A partnership between Windsor Park and Community Consolidated School District 93, has technology bridging two generations in Illinois. Windsor Park, a faith-based, non-profit continuing care retirement community, and Community Consolidated School District are combining their greatest resources in pursuit of education: members of the Greatest Generation and the tech-savvy members of Generation Z.
Twice a month students from of CCSD93’s six elementary or two middle schools, along with faculty from the school district, conduct technology classes for residents at Windsor Park using 25 laptop computers donated to Windsor Park by the district. The goal is for residents to walk away a bit more tech-savvy, and for students to take with them some life lessons and an appreciation for the older generation.
“Our residents have life experiences and wisdom that transcend the classroom,” says Karen Larson, executive director at Windsor Park. “While the students teach them how to use technology, our residents teach them about life.”
Faculty from CCSD93 conducted a focus group with Windsor Park residents and then used the finding to survey the community about which areas of technology they’d like to learn more. They used this information to create a curriculum to meet the needs and interests of residents.
According to Bill Shields, Superintendent of Schools for CCSD93, students will teach residents the most basic computer functions, like how to turn on the computer, as well as more advanced tasks, such as how to create a word document or spreadsheet; how to navigate the Internet and use email and FaceTime; how to download and share photos; and even how to blog. Faculty members will instruct residents ow to navigate social media networks and consumer websites, such as eBay and Craigslist.
“CCSD93’s Board and Education and I feel that this partnership is a win-win situation,” said Shields. “As an organization, it’s essential that CCSD93 gives back to the community in a variety of ways. We hope that this partnership will not only help our students to appreciate the wisdom and life experience that members of the older generation can offer, but assist seniors to appreciate the talents and resources of the younger generation.”
Although nearly 60% of senior adults are Internet users, according to Pew Research Center, seniors continue to lag behind when it comes to adapting to new technology. “Our residents are an important resource for the local community,” says Larson. “Their need to give back and contribute is as strong as ever, and they’re always looking for opportunities for personal growth. This is one of those opportunities.”
Read Article (Wendy Dalessandro | patch.com | 02/12/2015)
Students, both High School and College, have become a vital resource for Senior Citizens learning to use technology to better their communication skills, enhance daily lives and their overall wellbeing.
But this resource is greatly out-numbered by the millions that want and need assistance learning to use new technology. Your support for our campaign will help meet these needs and begin to close this digital literacy gap.
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