Social Media Week (SMW) is coming up in September and there are some interesting initiatives this year that point to a need to understand the tools and technologies that have influenced the way we have come to work online and off.

Skillshare, the learning marketplace where anyone can learn anything from anyone else willing to teach, is teaming up with Social Media Week to launch the School of Emerging Media and Technology.

There are so many alternative education platforms around at the moment and this partnership means that those who are regular attendees of Social Media Week will have the opportunity to share their knowledge while people just starting to learn can learn from the specific experiences of practitioners who have maybe been forming their own skills over the past few years.

The good news for those wanting to take classes is that the school, accredited by SMW, will run all year round. The launch date is September 24, in line with Social Media Week itself.

school520 Social Media Week gets into alternative education and supports a tech camp for kids

The opening up to leading thinkers and practitioners in media, communications and technology. Those who wish to teach can submit an application which will then be vetted and approved by SMW. The selection process takes in past teaching and public speaking experience, affiliations with industry associations and writing for industry websites among other things.

Classes will be available to students who want to sign up from August 15. If you’re keen right now, there is a form to apply on the SMW site where you can express your interest in particular areas ahead of time.

The School launches first in the US and there are plans for expansion through 2013.

If you’re not familiar with Skillshare, the organisation has a nice introductory video, outlining a bit more about what it does. Check it out below:

Getting kids into Tech Summer Camp

Social Media Week is also working on the greater good this year with a campaign to send kids who would not normally have the opportunity to a Tech Summer Camp.

In partnership with IndieGoGo, SMW has a campaign running to raise $10k and send 25 students from New York City, to the camp. Nokia has agreed to match this amount once the goal has been reached.

It costs $850 to put each student through the program. If you ever wanted to go to a computer summer school, or you fancy giving 25 kids a chance to take steps toward tech education, this might appeal as the time to put your hand in your pocket.

CampInteractive will be running the program. It’s an organisation that works to improve chances for kids through technology and the environment.

To get a sense of what kids get from the process, you can check out the video which has some examples and testimonies:

Image Credit: CarbonNYC on Flickr