Updated version 19-12-2019

Summary At Fontys University we believe in creating Technology for Society. We challenge students, teachers, researchers and professionals from all kind of educations to create solutions for society. But, how do you assess the impact of technology? How do you know that your technology has the impact you are aiming for? That are hard questions.

That is why we did a research project that resulted in a free, online Technology Impact Tool that helps you structure and assess the impact of a (new) technology.

About Fontys University Fontys University is based in the south of the Netherlands, offering a wide range of educations (from journalism to engineering to healthcare to financial management) to 45.000 students.

About the premise of the research project: There are a lot of tools that help you do an ethical assessment of a technology. However these tools are often complex and they are not helping you to assess the complete impact of a technology. That is why we wanted to create a Technology Impact Tool that helps you determine the impact of your (new) technology.

This tool helps students, professionals, designers, users and inventors to make better decisions and design or use better tools.

Design based research: Our research is always structured as follows: we do a small literature study followed by a rapid prototype. Then we use small focus groups to get feedback and every time we make changes to the prototype. This way we try to find the best interventions for students.

Organization Our project was with students for students. Students form different kind of education (IT, Psychology, Communication) worked together in multidisciplinary teams together with researchers, professors and professionals.

The Technology Impact Tool The tool is basically a mobile website that offers a range of possibilities. You can answer all kinds of questions that help you determine the impact of a (new) technology. The questions of this tool are not normative. They do not pass judgment. However, by asking questions and answering them, you get a picture of the considerations that have to be made. You can use this considerations to improve on your technology.

The tool is structured around 10 categories ranging from stakeholders, to problem solving, bad actors, GDPR, data-subjectivity, transparency, futuring, sustainability and inclusivity. All categories consists of sub questions and challenge you to make changes to your technology.

The site also offers examples, gives access to the assessments of other people and gives access to a wide range of good and best practices how to use the tool. The output of the tool is a canvas and a PDF that can be considered as a Technology Impact Document.

Status The Technology Impact Tool is currently active on www.tict.io and can be used freely. We are continuously improving on the tool by implementing suggestions from the community and by testing the tool with large groups of students.

After the summer of 2020 we will have a first definite version. In the presentation we will demonstrate the tool.

The importance Technology is becoming more and more important in our daily live and also in the study activities of our students. More and more we challenge our students to create solutions with technology for real life problems. That is why it is crucial for our students (but basically for everyone) to really understand the impact of technology. The Technology Impact Tool helps with that.

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