Students Teaching Seniors How to Use the Internet

Inspired by a recent tech-documentary, the students of St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville are aiming to “shrink the generational digital divide” (The Toronto Star) with a new volunteer program called Grads Giving Back.

The program will focus on teaching seniors how to use new technology like iPads and tablets, and will also involve information sessions on how to use the Internet. The students started the program after their school screened the film Cyber-Seniors, which is a documentary about teenage mentors teaching seniors how to use the Internet, helping them digitally reconnect with family and other loved ones.

“Seniors often feel a little bit isolated from their families when they make that transition into a long-term care facility,” says teacher Sherida Scott in a Toronto Star article. “The internet is a great way to keep in contact with people that you love.” 

When we look at how technology has evolved over the centuries of invention and innovation, it all comes down to one thing: communication. As social beings, we’re all constantly trying to find easier and exciting ways to connect and stay in touch. The Internet has brought the age of communication to a whole new level, and the faster the Internet, the more possibilities there are. We refer to ultra high speed broadband with regards to education, supporting and creating thriving economies, and establishing a more convenient lifestyle, but it’s all just about communicating with each other about a variety of topics.

The Grads Giving Back program approaches the Internet with its core function in mind, helping people who don’t understand new technology keep in touch with the people who matter to them the most. “One day, all of us are going to become that old,” says Ginni Ting, 17, one of the leaders of the student group, in the same Toronto Star article. “If we can help them [seniors] to better understand us through technology, then of course we should do it.”

The documentary and volunteer program illustrate perfectly how crucial the Internet has become. We wish the students of St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn the best of luck and commend them for helping an older generation realize the potential of such an invaluable tool.

Watch the trailer for Cyber-Seniors below!

Feature image: A scene from Cyber-Seniors.

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