Developing a Mind-set for a Digital Future: The Importance of Recognising and Encouraging Innovation, Experimentation and Support

Dr. John Francis Hetherington
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There is an urgency to adjust the way Australians think about and respond to digital technologies. The perceived trend of technological uptake in the broader community is that it is largely being driven by commercial interest. The author suggests that this trend needs to be tempered by citizens being openly encouraged to contribute innovative ideas as to how these ubiquitous new tools might be used.
An analogue past relied on straight-line logic and linear presentation whereas the contemporary digital future will require Australians to evolve and practise a versatile non-linear ethos in order to successfully engage and exploit it for its creative potential.
Using a practice focus this paper will draw upon research findings (inductive reasoning) from the recent work conducted by the author in both secondary and tertiary teaching in media production as well as his facilitation (participant observation) of a small rural community’s attempts to establish a self-help satellite television service. This rigorous research is supported by his thirty four years of production experience in the Australian Television / Video industry.
This paper suggests that, due to the all pervasive spread of digital technologies into every facet of life, anybody over 25 years of age, probably needs remedial help with digital uptake. Further it argues, that recognizing and addressing the need to understand this phenomenon is a major step towards integrating it into our lives.

Keywords: Digital, Analogue, Net generation, nonlinear, CyberDocumentary
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Developing a Mind-set for a Digital Future

Dr. John Francis Hetherington

Lecturer, Media Production
Department of Mass Communication
Faculty of Arts, University of Southern Queensland


After 35 years film and television industry experience the author, John Hetherington is currently lecturing in media production (Television Production and Interactive TV) and researching into the take-up and adoption of digital technologies for his Doctor of Visual Arts (Griffith) research higher degree. He is recording the progress of a defined group (200 households) of residents in rural South East Queensland, who have been involved in a community self-help scheme for the purchase and installation of direct-to-home satellite television equipment. The pre and post satellite experiences of participating community members have been recorded on-camera and will be incorporated into a nonlinear web based production form - a CyberDocumentary. Combining text, stills, video, graphics, music and documents with links the Cyberdoc, will provide an accessible community wide resource that not only documents the research project but also creatively experiments with an emerging new form - the CyberDocumentary.

Ref: T06P0236