Using Technology to Break Down Social Isolation

Benefit and ease will be the two greatest contributors to the use of tech, these need to be emphasised, especially in a population who are less mobile and a diminished circle of friends.

Substitute for social – a very big substitute for people who have no social at all.

Julian Tait – works on tools to connect people to each other

Promeo / Connect Hackney

“Don’t need or won’t use and forget” – Introducing tech. Online not the only solution, if you don’t want to do it – so be it. The pressure is off-putting. Excluded from family networks.

Approach comparisons, shouldn’t be, I am using it therefore others should.

Digital Tea Parties – why would anyone learn Word? Benefits are in Google Earth. With Skype, tendency to insult the person they see at the other end. Nervous.

Working with NHS, but need to understand their likes and comedy, with a stripped out youtube and a conference call in their home. Source button is the hardest thing, but you can see confidence. Age is a spectrum, it’s not middle age and then old.  You can’t badger people, it has to be appropriate to them. Not everyone wants to know everything.

Digital inclusion services can be funded to deliver outputs. Not allowed a softly softly approach, funds don’t allow for mentoring, which it is. Mentoring is much more powerful. Accessibility around literacy.  Digital inclusion packages miss dyslexia. You need to introduce people to it without them realising they’re being introduced to anything. Stealth. A luncheon club, a care home. Go along to an existing tea party and take tech. It works better if they haven’t gathered specifically.

Connected Christmas Dangling the carrot – tapping into something already there. People think – why learn how to use something now? Spend the day doing gap analysis.  Memory lane.  People spread. Small seeds. Tapping into resources.

Tech isn’t as good as it says it is . Poor wifi and they think it’s their fault. Barriers. It can happen to anybody. Demystifying practical has worse effect if it fails. Pragmatic in the use of language. Not always being online to tell their own stories.  Scrapbook, building upon that. Isn’t easily usable (people talking about experience)

Growing confidence by using tech alone.  Scare stories on the media – they have a vested interest  in scaring people. Everybody gets hacked! A walled garden internet is a stepping stone £480 for kit and £35 a month after, but it needs broadband too. Expensive.

The way projects are funded and what you need to show. Not in a class but a few individuals. Connecting Hackney  – 6 year project. Older people lead totality of what that means. 5.8 million pounds participatory budgeting

Slow, but public sector is slow. Getting people to sign up to then decide how to use the money. Get other people involved because it affects them- who they commission.  Test and learn. Lottery fund need to know the difference. How do you find people who are socially isolated?

Commissioning wrong, we’re measuring the wrong thing.. An online course which doesn’t benefit anyone. It needs patience and nurturing. Not silos.  Not holistic, tech doesn’t solve the real problem.

What works at this stage? Facebook – “new friends” – definition of friends? Put in time emails, and reading materials to contribute effectively. Wouldn’t use a computer a home – why would I ? People get hooked on and then it’s socially isolating

To learn involves a combination of the things that are most important to the person trying to learn. Accessibility, and even just access is crucial.

Just want to go into a zone. Public places are hard to do that. iPads as work tools because that’s how they’ve been given to them.  You never get take up from utilitarianism! Get people to love the devices.

“I’m going to be locked away” But they are for emotional touchstones. Not just background of stress.

CNA Speaking exchange, older people speaking to people in Brazil to improve their English . Which would be beneficial for a refugee.

Colouring books, health professional training – mindset of health officials, or in service housing.  More videos, what it’s like.. person speaking to you. How do you identify communities who already exist.?

Julian Tait at Things Manchester  – user friendliness of websites and brochures as tools.

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