“The only negativity I have on it is that it’s isolating young people and adults alike from exploring what’s around them, rather than putting the phone down, putting the iPad down and just getting outside and just look what’s around us and experience what we have.”
There is no doubt that Valentia is remote and in some ways this can present a risk of isolation. In this extract Caroline O’Sullivan talks about growing up in Valentia and speaks about the importance of the landscape, of being outdoors for health and active learning. In particular, she flags her concerns that digital technologies are isolating people, in particular young people with the rise in social media.
The relationship between learning and landscape also came through from Darragh who describes the exposure to nature as an important part of the experience for those who visit the area to learn English through Asana School of English.
Equally cultural and natural heritage sites and initiatives like the Skelligs, Valentia Island Lighthouse, the Heritage Centre, International Dark Sky Reserve and the seeking of UNESCO heritage for the transatlantic cable are all involved with preservation and future pathways of the knowledge, learning and innovation that is inherently related with the landscape and environment.
New technologies can play an important part in the development of these initiatives from plans for a new fibre optic transatlantic cable, to the sensitive use of digital technologies as part of the curatorial work and visitor experience.