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Cyber seniors take computer literacy to new heights
It is no surprise seniors are the fastest growing segment of the population. However, it might be surprising to learn they are fastest growing user segment on Facebook and are quickly embracing interactive technology in new ways. In this case, thanks to a teens training seniors program.
Toronto Insider tells the story of seniors home resident Eadie, 89 years old, learning how to use the online video chat service Skype to talk to her great-grandson in the Bahamas. She is learning from a teenage tutor, part of the Cyber-Seniors program, designed by teens. You can follow @cyber-seniors on Twitter or watch their documentary on YouTube.
Programs like this are going on across the country. In BC, the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy's computing for seniors workshop series – which covered everything from using photos on the web, to Skype, to shopping online – was so popular, they are putting the resource on their website for free.
But not all seniors are that enamoured with all technology. BC has been listening to complaints about Driveable BC, a computerized driving test given to seniors flagged by police or medical staff. BC's solicitor general has announced an outreach program to explain the test and the technology to seniors, in response to their vocal protests. Reports say the test has a 15% pass rate, and 45% inconclusive score return.
Literacy Alberta is working on a plain language version of the Driver's Handbook.
Libraries, literacy programs, websites, and youth are all looking at ways to help seniors, many who may be disadvantaged and isolated, take advantage on online services such as Skype video calls, online shopping and texting. The next Skype call you get could well be from a senior! Why not!