open lab news
From designing a garden to remixing music from local bands, a new cutting-edge partnership between community hub Meadow Well Connected and Newcastle University’s Open Lab aims to show people that learning digital skills doesn’t always mean sitting behind a computer.
The partnership, which will include the opening of a new Digi-Suite, will encourage local residents to co-create digital projects, with an initial focus on digital content creation, including new media, citizen journalism, and programming.
Meadow Well Connected is a community hub which has been serving the local community for over 25 years.
“Many people when they hear the term digital skills think of filling in job applications, or accessing government services, but digital can mean anything from creating videos, running a radio show or learning how to code.
By working with Meadow Well Connected we hope to show that digital skills are broad, and that technology doesn’t have to be stressful – it can be creative, and fun.” explained Prof. David Kirk, Director of Open Lab.
The Digi-Suite will be a creative digital space including IT equipment which will be used for training, and workshops. It will be open to everyone at the community hub, and will be available to be used by other businesses and local community groups.
“We have so many different projects, activities and communities who come to Meadow Well Connected everyday. Many people are keen to learn new skills, but often feel worried or uncomfortable when it comes to technology.
We’re so pleased to be working with Open Lab, and we’re really excited to see what ideas people will come up with and how we can work with Open Lab to develop these.” Mandi Cresswell, Chief Officer, Meadow Well Connected.
The future partnership
Meadow Well Connected and Open Lab will work on a number of digital projects together over the year.
The Digi-Suite and the partnership will mean that the researchers and the residents can work together to use, improve and design new technologies such as using Open Lab’s PIP kit, a life logging diary to support people claiming disability benefits, selling fresh food from local producers using the local food hub Tyne Fresh and using fun digital consultation methods to redesign the garden.
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