Liz Valentine


Username: mad_rabbit
Biography: Liz Valentine (that is me) is currently a research assistant at University of Kent, in School of Engineering and Digital Arts, researching digital engagement amongst older people. I studied Multimedia Technology and Design at the university and have worked in design and development of interactive installations, websites and digital video production (historical subject matters). I'm currently writing my PhD proposal on the subject of older people and their use of on-line social networking sites, looking towards the benefits that such use may offer (such as social inclusion, independent living, and more) and how to encourage more people to do so (by demonstrating using agile prototypes and new technologies as appropriate). Although that isn't directly related to Digital Humanities, I have also worked on several projects (MSc and/or self employed work) for Museums, Canterbury Cathedral, charities, and with local artists. I have a large interest in how history and art can be brought alive and made interesting to all people, particularly as much of my previous work has been aimed at secondary school aged children, and has not always in English. Personally I love museum and galleries and visit them when I can for a bit of R&R :) Having interviewed several older people for current research, and observed another of my departments' projects involving the sharing of the memories of older and younger people in an art exhibition (including virtual and physical exhibits), I can clearly see that there are links between my areas of work and previous study, and my proposed research, in as much as older people have a vast tome of memories and historical material that is it can be important to capture, as it can open younger generations eyes and expectations (and vice versa!) I am really keen to talk about any of my ideas and ideas that other people have relating to either/both subject areas, and generally really keen to have good discussions!

Liz Valentine's Blog posts

Living digitized archives for individuals and learning

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Being a digital media developer/programmer who has worked with museums and other organisations on various projects, I have used media such as digital/digitized photos, films and audio clips/interviews, for the process, which has been collected from (often older) people by the museum/organisation for educational/archival purposes, often for use with schools.

I am also a researcher working on a project (and planning projects) that look at the ways in which older people use/do not use/could use digital technology.  I am interested in looking at ways in which older people (who may have interesting memories) can be encouraged to create “living” archives of their own material, in order to have more direct links to those that learn from the material (i.e. the archives are written/uploaded by people who can be contacted and asked further questions, making something more of a social networking facility).

What motivates people to currently donate their time and memories for the purpose of archives and education? Will they want to personally upkeep it if permitted to via a social network? Will their continued (virtual) presence encourage learning and further inquisitiveness from students, and how will one manage decline and death, what impact will this have on those (potentially young people) that access the material? How would it be best, for students and researchers to search through the data, and browse it?

(Note, that I have omitted q’s more directly linked to older peoples’ use of digital technology from this post on purpose…)