Who would have thought that the pace of change in the computer age could have accelerated even further? Wasn’t it already a bit too fast? By reducing in-person interactions, the pandemic has increased society’s reliance on digital communications. While computers are not the all-powerful panacea some enthusiasts make them out to be, we still need to make sure we are not excluded from the ‘digital world.’
During lockdown, many Flourish Australia Groups were adapted to online formats rather than being cancelled. Our Community Advisory Council, which formerly met twice a year in person, now meets monthly, via zoom! For the sake of inclusiveness, Flourish Australia knows that supporting people to adapt to digital is a priority.
Working from home can be a mixed blessing. It can be great for some people, a nightmare for others. For many it simply means unemployment. ‘Forage’ is a recently developed ‘virtual internship platform’ providing online work experience to University students who would usually do ‘internships’ as part of their studies.
Education has recently included a large element of ‘home-schooling’ due to lockdown, at least in Victoria and NSW. The response to this experience has been mixed, to say the least. Parents now find themselves with additional and unfamiliar responsibilities, while teachers now have to deal with a loss of control over their widely scattered classes. Some educationists have hailed this as ‘the future of education’ while others have declared it a disaster- especially for children of disadvantaged backgrounds. Clearly, there are some things you just can’t do properly ‘online.’
A level headed view is not to put all your faith into digital as a panacea for everything. Humans need personal interaction to flourish. However, turning our backs on the digital world will have the effect of isolating us from important things in life. We need to find a middle ground. Flourish Australia and Panorama Magazine are committed to providing increasing support to the people who access our services, and our readers in the digital realm.
Here are some recent Panorama stories on our web site which have digital flavour: ‘Employment: IT Developers/Programmers’ (August 2021, p.16); ‘Social Media and your mind’ (June 2021, p.10); ‘Getting an email address’ (February 2021, p.13); ‘It’s never too late to become tech-savvy’ (August 2020 pp.10-11); ‘Setting up a MyGov account’ (August 2020, p.6); ‘Adjusting not stopping’ (August 2020 esp. p.5).
Warren Heggarty, Panorama magazine
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