Techie Teens Share Skills with Seniors
Many seniors are eager to use computers, and post thoughts and photographs on social media. Trouble is, they didn't grow up with the technology, and often don't know how it works.
What to do?
Hillsborough County's Youth Leadership Council is tackling the conundrum. The teens, as familiar with technology as they are with their toothbrushes, lead workshops at which they sit down with seniors and teach them how to post photos, download apps, and move content between devices, among other basic skills.
"The girls were wonderful," says Helene Murray, who spent 45 minutes with Steinbrenner High School students Jordyn Dees and Katie Diskin at a Feb. 12 workshop organized by Parks & Recreation at Northdale Recreation Center. Helene recently retired, and wanted to learn how to convert information saved on an older computer to her laptop and Kindle. The tutorial with Jordyn and Katie did the trick.
About a dozen other seniors, equipped with laptops, smartphones, and tablets, huddled with their teen counterparts in a room at the rec center.
Research conducted by Katie's sister, Hannah Diskin, for an Advanced Placement course spurred the workshops. The Steinbrenner High 12th-grader's analysis showed seniors are interested in technology, but sometimes lack skills to make practical use of it. YLC members picked up on Hannah's results, and schedule the workshops with seniors culled mostly from Hillsborough County Aging Services programs.
"There are so many seniors who are interested, we brought it here," Hannah says.
The YLC provides students from nine Hillsborough County high schools with opportunities to participate in programs intended to develop leadership skills and instill a lifelong commitment of community service.