Increasing Understanding of Technology and Communication

Addressing Digital Divide at The White House


Chuck Wallace is an associate professor of computer science in the Michigan Technological University College of Sciences and Arts. He’s all about breaking down barriers of learning and because of his success was able to present his work at the White House Conference on Aging.

He says bringing down barriers is just the beginning. “We’re helping people learn how to learn and how to learn with each other,” he says the way he teaches is akin to the “teaching a man to fish” adage. His approach to Breaking Digital Barriers is a collaborative effort in computer science, cognitive & learning sciences and humanities.

Working with 5-10 tutors, all faculty and students at Michigan Tech, they help senior citizens at weekly sessions to handle the digital world.

We’ll age out of the technology gap” is an unspoken belief about efforts to help seniors overcome technology barriers. Dustin Block (MLive) said “I may have felt the same until talking with Michigan Professor Charles Wallace.”

Older people encountering technology for the 1st time can be intimidating & frightening, so Wallace created a class to help technophobes overcome that trepidation. “Our interest is in building digital literacy in people that are underserved, we pair up students from Tech with people who come to learn.”

Read Article (Staff | | 07/2015)

Digital Literacy is a challenge for millions in the U.S. and senior citizens only account for about one-third of them. In other words society cannot “age out of the technology gap”, it must be addressed and done so effectively.

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