Monday, October 6, 2014

Pairing Youth and Seniors for Technology

Reading about how some youth (teens) across the nation are being trained to help seniors with all the new technology is very encouraging.  Both generations gain so much from the experience.  The kids of today grew up with technology, while we seniors are just trying to keep up.  But what a gift are these programs that pair the two, so older family members can learn how to navigate social media to connect with their families.

Some comments from the articles below:
Before entering the mentoring program, the Carmel High contingent goes through “sensitivity training,” which, among other things, includes activities designed to help them better understand their aging pupils.
“One thing we did, for example, was smear a pair of glasses with Vaseline, so we could get an idea of what it might be like to have the kind of vision problems that some older adults live with every day,” Rudiger said. “We also taped fingers together and put tape over fingertips to try to replicate problems they might have with their hands. It can be frustrating to watch how slowly some of them are when they try to type, but the sensitivity training taught us that typing can be very difficult if your fingertips are numb.”
The graying “students” say they tend to learn much more during one-on-one instruction than they do in group classes they have tried. The fresh-faced “mentors” engage with a generation of people they barely knew before.

I just think this is an awesome idea, and one that needs promoting.  Personally, I wouldn't be able to do half of what I do on my iphone without my kids to call on.  Staying in touch with them predicated learning to text, for example.  Yes, this is one bandwagon upon which I must leap!!

Sean Butler, 16-year-old sophomore at Carmel (Calif) High School, mentors Judy Dudley on how to use her smart phone. Photo by Dennis Taylor 

Carly Rudiger, 17, a junior at Carmel High in California, teaches Jenifer Bovey, 69, how to use her iPad. Photo by Dennis Taylor

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