It’s been an eye-opening experience so far working on my master’s project. Building on the work from the past two semesters where I worked on designing, developing, and user testing an Android app meant for educating parents about devleopmental milestones, I am now tackling the same problem but with a broader audience: low-income families. In Georgia, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program works with around 300,000 families that are living 180% under the poverty line. These services they offer reach about half of all of the infants in the state. An Android app is great for families that are well off and who have the latest smartphones, but that technology clearly is not ubiquitous.
I’m still surprised at how few people take the Computing for Good (C4G) class. One trend I’ve noticed at Tech is that the students in my program tend to gravitate towards the newest and coolest gadget. I swear, if I see one more person walking around with Glass….
Anyway, given this trend, it’s no shock that many students express little interest in classes like C4G that don’t always involve iPads and the like. Yet I think more than ever that we owe the world the opportunity to spread some of our talents and ideas to those who, for whatever reason, are not in a position to enjoy life as fully as we are. These are people in other countries but also in our own states and cities. Technology is evolving at a pace more rapid than what humans can keep up with. Let’s make sure we help others to learn to help themselves.
Yes, I could go and get a PhD and do research, but I might end up staying in academia to focus on very narrow projects. I am blessed to have a wide array of spells and think I should use these to my advantage, as well as to the world’s advantage . No matter where I end up, I’ll continue this tradition of technology consulting, hopefully also with the CDC and WIC.