Nope - was turned down!! However I'm looking forward to reading the feedback as I am involved with the local university's work on making new technology accessible to older people. Will be interested to hear how it goes. Enjoy your trip.
This is very strange? The information was in the Newsletter and you had to put your name forward. I understood the event was well oversubscribed. It will be intersting to see how things work out at the end of the week.
We have 17 gransnetters coming to London on Thursday evening. Google and Futuregov, who did the draw, originally invited 20 people, but a few have had to drop out. We're very much looking forward to seeing those who are coming, and sorry not to be meeting those who aren't. Next time, maybe...
We hope those who are attending will come on this thread and say what they thought about the experience and how they put Google right about the internet. We'll update everyone about what went on as well.
Thanks, isorod. GransnetHQ had a great time meeting some (not enough...) gransnetters and working on ideas for useful apps and websites - it was rather amazing watching the rather quiet young mathematical people come into their own and start coding. There were 10 ideas being worked on and the gransnetters (as well as being in the teams) gave a prize to the idea they liked best, which was an app to photograph hazards for disabled people when out and about and share them.
One or two people promised to reveal their Googling gossip, so hoping it's repeatable...
Had a fantastic couple of days with google and futuregov. I overheard one gransnet woman say "this is one of the best days of my life". My friend, Joyce and I checked into our hotel at the end of Brick Lane about 1.30 and spend the afternoon exploring Brick Lane and surrounding streets recommended by our taxi driver. Gransnetters and Geraldine, plus Peter from u tube, had an evening meal together. Then on Friday morning we arrived at the venue at 9 am and were almost literally thrown in the deep end. Two days of mixing with Google people and students and IT people from all over. There were ten ideas to develop so we joined the various teams and took part on an equal basis discussing the idea and how to develop it. I think some of us had been a bit wary of being patronised on the one hand or being out of our depth on the other. This did not happen - indeed the students didn't seem to notice us as being any different from anyone else. We met some very interesting people, some we shall keep in touch with, if only by email. So, thankyou Gransnet for this exiting experience, I know we all appreciated every minute of it. One special little moment: telling a google person that what was really needed was two words on the screen: CLICK HERE followed by a few seconds complete silence.
Just wanted to echo carboncareful's comprehensive overview of the Google interactivism hack weekend (official title!). Gransnetters couldn't have been better treated or less patronised. I worked in a great group of grans and bright young brains on a project to cut numbers of NHS appointments missed and it was fascinating to see ideas translated into a potential website and services. Best of all, no-one raised their eyebrows or glazed over when I spoke but were genuinely interested in other points of view and information. It was great to feel valued and to be involved in such a worthwhile weekend - which was also fun!
Carboncareful and GrandmaAnge have done a brilliant job of summing up the Gransnet meets Google event. I was the only Gransnetter in my team looking at ways of making people in Care Homes more visible in our communities. I was amazed at the skills of the young people in my team, they had a level of expertise that I couldn't hope to emulate, but I felt valued for the experience and insights I could bring. A lot of myths were busted on all sides last weekend. The Gransnet and Google organising team did a great job.
Like Dee I think the Carboncareful and GrandmaAnge have done a brilliant job of describing the event, which was a lot of fun. I went with my friend and we were both a bit apprehensive about what was going to happen, and if we were going to be needed to work on the computers. From the first moment we arrived at the venue on Friday it was obvious we were welcome and valued members of the teams. As the other grans have said our opinions were listened to and most times acted upon, we were even asked afterward if that was what we meant, very empowering, new word!!! The team we worked on was about the NHS waiting times etc we both felt we had insites to offer. The young people on our team were brilliant, their mums would have been proud of them, and we told them so, one lad replied his mum would have said get off the computer !!! I think the youngsters get such bad press these days it was so good to meet and work with these bright minds. We really enjoyed the weekend and all the laughs and new friends made. The google people were great so thankyou to Google and Gransnet for organising it... we even got the T shirt !!!!!
I too had a great time and really appreciated the opportunity to learn, be included and have my street cred raised with internet savvy members of my family. Instead of being cynical about the use of jargon, I am now a hypocritical bighead using it. I'm even practising starting every sentence with 'So...' and using the upward inflection used at the end of every phrase so I sound like a computer expert!! I had been told that I would be part of a crack team at an interactive open sourcing hackathon event where digital solutions would be designed for enabling older people to use the internet but I now know what that meant - i.e. a good old get-together of young &old, specialists & those without much techno knowedge to create ideas together with no one bothering too much about property rights (except perhaps Google!). I wouldn't agree there were absolutely no patronising comments but these were more from ignorance and lack of experience than for any bad intention, and I hope stereotypes about grans and the elderly have been blown as much as any of ours about computer geeks were. They were a wonderful group of vibrant, very clever people. Everyone now claims to be passionate but these really were, working late into the night to make things work. Though I still have concerns about what total reliance on computers will do to society, brain functioning and our grandchildren, the event has inspired (or is it shamed) me into being more open-minded, less cynical and with a greater readiness to learn the jargon & systems. I'm even going to represent a young relative at an event in London to do with his business because he'll be away - don't think I'd have offered but for the confidence gained at the 'hackathon'.
Just one thought: When powerpoint presentations were being given a message kept appearing saying 'Replace projector bulb now'. Finally technology was no use and they had to revert to a flipchart or just a person speaking. I do hope the internet doesn't entirely turn off the light of society as like everything else attention still has to be given to basic, mundane realities. Like one of my group emailed - I can't spend more time on this now - I have to do the washing.
So thanks everyone for re-charging my batteries & turning the light on.
Great comments here, and I'm delighted many of us enjoyed it so much.
"wouldn't agree there were absolutely no patronising comments but these were more from ignorance and lack of experience than for any bad intention"
Every single suggestion, idea or point I made was rejected or ignored by our Google dev, and I have come away feeling very sad and demoralised about the whole experience. They made or part-made a website (yet another website, which I'm pretty sure I wouldn't use), and most disappointing was that they branded it with silhouettes of thin men, upright, walking, architectural type silhouettes, none female even, never mind elder. "Don't, please, please don't use those, they say nothing to us, they're not of or about us." Doesn't matter apparently because you can get rid of them in just one click.
I was accused of wanting to steal 'their' code and of threatening him when I said I was going to blog about it all. I had the impression that he had come with pretty much a plan and was determined to stick to it whatever. There was no sense that any contribution I might make to the development of my own Idea was going to be considered, and in the end, nothing was. Nothing.
Four days from the end of the event and I'm still astonished that this has happened. After arriving so brightly optimistic and excited, my Idea will be progressed, of course I'm not going to stop doing the work. And I've written to the two student developers offering to endorse their applications for Google grants. No replies, as yet.
There will be some analysis, and I hope people will be brave enough to come out and share difficult experiences as well as good ones.
Gransnet/Google didn't pay for my travel and to stay in a nice hotel, I'm doing all this under my own steam, and was grateful and delighted to meet other people doing the same. Ideally Google could offer the same grants for development work to those of us who are Ideas people, and I hope they will think about it.
Great to meet everyone: especially Maureen, Geraldine, on many others whom I hope I'll find in these forums - I'm so pleased I went, despite everything.
Oh on balance, I loved the weekend, it was really great to meet you all. It's always good to get involved with innovative things, and this is a real biggie, so it had to go awry somewhere, and I'm glad in a way it was me, and not someone who has less of a voice. I can write and talk about it, we can all learn from what happened. The organisers are very keen to learn, I'm talking to the Simpl and FutureGov people (they invited me, just as they invited Gransnet), so all is okay from that angle.
Thank you for your kind words, they're much appreciated. Feel free, any of you to get in touch. I filled out my profile, just click on my name.
Well, I might not be 22 but I'm still an ecowarrier - oh yes!. As for my hair, I have been known to have it pink but not the dreaded dreads. This really is a challenge, feeling a bit dowdy now, haven't even got any tatoos. Shall give it some thought...... Was nice to meet you too, Brenda, such a shame you came away unsatisfied but it was all worthwhile experience I hope. Wish they wouldn't have T shirts with such high necks, can't stand things on my neck - now I'll have to give it to my grandson but am not sure how "cool" a Google Tshirt is for a 17 year old? Any advice? (if I give him something un-cool does that make me un-cool?)
Just to say many thanks to Geraldine and all at Gransnet, FutureGov & Google for involving us in this v. interesting couple of days.
Although, from talking to other gransnetters, and from our separate Gransnet only session, we're a pretty internet saavy lot, we probably all know people of a similar age who are put off by computers and can't see any need to learn or a benefit in being able to access the internet. Maybe because of this, we all had ideas to contribute to the projects we were involved in.
I can only praise the openess of the young people developing the project I was involved in, and willingness to adapt the idea based on feedback from all. How wonderfully talented and eager to work hard these young people are and, as such, I felt the learning was very much two way. I hope the idea proposers, developers and Google people generally went away with a good impression of us - i.e. not complete idiots at all but also willing to admit we don't have all the answers just because we've lived a lot longer. Maybe some will view their own parents in a new light too!
I just bought some cheap white leggings ('Nice look, Granny!') to team with my Google t-shirt - to wear as p.j's.
It would be great to keep in touch with those lucky enough to be chosen to take part last weekend, and hope that others get the chance to be part of any other exciting ideas Gransnet organises.
Hi Grans and Google and Futuregov friends. Thank you for a great educational time. It was fun to be involved with the design and development of a web site, the one i worked on was a grans alterntive to skype and by the time we finished our task we had cracked it we were able to demonstrate our idea. Since then one of the developers has been working on it and is hoping to soon be able to publish the finished product. Thank you to everyone who was involved in the original idea and the issuing of invitations through to the people who gave their time and experience to encourage us all. Please can I come again
Carboncareful needs to customise her Tshirt for herself! Cut off the ribbing round the neck, then slash straight down from the mid front of the T shirt for about 4 inches. Let the edges curl in. It will wash perfectly well and not rip further. Or do more - maybe attack the sleeves too? Good beach wear.