Friday, October 21, 2011

Hands-on workshop shows Revera residents how they can bridge the Digital Divide

Residents of Revera’s Donway Place were treated to an intimate seminar on technology yesterday, hosted by Doro, a Swedish cell phone manufacturer specializing in products for seniors, and the Elder Technology Assistance Group (ETAG), a non-profit organization committed to bringing computer-based skills to seniors.

Prompting the session is the ever increasing need for seniors to get online, to keep pace with today’s technologically saturated environment. “As we age, our memory, attention, cognitive speed and visual acuity decrease – all of which are essential to use a computer. So it's no surprise seniors typically take longer to learn digital skills and are more prone to errors when they go online. As a result, senior citizens often decide the results are simply not worth the effort when trying to learn on their own,” said Christopher Bint, Executive Director of ETAG.

The room was filled with eager elders as Bint led a captivating presentation designed to educate seniors who want to keep up with today’s tech savvy youth. Popular devices such as the iPad, iPod, iPhone, Kobo e-reader and Doro phones were highlighted.

These ‘senior friendly’ technologies and hand-on workshops, like the ones hosted by ETAG, are helping to reduce the Digital Divide and make it easier for seniors to stay connected.

Applications such as Skype were very intriguing to the group, with many of the seniors wanting to use the program to stay in touch with relatives around the world. A large number of participants felt that Skype and easy-to-use phones like Doro’s were essential tools to stay connected to their grandkids.

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