John is a magician who learned magic from the internet and connects with clients and other magicians online. He also ran a project similar to “Cyber Seniors” where he spent time teaching technology to seniors and helped them get connected.
John needed to complete his Eagle Project, and decided to do it a little differently. He calls it a little bit abnormal, as he didn’t do a typical project or “something super cool like the wood-carving guy.”
Instead, he decided to teach seniors how to use technology. Growing up in a generation so engrossed in technology, where everyone knows how to text, share photos, and search for anything online, it’s hard to imagine life without technology. Yet, to those who grew up 50 years earlier, technology is a whole new language. A language that is unique, complicated, and sometimes overwhelming.
Stepping in front of a group of senior citizens, John tried to bridge the generational gap. Watch him share his experience.
The Eagle Project
John explains the program, “I organized a series of different instruction periods of about 2 hours each. I taught them very basic things: data acquisition and storage, Google platforms (gmail, google docs, google slides), and web-facing (videoconferencing, things like that).
I also taught family history, which I thought was a really important part of teaching technology and using tech for good. Because we have an entire segment of the population that if we don’t get their stories now, they’ll be gone. So, using technology to help them get their own stories online, I thought was very beneficial for me, personally, but more importantly for them.”
It was a really awesome experience, for a couple reasons.
1) I got to teach and I love teaching technology, I love interacting, I love helping people.
2) I realized I was helping to fulfill something that was a very important need. I was really exposed to what I thought was going to be “oh yeah, here’s a review of all of your computer stuff” and that’s that – I got my Eagle. For example, I would do something that I thought was basic, like going to settings in Chrome. Instantly, three hands went up asking how I got there. To me, it’s just the settings, it’s obvious. But, I learned I had to slow down a lot more to be more deliberate with the technology and the way I was teaching.
Read here about another group of teens who did a similar project teaching seniors how to use technology.
A Magician and Technology
John also happens to be a professional magician at the age of 18. He performs at various venues from birthday parties and group dates to anywhere people want to see magic. John credits technology to making it all possible. Why? Not only is that how he advertises himself and collaborates with other magicians, it’s also how he learned magic in the first place.
He shares how he learned magic, “Like anyone does, I started out on YouTube and learned a couple tricks. From there I went to other places, such as ellusionist.com and murphysmagic.com, all these places that are available for magicians. It really helped me grow my skill.”
Later, John focused on building his magician career.
By using Instagram, a website that he built, and email – he’s been able to…
- connect with clients around Utah who hire him for work,
- connect with other magicians near him and around the world, and
- share his ideas and love for magic with others.
That’s how one 18-year-old uses tech for good. Technology feeds the creativity, the ability to learn, the connections, and the career path.
Also, read how Gabe used technology to learn juggling.
How do you #UseTech4Good?