"Wouldn't it be cool if…?"
Those five words used to jump start every project in the NMI. And, boy, the students ran with it. It was always fun to spin technology to make the wild happen. But then we noticed something – we started to cave to the crazy clutches of cool. Some smart people pointed out that at times we focused on what technology CAN do, not what it SHOULD do.
This year Verizon provided a gift – and a challenge. Both Verizon and the NMI know that new media technology is good – exciting, tantalizing and profitable. But Verizon issued us a challenge – help them find the ways that technology can be good for us. Under the guidance of the NMI's long-time supporter and UGA alum, Julie Smith, we crafted a plan for the New Media Health Innovation Program. Verizon provided funding.
The NMI agreed to come up with concrete ways that new media technology (Verizon is particularly fond of mobile) can help the people in the communities Verizon serves to live healthier lives. So for the next two years, the NMI agreed to do projects that would use technology to help people make better decisions for their health.
This semester 10 student teams are working on projects to help people improve their fitness, diet, sleep, sexual practices and alcohol consumption. So this semester we have focused less on the "how" of our projects and are thinking more about the "why." We even have another NMI mantra – the Y comes first in NMI. Clever, right? Now we are getting ready to show off what we have accomplished. On Saturday, December 8th, at the NMI SLAM the students are going to be demonstrating what they have come up with. So this is your official "Save the Date" warning.
I will be sending out more info in the coming weeks. But mark your calendar because you are going to want to see what happens.