November 19, 2015, by Dushy
Welcome to the “Tech Age”
With technology growing at the rate that it has, I’m sure most of us have had to teach our grandparents or maybe even our parents the new technology out there. Here at the university, I signed up to a volunteering opportunity, called Clicksilver, that mentors older people on how to use their technology over a 6 week period. I thought if I was able to get my grandparents addicted to Facebook, then why not help out other elderly people.
Firstly we attended training at the Capital One offices, where we got to meet other mentors and learn what makes a successful mentor. We then got thrown into the deep end and were asked to knit. Yes, sounds confusing (and it was!), but this was to make us realise how old people look at technology, because from that experience the only thing I could make from wool and needles was a massive knot.
On the first week of the course we were paired up with our mentee and then it was all down to us. I was paired up with Judy and we got on like a house on fire! I do wonder how much teaching we actually did that first week or was it mainly chatting.
Anyway, Judy got a new iPad and I was there to to help her get started. During the first session we sent an email to an old friend of hers and she was so excited and happy with what she had accomplished. To us, sending an email is a simple task, but realising what this meant for Judy made me appreciate what we take for granted.
The next few weeks we covered a lot more things such as: Skype, taking selfies (she enjoyed them!), radio (listening to “Tweet of the Day” on Radio 4 was something new) and many more things. These sessions were 2 and a half hours long, so of course we were provided with endless amounts of tea and cakes as well as a bit of mingling with the other mentors and mentees. Judy would also bring sweets to keep us going through the time (I was on a sugar high by the end!).
Unfortunately next week is my last week mentoring Judy, but I have enjoyed every minute of it! I have definitely improved my communication skills as I have had to think up of ways to explain: “What an app is?” or “What’s the point of forwarding an email?”. It is a great experience to meet new people and for anyone interested, Clicksilver starts again next term with new mentees, so check the university volunteering page for more information!
Some photos from my Project 365:
No comments yet, fill out a comment to be the first