Seniors and students learn about computer technology together

‘Tech buddies’ learn together in Alberni

SD70: | Elementary school students, local seniors team up to learn about technology and iPads in unique educational partnership.

Students from John Howitt Elementary School will team up with seniors from Abbeyfield House, Fir Park and Echo Villages over the next three months to explore educational apps using iPads.

Dubbed Tech Buddies, the program helps bridge the digital gap for seniors in the Alberni Valley, and offers learning opportunities for school-aged participants.

By using digital technology and team building exercises, Tech Buddies helps students and seniors alike reach different but very closely related outcomes, says project coordinator Craig Brooks, a teacher on call in School District 70.

“The most obvious goal for students is to generate a greater understanding of this technology and learn how to use this tool to further their education. For seniors, the goal is to introduce them to this technology in a relaxed setting and demonstrate for them the practical and positive implications of mobile technology in everyday life.”

While the seniors may not grasp the technology as fast as the children, the kids will learn about the educational concepts from the seniors, he said.

“The great equalizer is the apps the kids are going to be using in the future, they don’t know anything about either.

“We marvel at how tech savvy the new generation of youngsters has become. It seems that kids are born with the latest gadgets in their hands. For most of us who are not ‘plugged in,’ this makes technology somewhat intimidating,” he said.

What makes Tech Buddies so unique is its method of bridging this ‘digital divide’ between young and old. By partnering seniors and young students, they have a perfect opportunity to learn from each other while exploring technology.

“It is wonderful to see the relationships being formed with all the participants,” Brooks said.

Maggie Hodge Kwan (Children & Youth Customer Services Librarian within VIRL) and Stacey Manson (Principal of John Howitt School) together with Stephanie Spring (Grade 3 and 4 Teacher) were the first to identify the need for a project like this in Port Alberni, while  Brooks was brought in as project coordinator to bring their vision to life.

On March 25, at John Howitt Elementary, the Tech Buddies inaugural session kicked off with over 40 enthusiastic participants. The first session allowed students to learn basic iPad operation, play Social Bingo and create a real life comic book as their end assignment for the day.  Everyone’s eagerness to get involved and work together was evident throughout the class.

Community based programs are not be possible without the participation and sponsorship of local businesses and community leaders, and Tech Buddies is no exception. Tech Buddies was made possible through the generous sponsorship provided by Literacy Alberni.

The iPads were provided by the library and SD70.

Just Posted

Port Alberni to host cruise ships again in 2019

Port Alberni last hosted a cruise ship in May 2013

Canadian Blood Services in need of donors

Port Alberni Blood Donor Clinic increasing to three days in June

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

High school artists show their work at Rollin Art Centre

The next art exhibit starts on Thursday, March 8

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Crowns asks for more time in Victoria double murder of young sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

‘You just don’t know when someone has a challenge’

Wounded Warriors Run BC spreads awareness of mental health, hopes to raise $100,000

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Most Read