Public services are becoming digital by default, and new opportunities for employment require at least an email address. It will be important to make the use of digital technology as accessible and easy as possible - or encourage people to act as proxies in helping make the connection with the online world.
Technology is changing our world - the devices we use in our homes, the way we shop, the public services that may no longer be available over the counter. The blog posts and forum discussions that we reviewed showed that for many people technology is problematic - but that it also offers opportunities to deal with the challenges of later life. In summarising discussion on a Gransnet forum, editor Geraldine Bedell wrote that she found a mix of attitudes.
Government plans to make services digital by default - and access to the new Universal Credit online are raising concerns, and pilots are being developed to explore how to serve those who are not online. Our propositions and discussion highlighted other issues. More people these days are working past retirement age, and moving jobs in the process. Digital skills may be important right at the start of new employment: JobCentrePlus expect people to have email addresses. Bank and post office branches are closing, with the only alternative being a longer journey, or using their online services. Its clear that we need to yield insights into how to design for the intersection of peoples changing needs through life, the personal technologies on offer, and the way technology is changing public and commercial services.
Challenge: how might we chart the challenges and opportunities people may face during later life, in order to inform development and use of digital technology? Can this also be done on an individual basis as part of help and support?\ Comments, resources and links to ideas on Storify - and embedded below\ View the story “3 Consider new life skills needed as technology changes our world” on Storify