BY DAY 7
Respond by Day 7 to at least two colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
- Provide additional resources or media on technology training for older adults.
- Compare your colleague’s selected training initiatives with those you identified.
- Suggest technology training for older adults that does not yet exist.
- Offer alternative viewpoints and insights.
- Ask for clarification.
There are several different ways the elderly population could learn how to use computers or learn how to use computers better. One site showed seven different places where the elderly could obtain computer classes or courses online (Sung Safety, 2020). The Senior’s Guide to Computers provides very basics about computers, which is an online service, which some elderly will not be able to access (Seniors Guide to Computers, n. d.). The course includes accessibility, backing up data, emailing, what hardware and software is, security online, and the internet (Seniors Guide to Computers, n. d.), which would be beneficial for those that have some understanding of how to get onto a computer to take the cases or have someone to assist them with getting onto a computer and getting online. Though seniors do have cell phones that have internet access, which is a start.
The other service chosen to discuss of the Sung Safety site is the In-Person Classes being offered at local libraries and senior centers, which assist with computer learning in person, which for seniors is a positive way to learn because they will not need to already know how to use a computer and will not need a computer to be taught. The Sung Safety site has a link that states local libraries and the person clicks the link, and it shows the local libraries to the location of the computer being used. It showed Temple University Libraries and CF Goodwin Public Libraries (WorldCat, n. d.). The elderly person would need to then call the local libraries and ask when their next computer classes are being held. The Worldcat site does not have links from each library to the library website, but it does have telephone numbers to use to contact the libraries. WorldCat site is beneficial for seniors to find libraries to be able to learn in person, but if they do not have access to computers or know how to use the internet to find libraries it is a moot point. Though for those seniors that know how to use computers in the least a little, it would be beneficial to find libraries that teach computers in person for in-person and hands-on learning.
In addition to the assignment, I found it interesting that when looking for senior computer classes for seniors, there was an ad for classes to teach senior computer classes (Insight All Day, n. d.). It was interesting that there are classes to teach seniors how to use computers because if a senior looks up this information, they can become frustrated because they are trying to find classes to learn and not have to teach other people how to use computers. The same site had a link for computer classes for seniors that showed online classes, find classes near me, and beginner computer classes for Seniors in Philadelphia. It should also be considered that some seniors are starting to have sight issues and hearing issues, which can lead to the need for bigger fonts and louder speakers, which may not be available if the computers being used in the libraries are older and cannot make the font bigger.
Insight All Day. (n. d.). Senior computer classes: What you need to know. Insight All Day. https://insightallday.com/senior_computer_classes?og1=5e66eeac-0325-4f7d-8a1b-22280fac5a44&acid=cid47076&avid=1802&asrc=bing
Seniors Guide to Computers. (n. d.). The Learning Center. https://www.seniorsguidetocomputers.com
Sung Safety. (2020, October 15). Computer classes for seniors: 7 courses to improve your skills. https://www.snugsafe.com/all-posts/computer-classes-for-seniors#:~:text=The%207%20Best%20Computer%20Classes%20for%20Seniors%201,7.%20In-Person%20Classes%20…%208%208.%20Books%20
WorldCat. (n. d.). Libraries: Discover libraries near you. https://www.worldcat.org/libraries
One example of web-based learning about technology specially for older adults is at bridgingapps.org. This organization is a part of the Easter Seals and provides a link to helpful resources for seniors (https://bridgingapps.org/seniors/resources-for-seniors/). Within this webpage, there are various videos and printable instructions on a variety of topics, some more complex than others. These topics include assumably the most frequently asked questions, such as “How to Set Alarm on an iPad,” “How to Change Email Password,” and “How to Add a Friend on Facebook.”
A second example of a program geared towards older adults and technology is a webinar provided by AARP on August 23rd entitled “An Introduction to Cutting-Edge Technology.” Per the event website (https://local.aarp.org/vcc-event/mountain-nc-presents-cuttingedge-modern-technology-smartphones-in-todays-age-82823-n4nc2qnktdt.html), this is a segment of a three-part series which will focus on smartphones and their advances. While it does not give a topic list for this 60-minute webinar, the event pages states: “In this session, Smartphones in Today’s Age, we will discuss the most cutting-edge advances in smartphone technology. What are the latest smartphone features? What do they mean for our future? Join us and find out! ”
As stated previously, age-friendly workplaces are becoming more popular, and in these environments, there is a focus on the skills and experience that older adults have (Kunkel &Settersten, 2022). Therefore, what an aging person may lack in computer and technology skills they may make up for with opportunities to display what they are good at. For example, they may be a wonderful knitter and could swap computer lessons for knitting lessons. Technology lessons may also expand the aging learner’s confidence in their abilities, as well as their creativity and productiveness (Sanders et al., 2013). However, one challenge to teaching older adult learns about technology would be patience on both ends. Patience to learn and not get frustrated with oneself, while the teacher must have patience to teach and not get frustrated with the student. Though technology may come easy to us whipper-snappers, it can be a very daunting task to an elderly person.
Kunkel, S. R., &Settersten, Jr., R. A. (2022). Aging, society, and the life course (6th ed.). Springer.
Sanders, M. J., O’Sullivan, B., DeBurra, K., &Fedner, A. (2013). Computer training for seniors: An academic-community partnership. Educational Gerontology, 39(3), 179–193.