Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Teens Take Elders to Tech Boot Camp -

Teens can be motivational teachers for the elderly because of their enthusiasm for technology and agility with gadgetry. But, oh, the eye-rolling. These pair-ups can expose daunting cognitive and psychological gaps between generations, forcing young and old alike to adjust their attitudes.

A growing number of programs are training teens to work with seniors. The Central Oregon Council on Aging, a Redmond, Ore., senior-services agency, enrolled 70 people last year for tech training by teens from a nearby high school's computer class, and 100 more are signed up this year. A Carmel, Ind., nonprofit, Net Literacy, enlists 400 to 600 middle- and high-school students each year for a senior tech-training program called "Senior Connects." And at New York's Pace University, a popular service-learning program sends students to retirement facilities to teach seniors skills from email and online banking to Wii and video chat.

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