Keeping with the theme of seniors adopting new technology (started by last week’s post), this week we would like to highlight a heartwarming documentary about seniors and their quest to explore and learn to use the Internet for the first time.
Cyber-Seniors, which started out as a high school project in Toronto, follows a group of six seniors, aged 76 to 93, as they are shepherded through their first online experiences by a cohort of teenage mentors. After initial hesitation, all of the seniors fully embrace the technology, some going as far as creating Youtube rap videos and others jumping into online dating.
The film has received recognition from publications including NBC and the Los Angeles Times, and as of May 9th it is screening in a limited number of theaters across the country. Click here for a list of those cities and theaters, as well as to request a screening in your community.
You know we’ll be requesting a showing in Austin - don’t miss the opportunity to do the same!
Anyone who’s learned a foreign language knows that the best way to sharpen your skills is to talk with native speakers, and a recent venture by public relations agency FCB Brazil has taken the concept to amazing new places.
Looking to capitalize on the benefits of language exchange, FCB Brazil teamed up with CNA language school in Sao Paulo to create the Speaking Exchange Project, which unites Brazilian students with Americans living in the Windsor Park Retirement Community in Chicago to video-chat online.
So far the project has been a resounding success! The students benefit from practicing their English with native speakers, and the seniors get an opportunity to teach and share their amazing stories and life experiences with a new audience. Both parties get to make new friends and experience a culture beyond their walls, and observers of the program have been pleasantly surprised with the emotional depth of the conversations and strong connections they forge.
It’s often easy to feel like technology is driving a generational wedge through society, but stories like this remind us that computers and smart phones give us more avenues to connect with one another than ever before. Click here for more information about the Project to see excerpts from these remarkable conversations.