment to express their opinions on music and we want to provide that for them.

We also had a problem with what happened to community members after they left school? Many of them saw themselves as a part of the community and didn’t want to leave it. We didn’t want them to either! So now, Rockhaq is free and open to all (subject to checks) and everything is a lot more streamlined. There is no more private feedback, the community will no longer be monitored around the clock and we won’t introduce music missions for a while yet. We won’t be able to monitor this community on a full-time basis anymore so we’re relying on our community members to report abuse (which you can do on each post) and be patient for reviews to be published.

How does Rockhaq work?

How does Rockhaq help my students?

Rockhaq engages students to write reviews, both in class and in their own time. 73% of our pilot students wrote at weekends, in the evenings, in the sunshine and over holidays. They loved it so much they wanted to keep blogging after college. Check our testimonials.

Rockhaq improves student literacy skills, spelling, grammar, communication, confidence, gives a real digital media experience, music media skills, provides social media education and more. Our pilot students showed a dramatic improvement in many learning areas and we had a Student Editor building industry contacts. Check our case studies.

Psst! Rockhaq fits into teaching curriculums for Music, Media, English and more. We’ve listed some of the subjects Rockhaq was embedded into thanks to our pilot colleges and teachers. Check our info below and join our newsletter to be kept up to date with the latest developments.

What's the catch?


There is no catch! Joining and using the Rockhaq community is free and open to all young people. We ask that users remain active community members, so you must log in at least once every six months. If you don’t, then your account will be reviewed and your place possibly given to another member on our waiting list. Your work will also be removed from your profile and added to the ‘general reviews’ category on our site. We can’t undo all that so all we ask is for members to remain active and contribute to the community.


Who are Team Rockhaq?


We’re a talented and dynamic mix of award-winning music journalists, prize-winning music photographers, innovative WordPress core developers and we will grow. You can find out more about Team Rockhaq here.


Benefits for Schools, Music Hubs

Can primary school students join the Rockhaq community?

Yes! We piloted Rockhaq with 16-19 year-old learners in 2011-2012 and are now open to students and pupils of all ages. We recommend Rockhaq for year 5 and year 6 pupils in primary classes. The social media features in the Rockhaq community make it a great tool for younger learners who are already being exposed to social networking at home and among their peer group.

FEATURE: Safer digital environment as Team Rockhaq only promote the community to young users via music hubs and schools, and it is only ever opened for registrations a few times a year. Current members can invite others to join the community but on a limited basis. No private messaging or status updates available.

FEATURE: Strong community guidelines and terms to make sure all members treat each other with respect, as well as report abuse buttons

FEATURE: All work is reviewed before publishing to make sure it is suitable for readers of all ages

FEATURE: Social icons toolbar to repost/share published reviews with peers, friends and family

Can members with different abilities or special needs join the Rockhaq community?

Yes! Our pilot featured a broad range of learners of different ability levels and we worked with some students with special learning needs and had great results. That’s how we roll.

How does Rockhaq aid digital learning, social media and technology skills?

Rockhaq uses gaming, blogging and limited social media elements to create a new digitally literate generation of young learners. Top web developers and journalists have built the community to create a safe and unique digital education network for UK schools and colleges.

FEATURE: All published reviews have built-in social media bars for students to retweet or repost their reviews,

FEATURE: Rockhaq uses one of the world’s most popular blog systems, WordPress. Some of our site developers are core WordPress developers. Not bad.

OPTIONAL FEATURE: We can host workshops or lectures on how to use social media for educational and work purposes.

What safeguarding measures are in place?

During our pilot, ONLY teachers, students and schools could join the Rockhaq community and it was totally safe. Team Rockhaq personally checked and vetted every single application to make sure it is from a real teacher with real pupils.

Without finances, this approach is unsustainable. So the Rockhaq community is now open to all. We do limit registrations, have a waiting list and only promote the community to young people via music hubs and schools. However, it’s likely older students will stay and others may join the community, which we welcome and support.

FEATURE: Team Rockhaq limit registrations, don’t open the site to all users and only promote to young people.

FEATURE: Strong community guidelines outlined to all members upon joining and regularly reminded about throughout the year.

FEATURE: We always take action if community guidelines are breached, so all community members are protected.

Do you offer workshops or school visits?

Team Rockhaq all have regular day jobs and we can offer workshops on a limited and paid basis. Just take a look at what we could do for you throughout the year below. We can offer half-day and full day visits on selected dates throughout the year.

OPTIONAL FEATURE: One to one training sessions for new or continuing student editors.

OPTIONAL FEATURE: Workshops on how to write reviews or improving reviews for all ages/ability levels

OPTIONAL FEATURE: Lectures on music journalism, being a music journalist and interviewing top acts like Kasabian, The Killers and more.

How does the community editor role work?

Team Rockhaq encourage students to lead and take responsibility for their own learning, and that of their peers, as much as possible. We tested this role at colleges during our pilot. We will introduce this role again at some point but have no plans to do so immediately. However we are on the lookout for bright and trustworthy new community editors, so prove yourself on the community if you would like to be considered for these types of roles.

Community editors are instantly appointed or removed by Team Rockhaq. Here is what they can do:

  • Be emailed when there is a new blog to read
  • Read other community members work before publishing
  • Publish other community members work
  • Monitor and edit/approve other members commenting privileges
  • Learn invaluable editorial, journalism, communication and digital community management skills
  • Maybe get extra privileges!

Why is Rockhaq better than other digital school initiatives?

1. A unique public/private community

When a review or blog is published, anyone across the world can view it, students can post it on their social networks and other Rockhaq community members can read and comment on it. We’ve had debates on rap artists and boring bassists occurring between teachers at different schools and students in different cities. Your learners can stay as anonymous or as visible as they like with their profile photo – the choice is theirs. Learners take ownership and pride in their work when they know it is visible to all which helps them develop and improve.

2. Very high engagement levels outside school

Our pilot delivered results that nobody expected. A basic website presented in classrooms rapidly turned into an active, spirited student community.

Students posted reviews several times a day. Activity became uncontrollable and Team Rockhaq stepped in to help teachers regulate work and allow students to write. Activity did not stop at weekends or over half term holidays, so we worked non-stop. Over 75% of our pilot students wrote reviews outside of class and from personal choice. Nearly 45% significantly improved their literacy and oral communication skills from being active on Rockhaq. We realised we had something special on our hands – something our pilot students say is better than Facebook in their video interviews.

3. A prestigious, dedicated and prize-winning team

Running the Rockhaq community involves a lot of human effort and time. This is not a simple blog or piece of software that we activate on a click and forget about for the rest of the year.

Rockhaq is about communication, interaction with other members, engagement, networking, learning new skills, teaching them to others and more. Team Rockhaq make huge investments in time to make sure that our network remains safe and welcoming for all community members and we also offer in-person services to help your students get to grips with digital media.

Our website developers include core WordPress developers and our journalists have worked for major UK newspapers, interviewed top names like Kasabian, The Killers, Sir Terry Pratchett and have been nominated for prestigious media awards. Find out about Team Rockhaq.

JOIN THE ROCKHAQ COMMUNITY