I can’t believe it’s been nearly two weeks since our final Pioneer Group and that it’s nearly Christmas! As we’ll be off over Christmas I thought I’d write my final blog of 2012 to let you know what we’ve been doing since the groups finished. For the past week I’ve been revisiting the video footage we took of the Sheffield group and categorising everything that we got from the sessions into outputs (i.e. written materials, ideas for dissemination) and research lessons (i.e. a good facilitator is key, which activities worked well and which could be amended next time) and am gathering all of this information so as a team we can see what we have learnt from the groups in terms of process and the messages we have learnt from older adults engaging with an item of technology. It has been illuminating to see the sessions as when we were in them they were very fast paced and so could not reflect at the time. The next step is to look at the messages we have for industry, older adults and other stakeholders and how best to get these out there. So lots to do in the New Year!
First a big thank you for a most enjoyable experience.
I have been thinking about our response to the new technologies and I wonder if we got that right. Technology moves in cycles and it does take, depending on the new technology, anywhere between 10 to 25 years for the innovation to roll to the whole population. As an example, the Arpanet,which became the Internet,was operational in about 1974 in a pilot site in the UK but it required
– the development of agreed international communication standards( the ISO 7-layer model and the incorporation ofTCP/IP in that model, and
– the progressive upgrading,in the UK, of the BT Network from copper wires to fibre optics to go fast enough to become a usable network and these processes took some 25 years.
Then along comes the WWW and it can piggyback on the work already done to be,and in only about 10 year has become accepted, and then we get smartphones and tablets( over 1billion in use today, then add in Facebook, founded in 2004 but already with more than 1billion users, and you can see that an appropriate infrastructure for rapid development is in place now. Finally, tomorrows pensioners , say those in work but aged 55 or more, will be using these facilities on a daily basis so will be IT literate when they retire. They, unlike today’s 70 year olds will want to use the technology
More to follow but must break now.
Today was our final Pioneer Group session. The group discussed ideas for dissemination events and came up with lots of creative ideas such as a pop up shop and interviewing people at a trade show (as an exercise only) for the role of technology champion. They thought long and hard about who they want to influence and the best arenas to do this in. Their favourite idea was one of a roadshow which can travel around the country so that the group can go to the people they want to influence rather than waiting for them to attend events or come to them. We went back to week one and asked the group to think of the skills they described themselves as having and asked them to put these in context for a possible role in the dissemination events. The group were as always very enthusiastic in wanting to take part in future and they decided as a group that events must be fun and engaging. We even had one participant who said she would dress up as a tablet computer and act out this role to engage passers by. One of our participants is well connected in the community and is willing to give us speak to those she knows at the council to get us a pop up shop in the centre of the city. So lots of ideas and things to take forward for the final phase of the project. We also recieved great feedback from the group about the research process which was wonderful for us.