Employees and leaders are inspired by technology

News   •   May 22, 2016 15:57 GMT

Employees and leaders are inspired by technology

In the fields of education and assisted living technologies teachers and leaders are inspired by other professions and attend conferences looking for technologies to suit their needs.

By journalist Sanne Berglund Thor

Centre for Public Competence Development (COK) assists amongst others the municipalities with the competence development that the current reforms of assisted living technologies create within the areas of social, school and employment –the technological area also:

“COK wants to assist in promoting insight and seeing the possibilities with the new technology in the public sector. We want to be an active part in preparing the public leaders of the future to meet the challenges they are facing within a short period of time. It is absolutely necessary when we look at the demographic development, says CEO of COK Ib Oustrup in a press release.

Technology, healthcare and assisted living technologies

”I take interest in the connection between technology, healthcare and assisted living technologies. How can we collaborate? The conference RoboBusiness Europe is also about meeting the relevant persons in the network and being inspired by the closely connected areas of technologies. They might challenge our perspective and can create new solutions, which we can test in the municipal organization,” says Morten Hoff, who is Head of Center for Welfare Technology and Digitalization at Odense Municipality.

He will be attending the health-track Healthcare Robotics for Better Quality of Life (*1) at RoboBusiness Europe. In Odense Municipality, the work within assisted living technology is focused and deliberate, and the managers are in close collaboration with the employees who act as ambassadors for the technology in relation to the citizens.

“In my experience, our employees are very willing when it comes to using assisted living technologies when we include them, and the technology supports the professional competence.

Our focus is on the competence of our employees, and we discuss how to complete the core tasks in collaboration with, and with dignity for the citizen,” says Morten Hoff.

The robot Melvin helps the elderly

One of the technologies to be presented at the track Healthcare Robotics for Better Quality of Life (*1), is Melvin – a robot, which can help the weak and elderly to take down and put on their trousers. This provides the elderly with the opportunity to choose, when to go to the lavatory.

Especially for persons with rheumatic fingers Melvin gives freedom, dignity and an improved quality of life.

Today 700 citizens in Aalborg Municipality receive help from Melvin to go to the lavatory five-six times every day. This saves the municipal resources, and might even give citizens the opportunity to stay in their own homes for longer. Read more here hidden link

Education opens the passage

Teacher at Klank Boarding School, Galten and Head of Coding Pirates Dokk1 2015 Rikke Berggreen Paaskesen thinks it will be of great importance that the pupils in the public schools learn to programme and get familiar with technology.

“The pupils will be spared the possible alienation in regards to technology of the future by learning how to use it. Pupils, who enter the job market later on with technological creativity, enterprise and insight in programming, will be a resource in demand. The pupils must get the feeling that, they can control the technology – and not the reverse,” underlines Rikke Berggreen Paaskesen.

She will be an introductory speaker at the track Educational Robots Play & Learn (*2) and sees the playful approach as a big advantage with the different offers, which have been developed for school and education. For her it will be interesting to see at the conference, what kinds of robots are available on the market. How far are the industrial robots and the hospital robots compared to, how far she and her colleagues are in the educational sector?

Technology ”unlocks the pupils”Teacher and Pedagogical IT Advisor Nigel Thomas works in Svendborg at Byhaveskolen (Byhaveschool), which has pupils with general and extensive learning disabilities with an IQ under 70. The pupils are “unlocked” when they meet the new technologies, didactics and specially developed training sessions with focus on formation of strategy, social training and fundamental feelings. It yields positive results:

”At present, we only see the tip of the iceberg. There are so many unexplored technologies especially in the area of special needs. Some pupils with autism withdraw themselves from human interaction and intimacy, because the relation is too strong for them. The Robot ZENO “dilutes the relation” and this way we can open what is closed and get a dialogue going,” says Nigel Thomas.

The idea is to increase the pupils focus on his or hers own bodily state and maintain the pupils in a situation, where the ability of the child is trained to remain in a difficult situation. Nigel Thomas shares, as an introductory speaker at the track Educational Robots Play & Learn (*2), his experience, and he will also be enjoying the rest of the conference:

“I am very open minded and excited to see the newest technologies. What is new in education? What is to be found of other assisted living technologies, we can use – maybe with a twist so it meets the needs of the pupils? There are opportunities and potential.”

Read more of the track Healthcare Robotics for Better Quality of Life Wednesday the 1st June 2016 (hidden link *1)

Read more of the track Educational Robots Play & Learn Thursday the 2nd June 2016 (skjult link *2)

Box: Not everyone receives the assisted living technologies as well as Odense Municipality. A study from Rambøll and DANSK IT from 2015 showed in the report IT i praksis – Danish - (*3) that more than half answered “a lack of accept of assisted living technology amongst the citizens is the biggest barrier for realizing the potential of assisted living technology. At the second place is the missing acceptance from the employees, pointed out by 53 percent of the leaders.” Other countries – like Denmark – are challenged by the fact that there are more elderly people who require care and at the same time there are fewer employees to do the job.

Box: RoboBusiness Europe 2016 takes place 1st – 3rd of June 2016 at Odense Congress Centre and attracts visitors from around the world. It is a business development conference with matchmaking, networking and company visits. More than 60 companies are to be found at a stand. More than 2.000 visitors a day are expected. The conference has four theme tracks. Read more here Skjult link

Photo from the programme at the nationwide public television show Go' Morgen Danmark, provided by Nigel Thomas.
The robot ZENO is a humanoid robot, here seen with two of many different facial expressions. The pupils at Byhaveskolen saw Nigel Thomas and the robot through a glass wall. When they entered the classroom, one pupil asked him; What is his name? This said a lot about their first meeting. Byhaveskolen takes part in a development project, where ZENO is one of the tools.

Head of Center for Welfare Technology and Digitalization at Odense Municipality Morten Hoff.

Rikke Berggreen Paaskesen

Nigel Thomas