Whether it be global tech businesses being grilled by the Public Accounts Committee; the launch of 4G networks or the adverts vying for pre-Christmas attention, digital technologies: computers, mobile phones, the internet, have been in the public eye quite a lot recently.
Bran Ferren (somewhat) famously said that technology is ‘stuff that doesn’t work yet’ – we don’t think of biros or belts as ‘technologies’ (that is purposefully designed and made tools), because they’re woven into everyday life and work as we’d expect. But how about ‘digital technologies’ – when will they stop being ‘technologies’ and start, simply, being the internet, apps or micro-processors? The answer, is when they become more trivial, when we recognise the implicit value in them and understand how they are constructed and work.
For housebound individuals, conventional communication media can prove limiting and lacking in rich conversational opportunities.
But now, researchers at the University of Nottingham have found that what communicating partners need to really stimulate such remote conversations is the chance to build on a regular and vivid shared experience. And they are hoping that their latest development project will provide just such an experience.
With support from Nominet Trust, the Shared Walk project aims to ultimately enable isolated individuals to engage with and explore alongside, albeit virtually, the travels and changing settings of a mobile, conversational partner.
One year in, Charles Crook explains where they are with the project.
The Shared Walk project has now implemented an active internet service that allows relatively isolated individuals to enjoy vivid communication with their carers, relatives, friends or other volunteer support individuals.
In her recent Nominet Trust blog Annika talked about the ways Nominet Trust is trying to make sense of the information they have on how technology might be used to open up new opportunities. Creating stories, spotting themes, and mapping ideas have been key to this work.
A pipeline of prospects is being built; interest from local authorities, housing associations, charities and health and social care organisations. Conversion is another matter considering the climate. There is competition - Rally Round, Caucus, Jointly, Know your own Health, etc. - however; Tyze's end-user focus has a more B2C look ‘n’ feel and the responsive, user-led developments should keep it one step ahead.
Government-funded systems of health and social care are facing enormous fiscal and human-resource challenges. In the UK, this changing landscape has meant that the health and social care sector faces an unprecedented period of change and reinvention. There is increasing tension between local authorities, the NHS, social care providers and housing associations, etc., as statutory service provision contracts. GP Commissioning and Clinical Commissioning Groups are just starting to scope out their own roles and responsibilities.
It has long been known that where children are born and grow up affects the opportunities they have and what they do in their lives. A teenager living in a former industrial city with high levels of adult unemployment will often have different hopes and fears than one who has grown up in a prosperous town in the south east.
As part of its ongoing open consultation, Nominet Trust brought together a group of experts this past week to think about how technology might be used to realise new opportunities - and address the persistent challenges such as social isolation, access to adequate care and pensioner poverty – facing people in later life. We weren’t looking at how adding digital might make existing services more cost-effective or efficient; nor were we seeking specific solutions. Instead we were hoping to define some areas that would benefit from social innovation with technology.
Last blog I talked about Linked Data in relation to OER – linking the OER together. One aspect of this was personalisation – being able to see where gaps in a students learning were, and plugging them dynamically though linked OER.
I’ve mentioned Open Data and Linked Data in my last couple of posts. Brilliantly enough my department does a 'forum meeting' once a quater, and in last week's I heard about a project (which KMi is a partner on) on just this topic!