Last Updated on October 15, 2019
Teaching seniors to use technology can sometimes be a complicated process because it is not something today’s seniors grew up with. They may not know the difference between a smartphone and a tablet, or a desktop and a laptop, and may have heard awful things about social media or computer “hackers.” In addition to not knowing much about technology, this older generations’ view on technology can be a roadblock to success.
Read on to learn more about why older people should use technology, the benefits of modern technology, and where to begin.
Why Should Older People Use Technology?: Teaching Seniors to Use Technology
There are so many reasons that older people should use technology. One of their main concerns is often staying in touch with friends and family over social media. The problem is, they’re not sure how to get started. Also, knowing a little bit about technology can also help with modifications around the house, or with in-home devices such as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home. These devices can set reminders, make grocery lists, and so much more. If you wonder how does technology affect the elderly? The answer is this: technology can seem very large and confusing to someone who doesn’t even know where to start. That’s why basics are important when teaching seniors to use technology.
Teaching Seniors to Use Technology: The Basics
Depending on the senior and their area of knowledge, you may have to start at the very beginning when it comes to senior-friendly technology, such as explaining what a computer is and what it does. Of course, many seniors might have already used email in the workplace prior to retiring or something similar, so they may have a slight idea. The important thing to know when helping the elderly with technology is where to begin. Some seniors may struggle with using a smartphone or tablet but may be perfectly adept with a computer. If the senior you’re trying to teach has no tech expertise at all, it may be wise to advise a local computing class in the area. Many are free to senior citizens. If possible, make sure the class includes teaching seniors about smartphones.
Teaching Concepts When Teaching Seniors to Use Technology
This blog won’t cover what a computer, smartphone, and a megabyte is. Instead, think of the concepts below when you’re explaining how to teach the older generation to use new technology:
- Build on concepts. Like mentioned before, build on concepts that the person already knows.
- Beware of too much detail and explain. When explaining why something is relevant (such as Wi-Fi), you may want to explain it’s how you connect the computer (or tablet) to the Internet. There’s no need to fill the person’s head with information about gateways or SSID. Keep it simple, but do explain why it’s important.
- Repeat concepts. Since these are skills that you build upon, you want to make sure that the person understands going forward.
- Let the student practice. Instead of just showing the benefits of modern technology and how to use it from a lecture standpoint, make sure the person gets enough practice time.
- Teach more abstract concepts, as well. You may want to touch on items of importance, such as safe online shopping and avoiding Internet scams, etc., once the person has a moderate level of tech knowledge.
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