Teaching technology to adults is a rewarding experience. Think of how much you use things like Facebook and text messaging to stay in touch with your friends. Or how you use the web to find information for your schoolwork. Or just to find the score of the big game.
Take some time to teach a parent, grandparent or other family member how to use technology, and they’ll be happy you did. Just keep in mind the following tips:
New things like computers, the Internet and smartphones can be frustrating to learn for people who haven’t had any experience with them before. Remember when you were learning to ride a bike? You probably had training wheels, and someone to help you figure out how to keep your balance. Well, teaching technology to adults is the same thing. They might not get it at first, but if you are patient and keep trying, soon they’ll know everything they need to know to enjoy going online.
Some of the things you’ll be teaching adults are complicated and difficult to understand at first. If they’re new to technology — computers, the internet, cell phones — they will need you to go slow. If you think they are getting confused, slow down and take your time.
Stop After Each Step
Most of the lessons on this site show adults the step-by-step process to do something online. It’s your job to go through those steps alongside an adult and teach them what they need to know. After each step, stop for a second and ask them if they understand what you just taught, and if they’re ready to move on to the next step. If not, go back and do the step over again.
Print the Lessons
Each one of the lessons on this site has a printable version that you can download and print out. If you leave that printout with the adults you are teaching, they can use it to remember the lesson.
Teaching is fun because you’re using what you know to help someone else. By going through these lessons with adults, you’ll be teaching them all kinds of things that will make their lives better. Have fun with it! Don’t forget to laugh. Technology is great when you know how to use it, and it’s your job to teach adults to use, and enjoy, technology.
Now that you’ve taught mom or grandpa the basics – here are a few more resources they may want to check out:
- Oats helps train and support older adults in using technology to improve their social engagement, health and well-being, financial security, and more.
- SeniorNet provides a place for older adults to share their wisdom and knowledge while gaining education and access to technology.
- Digital Connectors helps young people gain new knowledge and skills in technology to help them in school, jobs and life. As they develop these skills they then give back to their families, friends and communities by teaching others about digital literacy.
- Digital Basics offers easy to use, how-to instructions to help beginners, intermediate and advanced users develop digital literacy skills and use technology safely.