Since the older generation did not have access to technology, the value placed on learning it is significantly lower; while the younger generation has been taught to literally depend on technology for every aspect of their jobs.
My job is to train end users on computer software. In my current line of work, I have trained people of many different ages. I have found pros and cons of training the younger generation on Web Design and the older generation as well. Training the older generation taught me the most.
Here are a few things that I learned and you could use in your job or in your personal life, if you have an older relative or friend that is intimidated by technology.
Computers can be Intimidating
I had to learn that although I was comfortable around the computer, many others are not. Some feel quite intimidated about the computer and especially about going online. If you are trying to train the older community on technology, you must remember this and consider this during your training. Do the following to help you along the way:
- Don’t assume the computer literacy level of the trainee
- Remind yourself that learning something new can be intimidating
- Be supportive and offer assistance – it’s hard enough to learn something new, even harder when you have to do it alone with no help.
- Educate your users on technology and the benefits
- Educate users on technology safety to help ease the fear of the Internet or computer usage
Handouts Help Out, Big Time
When training, it is a great idea to provide handouts or some type of reference material. Refer to this material during your training. This will assist the trainee with a go to guide when you are not available or they are working on their own. This guide should include screen shots of the activities being presented along with steps. This will assist those who learn visually. If you are simply showing a loved one how to log on to check their email or to pay their bills, consider giving them a simple step-by-step guide. This will also prevent you from having to repeat the same steps continuously.
Write down questions
If you are planning a training for an older age group or even a diverse age group, consider asking your trainees to write their questions on note cards. Collect the cards and answer the questions this way. This will help garner more questions from the audience, since people will not be as intimidated about asking their question out in the open.
BBC News Are the older generation getting tech-savvy? Retrieved April 17, 2014 from: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-20529991
&newsobserver.com Program teaches computer literacy to older generation Retrieved April 17, 2014 from: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/04/02/1974060/program-teaches-computer-literacy.html