Here is an interesting infographic from PEW on generational differences re. online behavior.
Archive for the ‘Elderly’ Category
In Tampa Bay, Florida, teens and the elderly have hooked up with teens teaching the elderly how to use technology, learn about e-mail, Google Earth, and Facebook. Ishan Mandani’s family started the pilot program Grand-Kids to help forge bonds between the elderly and teens. As one activity among many, teens bring computers to the elderly, sit next to them, and guide them through different applications, providing young people the opportunity to teach and connect with a different generation. Nisha Mandani, Ishan’s mother, explains:
“One day, the children will take a computer and they teach elderly people how to e-mail, how to go on the Facebook. How to do the Google Earth and take them into their hometown, and the elderly people are like, ‘Wow,’ because they haven’t been connected with the technology for a while, so it’s exciting for them, and the child feels very proud and empowered because they’re teaching someone 80 years old and they get to show off their skills.”
As schools start the year and think about service learning projects for kids, this is a great opportunity to take the Grand-Kids model and foster inter-generational relationships. For many elderly, who have grandchildren who live far away, teens can help the elderly find ways to connect with their families through Skype, Facebook, Flickr, and other tools. Schools can help to set up programs with local elderly centers and teens, and it empowers teens to take a positive leadership role with technology and give back to their communities.
In addition, new data points to the surge in interest among the elderly to connect online. The PEW Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reports that social networking use among the elderly has almost doubled in the last year. The timing could not be better to put teens and the elderly together to figure out how to leverage social networking as a way for the elderly to connect with old friends and family. One practical challenge is to expedite access to high speed Internet access for the elderly. The PEW study, according to NPR, reports that people over the age of 65 are the least likely group to have access to high speed Internet. Teens can help the elderly learn how to do this, and work with them to make it happen.