Teaching older people how to use technology.

I went shopping yesterday and went into the Apple shop to have a look. I was surprised at first by what I saw. I saw four older people being taught how to use their iPads by a person who works at the shop. I’ve never seen this before in the shop so it was quite a surprise. I did some research and it turns out they are called workshops. You can learn how to use your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and get an introduction to Apple ID and the iCloud as well as more advanced things!

All of this got me thinking about how we should be teaching older people how to use technology – if they want to learn of course!

A few years ago I used to volunteer with Age UK as a day care assistant. The people who attended the centre would play games, have lunch and then do a bit of exercise to music. Sometimes we would get out the Wii too! There was never any discussion about technology.

Then came a time where teaching technology to older people was introduced by Age UK as a way to help them communicate with loved ones and connect with other people their age. It’s not a bad thing – and I think we should be helping to facilitate that! How nice would it be to get a Skype or FaceTime call from your gran while you are at university? Or to send your grandad a picture of you before you move away from home?

It would be amazing if we could help everyone that wanted to learn! It would help combat loneliness I’m sure and it would help them become more digitally inclusive – we could help them learn about emoji’s and GIFS if they really wanted to! It would be amazing!

Going back to the Apple shop scenario, it was great to see the people in the workshop taking notes, but more importantly it was nice to see a young person teaching them and taking it back to basics. There was no rush and no hesitation when they needed help with something. He was taking his time but helping them progress too. They may be able to FaceTime their son as he lives abroad or watch their granddaughter’s graduation ceremony live.

It was a beautiful thing to see in my opinion. Call me soft-hearted but it was a great site to see!

It could and does change lives.


What do you think? Should we be teaching older people how to use technology? Let me know in the comments section below or on my social media accounts.

YPE

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