I just spent a great week at the Participatory Technologies Camp in Hungary – working with one of my supervisors, Chris High, and a group of academics involved in action research and participatory research from Hungary, the UK, Ireland and Kenya, exploring how we might use different kinds of technology in participatory research. I ran two workshops to explore how we might use mobile technologies in research.
It was a great week – most notably for the amount of doing, rather than talking that was involved. We made films, we created short dramas, we made maps and finally we made horror films with mobile phones. Each process had its’ own reflective element – allowing us to capture the affordances and requirements of each technology.
In thinking about the methodology I’m going to use for my research I hadn’t fully considered up until this week the potential of co-creation and participatory techniques to tell stories and be a source of data for ‘serious’ research.
Piloting some ideas at this workshop made me realise how much potential there is to use mobile phones themselves as a tool in research – exploiting the multimedia and file sharing capabilities of even the most basic phones to allow people to tell stories and share experiences. I’m excited to expand and develop these methods more as I pilot my research in more depth over the coming months.
You can read a full account of the workshops on the camp blog.