We’re working with some of the best tech talents in Northern Ireland on Techies in Residence. Here’s Ellen from Digital Key on working with the Cornfield Project
Tell me a little about yourself and your organisation
I am multi-media professional with sixteen years’ experience in developing, designing, writing and producing educational and interpretive resources for web and mobile. After working in BBC Learning department for 12 years, I set up my own company Digital Key to produce educational websites and experience-driven mobile apps for cultural/heritage/environmental organisations and their audiences. Digital Key aims to share the joy of learning with others by making information as accessible and engaging as possible. People are naturally curious, we want to ignite that curiosity with an engaging narrative and seamless technology.
What attracted you to the Techies in Residence Programme?
The Techies in Residence programme provides an opportunity to work with Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector on worthwhile social causes. These projects enable tech companies to work closely with local charities and community groups to develop technology solutions that have a real positive impact on the local community.
What attracted you to working with (the organisation you’re working with)?
The Cornfield Project is a great community initiative that targets local residents in Coleraine. The ASPIRE community partnership worked tirelessly to take an unused piece of land and turn it into a wildlife haven containing a community woodland, wildflower meadows, sensory garden, community gardens and outdoor classroom. The Cornfield Project aims to provide educational and health and well-being benefits to the local community and technology can help the project meet these important goals.
Tell us a little about what’s exciting about this project?
The Cornfield Project is the Grow Wild Flagship site for Northern Ireland and has great educational and environmental potential. Technology can help the project achieve this potential by providing interpretation that enables visitors to observe, appreciate and understand the wildlife. Mobile technology enables the project to deliver meaningful interpretation and activities relevant to different visitors’ needs and interests. As part of the project, we will be delivering a mobile storybook activity that enables young visitors to meet and interact with the creatures of the Cornfield.
What challenges do you think you’re going to face in this process?
The biggest issue will be creating a balance between an intuitive and seamless mobile experience and delivering content that is location and visitor specific.
What scope do you see for your solution beyond Northern Ireland?
Our technical solution, modular mobile website that delivers content specific to the needs, interests, and location of the visitor has the potential to be replicated for other similar wildlife reserves. In particular, the story-book activity could be adapted for other species in other locations.