Onsite TED Talks, Offsite E-Adventures, and/or Tech Knowledge Personal Training Boot Camp Days are 3 ways to include relevant technology in your senior center’s activities.
Onsite TED Talks – Technology, Entertainment, and Design is what the non-profit organization TED is about. TED makes amazing ideas accessible and sparks interesting conversations. Your center will need a comfortable environment for viewing of a 15 to 30-minute talk video, a group for follow up discussion, and an enthusiastic discussion leader.
Offsite E-Adventure Workshop – An E-adventure involves a short, easy, hands-on session(s) for increasing awareness, acquiring experience, or building confidence in using new technology. Your senior center will need to co-sponsor with a tech business and provide group transportation to the tech facility which might be at a mall, shopping center, special event area, or campus.
Tech Knowledge Personal Training Boot Camp Day(s) –Registration or sign-up is required 2 weeks or more ahead of training.
Hardware Basic Training Boot Camp Day(s): One on one instruction for using tech devices like iPads, kindles, tablets, iPhones, or personal computers. Training is provided by tech savvy students. Your senior center will need to coordinate with a local high school or college. Ask if there is a student service learning program. Software Basic Training Boot Camp Day(s): Instruction is provided to a group of 4 or less by a tech savvy adult volunteer retiree who can and will teach free of charge. For a volunteer computer teacher, your center will need to contact local retiree organizations such as retired teachers and computer instructor associations.
Important: Encourage participation with flyers, online, and word of mouth communications. Indicate that everyone can participate: No prior tech knowledge, tech aspirations, or ownership of a tech device should be required to attend.
Yes, technology training should be relevant to the needs or interests of participants. Tech topics of interest now trending include:
- Google Tools for Everyone
- Internet Basics & Beyond
- There’s an App for That
- Blogging for Baby Boomers
- How Not to Go Broke Buying & Selling Online
- Money & Cryptocurrencies
- Re-thinking Aging
- On-line Socializing & Dating Best Practices
- Virtual Reality Field Trips to the Future & Back
- Make Amazing Stuff at Home Using 3D Printing Technology
Dear Miss Avon
Has anyone created a STEM program yet that that focuses nationally on senior center age adults? I think that such program would benefit school kids being raised or influenced by grandparents who did not grow up with computers and STEM—science, technology, education, & math career emphasis in schools.
Yes, the program is STEM50+–Senior Technology Education Movement for Ages 50 Plus. As new technology emerges, the STEM50+ mission is to significantly increase tech usage, knowledge, and skills of senior center age adults via specialized, replicable, fun training that can make life easier and better in meaningful ways for multi-generational families.
STEM50+ Creator, Dr. Katie Canty
Dear Miss Avon
We bought Granny a new Chrome Book for Christmas last year, but she tossed it in her junk closet. How can we interest Granny in using technology?
Can Granny attend a very short course at a senior center? A good professor usually knows how to engage seniors in the joys of learning how to use a new computer device. Standalone computer screens at centers are usually bigger, which seniors seem to like a lot better. Granny may enjoy learning in a supportive environment where there are others of her age and ability.
Dear Miss Avon
What is Digital Wellness and how do I know if I am digitally well?
Digital wellness is your psychological and physical level(s) of comfort in an ever-changing world of technology. To be digitally well, keep your mind and body safe and healthy by using technology that benefits you and yours in a positive way(s).
Experienced Tech Device and Computer Users
You can take your test online and get a score at: https://www.digitalliteracyassessment.org/
Good luck. Hope you PASS.
Absolute Beginners, Newbies, or Hunt & Peckers
Answer 4 questions. Place a check by the truthful answer to each question.
- I can type 15 or more accurate words per minute using both hands.
___No, I do not type at all, or I just hunt & peck a little.
___I do not type with both hands, or I do not understand words per minute.
- I use the Internet for
__school, work, business, fun, research, social media, information
__I do not use the Internet because I do not know how.
- How many software packages do you know how to use?
___Word, Excel, or PowerPoint
___I do not use software, or I do not understand what it is.
___I use software other than Microsoft Office.
- Have you ever taken a computer or related technology class and passed?
___ No, but I would like to.
Key: If your truthful answers are “No or Do Not” to questions 2, 3 and 4, your digital tech fitness score could show proficient within 30 days. That is, by taking an appropriate, digital education basic beginner’s technology course.