Consultation: Your input

We’d like to hear your views on expertise. Everybody is welcome to respond. Tell us if you are an academic, community worker, professional in the creative industries, member of the community or somebody else.

What kinds of digital expertise are missing from your field? How would you define digital expertise? And what are the barriers to more active and creative engagement? Help us to better understand what skills, knowledge, and competencies, cultural organizations and communities need to enable fuller and more autonomous engagements with digital media.

Ways to get involved
• Complete the survey below.
• Add a comment below this article.
• Email e.zenerian@sussex.ac.uk.

Here is what people have said:

“I have my limitations for things I can and can’t do, like building. I think at one point I probably could have built my own computer, I would have been able to put in a DVD player and extra memory and this sort of thing” (Michael. AgeUK, 2012)

“Yes, it’s the communication with people, that’s the most important for me; it’s keeping in touch with friends and family, and that is the most important thing. The thing that I’m desperate to do here is the Skype.” (Stacy AgeUK, 2012)

“I’ve got two or three players at home, I’ve got like a Daisy Player from the RNIB, you read books on there. And I’ve got an MP3 player where you have and MP3 disk” (Beth Worthing Society for the Blind, 2012).

“The first problem and probably the one that they need to overcome is the mouse. It’s not an obvious device to use. For absolute beginners, unless they can master the mouse they can’t do much more. I mean I have seen people holding it in the air and wondering why it’s not working, that’s the sort of level that some of them come in at.” (Bob AgeUK, 2012)

“Sometimes it’s family. We get quite a few people after Christmas where their sons and daughters…have left them the old laptop… I think the usual description is they say their daughter said, ‘This is how you use it da, da, da, da’ and left.” (Bob AgeUK, 2012)

“One of the big things that people come up to do [with computers], is genealogy.”(Stuart Age UK, 2012)

“I’ve got two internet radios, because I’m interested in languages, I can listen to any radio programme in the world, providing they broadcast it also on the internet, which most of them do.” (Stuart AgeUK, 2012)

“[About Google Maps] Well I’ve got people all over the world, so you’re able to zoom in, it’s wonderful, because somebody says, ‘Oh we’ve just moved here, and there’s an address.’ Right, I’ve got a good idea where you are, which I think is wonderful” (Stacy Age UK, 2012)

“Yes, I had somebody in a while back and they said, ‘Oh I used to work with computers,’ but she couldn’t remember a thing, but of course, as you get older, I’m now finding my memory is… and people say, ‘I forget things,’ but you reach a point where you know you’re forgetting things far more often, so it tends to be a bit of a worry.”

“The thing that’s difficult is thinking of how to do it. If I say…I don’t know what to do,’ there’s somebody who will say, ‘Oh, find it’ they say, they just… expect me to know just how to do it….That is the most debilitating thing to elderly. Just ‘You press that’.(Stacy AgeUK, 2012)

“maybe they do just think that perhaps they feel they’re too old to start learning again, but that’s not… we do have our volunteer that trains. At the moment, she’s training I think, two people, but they’re in their late 80’s, it’s never too old, is it to learn?” (Jodie Worthing Society for the Blind, 2012)

Consultation: We’d like to hear your views on digital expertise.


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