InterACTion is an intergenerational project that brings Groupe Harmonie employees, ACT researchers, and students from Concordia University and Université de Montreal together with local volunteers to organize and provide free sessions with elders to exchange knowledge on digital technologies, including the internet, digital photography, and digital storytelling.
With the support of a New Horizons for Seniors Program grant, Groupe Harmonie has provided tablet computers and laptops and set up workshops in the common rooms of low-income housing buildings in various neighbourhoods throughout Montreal. InterACTion aims to help elders learn computer and internet skills, creates opportunities for them to engage with others in the community and fosters a convivial environment for intergenerational knowledge sharing.
There are two types of InterACTion workshops.
Drop-in sessions are made for seniors to ask questions about digital technologies and experiment with different devices. Facilitators go through different steps with them in an easygoing atmosphere.
Creative workshops run over several weeks. Participants engage in a digital project and take part in the entire process, familiarizing themselves with digital cameras or digital recorders and the processes related to their use. The final output is a creative piece in line with their interests and artistic sensitivities.
These workshops often culminate in a small vernissage in the community to celebrate the work that has been created. Examples include: Fragment of Life/Fragments de vie, Dawn, Life, Moonlight, Your City Out Loud and A Year In My Life where photos and digital stories were shown and played for the first time to neighbours, friends and family.
Through this work, ACT investigates questions pertaining to access and learning in shared spaces.
InterACTion is a collaboration between ACT and Groupe Harmonie, a non-profit organization that has been providing support to elders with addictions to drugs, alcohol and gambling in Montreal since 1983.