Claire England-Press Release for Newspaper

Today the service sector accounts for 75% of the UK’s economy. There is an ever increasing number of services that are going online, and a recent Government change in service strategy to make the UK digital by default, and cut costs by 2014, means we are currently experiencing an evolution in the term ‘service’.

This development has occurred due to technological discoveries, but also because there is current economical pressure to cut costs. With this in mind, Claire was inspired by visionaries of the nineteenth century, to use human-centered design methods, to try and seek out optimistic and hopeful future scenarios, for the pressing issue of digital (and therefore social) exclusion, and put value back into the idea of serving people.

“William Morris takes a kinder approach to everyday life, recognising that people have to ‘make do’ within a system which is not of their choosing” David Gauntlett.

For this project, Claire has been exploring alternative approaches to ICT teaching with adult learners. Looking at informal and creative ways to engage individuals with technology, Claire worked with a small group of older ICT learners from a community in the north of England.

Together they designed and conducted workshops that encouraged the emergence of informal technology assistance amongst themselves, and stimulated their confidence and passion for sustained adult learning in a more informal, social setting. The workshops focused on learning through activities of technology deconstruction and visual mapping, which provided cues, and presented opportunities for informal, curiosity-led discussion and knowledge sharing amongst the group.

Claire intends to continue with this project upon completion of her Masters, and hopes to establish the growth of similar workshops, to encourage open discussion of digital service, and provide older community members with the confidence to feel influential, and in control of their digital interactions.

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About Hazel White

Director, Open Change
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