learning with laptops

The effects of interconnectedness on the potential well-being of senior citizens.

The primary goal of our workshops was to enhance the digital literacy of seniors through collaborative learning. We also aimed to positively improve the perceived well-being of the seniors through their uses of their newly-acquired computer skills. The final report, titled Learning with Laptops: Digital Learning at the Cross Links Senior Community Centre, can be found here. This report describes the various workshops provided to a seniors community in the York Region and is situated within the fields of study of ageing, communication and media.

November 8th 2013:

November 8th 2013: Planning and organization for workshops began on this date.

January 29th 2013:

Communication with research assistants (Arwen Fleming and Kendra Besanger) and project facilitator (Kim Sawchuk) who had worked on a similar project (MemorySpace) at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. MemorySpace organizers provided us with the manual they used during their workshops, which would help guide our workshop planning. This manual included information related to preferable technology (e.g. which scanners would be most effective) and provided detailed instructions on “How to Scan.” It also included as basic information related to the maintenance of the scanners.

April 24th 2013:

Communication with Astral Zeneca Pharmaceuticals IT department started. Laptops were acquired for project.

February 20th 2013:

Communication with Crosslinks Director began. The purpose of the initial meeting was to take a look at facility and rooms for workshops was set.

May 9th 2013:

First workshop session. Included an introduction to the basic uses of the laptops as well as the Internet. This included the layout of programs on the desktop such as the location and uses of the “Start button” and its ability to aid the user to open desired programs.

May 16th 2013:

Second workshop session: scanning tutorials were given. The workshops included: scanning photographs onto the computer, using a USB stick, and using Hotmail (or Outlook, Gmail, etc.).

May 23rd 2013:

Third workshop session: recap from last session; the creation of email accounts, which many of the residents did not have before these workshops; time for scanning for those who were unable to do so last week; and an introduction to Skype, using the newly created emails.

May 30th 2013:

Final workshop session: recap of tutorials on surfing between different websites on the Internet; creation of email accounts for those who did not have an opportunity during the last session; a review of YouTube; review of other features of which members were unsure. Interviews of participants were conducted as well.

ACM Project Mentor:
Barbara Crow

Researchers:
Sumeet Farwaha and Erica Melamed