Retirement in the Digital Age: A Story

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Digital Storytelling Reflective Analysis

Purpose of Project

The purpose of this qualitative digital storytelling project was to publish the ever-growing story of how retirees in Australia use the internet today.

I wished to persuade the audience of my story to think about and discuss how media practices, which in this case was specifically the use of internet for media, and audience experiences, are spatial in nature.

My personal relationship with my grandparents led me to this topic. This was a good choice as it provided a plethora of interesting and in-depth research opportunities on the subjects of media, audience and place.

Readings                                                              

To begin the project a large amount of secondary research was needed so that I understood the current data on retiree internet use, and how this is related to space and place.

This positively influenced my project as I was then able to critically think about how to further this research with my own methodology.

Then three primary interviews were conducted in the homes of three Australian retirees.

The pros of this method was that I gained several in-depth and individual perspectives on the subject of retiree internet use. The cons were that this research cannot be definitively applied to the wider range of retirees, as the small focus group cannot speak for the entire demographic.

However I would have still done it the same way, as it allowed for a personalised sight into the secondary research that backed my project.

Project Management

Next I had to research project management, and how I could fit all of this research into my limited time frame.

  • ‘The Digital Story Project Manager’. Filled with hundreds of well-informed and well-researched article this site taught me everything from ‘A guide to the best resource scheduling tools and resource management software’ to ‘How to respond to a project in crisis’. This provided invaluable data on how to effectively run my project to the stated deadline, and what to do if something went wrong (Warnert, Aston and Davis, 2016).
  • ‘Top 20 Skills for Digital Project Managers’. This site taught me something that I didn’t even consider when I began my project. I never thought about what skills I would need to create the project. These tips such as social media presence, video editing skills, and presentation skills were all vital to the project’s creation, and I was lucky to be able to build on these with the advice from this website (Sena, 2016).

Common Challenges

The challenges that are common in qualitative research all presented themselves throughout my project.

  • Subjectivity. Due to the potential for bias in qualitative research it is of the upmost importance that relevant secondary research is included to back any claims made in the project. This was accomplished in my own project with the chapters ‘Today’ and ‘The Problem’ which heavily feature the secondary evidence of retiree internet use.
  • No generalization. Due to the limited sample size available in qualitative research it cannot be definitively used as a representation of society. Again further research and a clear statement that conclusions are not concrete was used in my project to combat this issue.

Convincing representation

The platform of ‘Prezi’ was chosen for this project as it provides the easiest to read, and most linear digital platform available for storytelling (Gresham, 2014). The timeline allows for a clear story to develop, but also for the user to discover the story at their leisure as they can jump back and forth from each ‘chapter’.

I believe it worked effectively with my story, as each chapter was clearly distinct from the other, and the interviews were seamlessly integrated in with the research to create a flowing narrative. This made my argument engaging, and my research easy to understand, which would be convincing for media industries or stakeholders.

Effectiveness

As the purpose of this project is to reveal how retired Australians use the internet, and how issues of spatiality can impact this, the most effective use of this research would be in relation to improving internet access to our ageing population.

Projects such as the NBN and internet companies would find this project useful in determining where to next to improve their services, as well as how to educate this demographic on the usefulness of computers.

In conclusion, it would be my hope that this project be used effectively in granting more of our seniors the ability to easily access the wonders that are available in online media.

References

Abs.gov.au. (2016). 8146.0 – Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2012-13. [online] Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/B10BDF0266D26389CA257C89000E3FD8?opendocument [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

ABS, (2014). Life expectancy (AIHW). [online] Aihw.gov.au. Available at: http://www.aihw.gov.au/deaths/life-expectancy/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Adams, K., Sanders, S. and Auth, E. (2004). Loneliness and depression in independent living retirement communities: risk and resilience factors. Aging & Mental Health, 8(6), pp.475-485.

Classroom.synonym.com. (2016). Problems in Research: Quantitative & Qualitative Methods | The Classroom | Synonym. [online] Available at: http://classroom.synonym.com/problems-research-quantitative-qualitative-methods-4418.html [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Cotten, S., Ford, G., Ford, S. and Hale, T. (2014). Internet Use and Depression Among Retired Older Adults in the United States: A Longitudinal Analysis. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69(5), pp.763-771.

Gephart, R. (2004). Qualitative Research and the Academy of Management Journal. Academy of Management Journal, 47(4), pp.454-462.

Gresham, P. (2014). Fostering creativity through digital storytelling: “It’s a paradise inside a cage”. Metaphor, (1), pp.47-55.

Industrysuper.com. (2016). Retirement Age – Retiring in Australia » Industry Super. [online] Available at: http://www.industrysuper.com/retirement-info/retirement-age/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Kahn, C. (2016). Retirement Statistics: Then Vs. Now | Bankrate.com. [online] Bankrate.com. Available at: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/retirement-statistics-1.aspx [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Robin, B. (2008). Digital Storytelling: A Powerful Technology Tool for the 21st Century Classroom. Theory Into Practice, 47(3), pp.220-228.

Robin, Ph.D., B. (2016). Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. [online] Digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu. Available at: http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/page.cfm?id=27&cid=27&sublinkid=31 [Accessed 22 Oct. 2016].

Sena, P. (2016). Top 20 Skills for Digital Project Managers. [online] Blog.hubspot.com. Available at: http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/top-20-skills-for-digital-project-managers#sm.0000pvtifbie3e5yplt1ff74ihzka [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Warnert, N., Aston, B. and Davis, H. (2016). Welcome to The Digital Project Manager. [online] The Digital Project Manager. Available at: http://www.thedigitalprojectmanager.com/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

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