“Come volunteer for Cyber Seniors!” Bethany calls out to any youth listening.
What is Cyber Seniors?
Cyber Seniors takes digital natives and pairs them with older adults. The youth teach the seniors how to connect digitally and to use other technology. Read more about Cyber Seniors here.
The atmosphere is one of friendship between youth and seniors. It allows successful learning to take place. Learning together as learners and mentors these youth and seniors are bridging the generational divide.
This program started in Canada. Two sisters noticed that their grandma was really lonely. She didn’t have a lot of visitors. These sisters decided to teach her how to use Facebook so she could connect with others from her room. At first they were a little uncomfortable with their grandma liking their posts or commenting on their pictures. Then they realized that Facebook allowed their grandma to connect. She was so isolated in the senior home where she was living.
Rachel’s Experience with Cyber Seniors
I heard about the program and my mom asked if I was interested in helping. Because I don’t have social media or a smartphone, I thought I couldn’t contribute. My mom told me to just do it, so I gave it a shot. We would go down to a senior center once a week. Shortly after arriving on our first visit, I realized that I was sitting in a room with people who did not grow up with technology. I realized that while I may have limited knowledge, these seniors had no knowledge of technology. Suddenly, I was the expert without having a smartphone.
You don’t have to be an expert to share and teach others. Rachel says, “It starts with us.”
Another group in Magna, UT did a similar project with their own spin – read about it here.
If you are looking for student projects, please browse our site for ideas. Contact us if you have questions about any of them. Please share your projects and ideas with #UseTech4Good so we can all learn from each other!