How technology is empowering everything we do
We’re deep in the midst of the Digital Revolution; something the last 18 months has sharply brought into focus. But what does all this mean, and why should we take comfort in technology?
Let’s consider where many of us use technology in our day-to-day lives. Just 15 years ago, most homes only had a TV set, a computer and maybe a couple of mobiles. Today, the average Briton has access to more than nine connected devices at home.
If you think about it, all these connected devices are purposeful. Connected cars, for instance, allow us to drive safer on the roads. Video Wi-Fi doorbells help those living alone to feel more secure; smart meters let us take control of our energy bills, and health trackers enable us to lower our insurance premiums.
Technology is an Enabler
Once a technology is entwined into our daily lives, it becomes second nature. When we realise how much easier it is to do something or how much freedom it gives us, it becomes symbiotic.
Video conferencing is a good example of mass digital adoption. Zoom and Teams were some of the fastest-growing apps during the pandemic. Zoom experienced a 354% year-on-year growth, and Teams recorded a jump from 20 million users in 2019 to 145 million in the second quarter of 2021. So it seems, at least certainly for business, that video conferencing is here to stay, as is hybrid working.
There’s been no slow-down of Zoom despite the phased return to the office. Statistics just released for Q3 2021 show a 3300% increase in meeting minutes compared to Q3 2020. If you’re interested, 3.3 trillion meeting minutes are now hosted on Zoom each year.
Personally, I dread how much more disconnected I would have felt had I not been able to speak to my family and friends and collaborate with my colleagues over the last year.
Importance of Human Ingenuity
My point is that technology can feel overwhelming at first. After all, we all have habits and routines we follow. Breaking away from a set pattern or way of doing things can seem unnatural at first. That’s why successful technologies share one thing in common: they are built with human ingenuity. They consider how the human mind thinks, works, constructs, interacts with others, analyses, and rationalises problems.
Knowing how the human mind works, the ‘technology’ solves problems and makes certain activities far easier.
Technology compliments and improves rather than substitutes
Technology can facilitate efficiency and progress by complimenting human interactions and processes (rather than replacing it). When individuals and technology dovetail, this results in improvements and greater performance.
Invision360 as an Example
Stepping away from the technology giants, let’s consider Invision360’s online EHCP Audit Tool. We know that there is a problem with the quality and consistency of EHCPs at many local authorities across the UK. We know this because Ofsted and CQC inspections have revealed significant weaknesses in areas’ SEND arrangements and the quality of EHCPs. We also speak with local authorities and listen to their all too familiar challenges every day. But what makes our standardised online EHCP Audit Tool the solution?
One of the reasons is that it has been built with human ingenuity. It has been created by practitioners for practitioners. Its creator, Director and highly experienced Principal Educational Psychology and SEND professional Phil Stock, knew the problems associated with auditing the quality of EHCPs all too well. Having worked at several local authorities, the issues were largely the same - too much subjectivity and not enough consistency.
He knew there had to be a better way, and as an advocate for technology, he set about creating Invision360.
Invision360 works well because it enables users to audit EHCPs to one ‘truth’ –using criteria drawn from nationally recognised good practice documentation (SEND Code of Practice, CDC examples of good practice, ipsea EHCP good practice and other resources).
More than this, it has been built with the user in mind. Knowing how a practitioner behaves, thinks, records information, questions, and makes decisions has been carefully considered to arrive at a solution. Client-led and collaborative in its scope, Invision360 is constantly evolving to meet the needs of local authorities.
To quote Steve Jobs, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” There’s a design ‘sweet spot’ in business – a place where technology enhances connectivity, automates manual tasks, improves decision making, and promotes service innovation.
Quite simply, technology is empowering. As we’ve seen in recent months, it brings people together!