Emerging Technology Planning – Tech Tools for Seniors

October 21, 2019 at 3:34 am 1 comment


The lectures and readings that share examples of hyperlinked services where community members are brought together through the libraries near and far have been very inspirational and have motivated me to develop a plan to bring members of the community who can learn much from one another yet may not have many opportunities to come together and share their invaluable knowledge with one another. 

My own loving relationship with my grandparents and my rapport with youth motivated me to build upon the idea of bringing these generations together. From what I have observed, the older adult community wants to keep up with the digital age, but for a multitude of reasons, which may include lack of motivation, lack of confidence, or lack of access, have yet to acquire the digital skills to get connected to the larger world that is provided through these skills. 

As for the youth, I think working with the elderly can not only develop their communication and listening skills, but this collaboration is bound to impart practical wisdom to the youth through the older adults’ knowledge and experience, as well as develop qualities of patience and empathy.


Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

  1. Provide an opportunity for a hyperlinked service which brings together seventh grade, students from John Burroughs Middle School and adults, aged 65 and over, at the West Hollywood Library, in the spirit of education.
  2. Provide students an opportunity to take the lead in sharing their digital knowledge through instruction.
  3. Adults 65 and over are able to leave this program having acquired a digital skill and/or knowledge that they did not have before.
  4. Equipping students with experience of how to teach through thoughtful and intentional communication.
  5. Getting different generations connected as one community through affinity, better understanding, and support between youth and elders.

Description of Community you wish to engage:

I would like to engage middle school students and people who are 65 years and older in the West Hollywood community of Los Angeles. 

Action Brief Statement

Convince youth and elders that by engaging they will learn valuable lessons which will enrich their lives because we are connected and we all have invaluable knowledge to share.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service

By, K. T. (1993, Apr 15). In caring for the elderly, students prepare for jobs. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/docview/109196866?accountid=10361

Coleman, P., & DeRosa, S. (2006). Short Takes on Long-Term Care: High School Students Take Classes in a Nursing Home. The American Journal of Nursing, 106(12), 49-50. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/stable/29744852

Hoover Middle School team to provide computer tutorials for senior citizens. (2013, January 5).

Waterloo Courier [Waterloo, IA]. Retrieved from https://bi-gale-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/essentials/article/GALE%7CA313977446/1524775f82ef4e4b2d8392a3fc947555?u=csusj

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service

In order to carry out the plans of this service properly, a good partnership and communication between the school administrators, teachers, library director, and library staff must exist.  To begin, I would review existing policies at both the school (https://www.burroughsms.org/m/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=366251&type=d) and the library ( https://lacountylibrary.org/privacy-policy/) to make certain the program’s policies adheres to them.  Following the review, I would think about what steps are involved to execute the program and then create parameters of safety and respect.  Keeping those goals in mind, a meeting would be held to flesh out the details of the policies with everyone involved in the program. The guideline for use that will be included will be in regard to the commitment each collaborator makes to the execution of the program.  Everyone will be encouraged to come together in this commitment to all those who are participating in the program, where we keep one another accountable with respect to time, conduct, and lifelong learning.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service

The aim of the program is to launch it with little to no requirements for additional funding, which is possible.  The West Hollywood library has laptops available for use at the library which is very helpful for launching this program, so the tools are accessible.  There is also a regular program in place for older adults called “Mental Health for Seniors,” and this program would be a useful extension of the established program.  Those who are already staffed for the library program will be able to oversee this extension. Students who participate will receive school credit for the time spent in this program and the time for teacher’s aides who accompany the students should be covered by the school.  The goal is to equip older adults with digital skills to connect and engage with a society that is increasingly going digital. Therefore, I will request feedback from the adults and ask what they would like to learn specifically. This can be an ongoing partnership program where a period can be focused on different digital aspects of being connected, such as, phone applications, social media, and software programs.

Action Steps & Timeline

The timeline will be for one semester beginning September to December, twice a month.  The project is dependent upon the people who are participating. Parents, students, library staff, school staff, library volunteers, and adult participants of the program will have to agree upon the schedule.  The proposed schedule will be used and adjustments can be made at a later time if needed. 

Proposal submission 4/15/2020

Approval 6/15/2020

School & Library Collaboration Planning 6/15/2020-7/15/2020, schedule three meetings

Sign students up for program 8/17/2020-8/31/2020

Student development 9/1/2020-9/8/2020

Student, library staff, and library volunteers meeting 9/15/2020 and 9/17/2020

Program day 9/21/2020

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service

As mentioned, the program will be an extension of the existing program for older adults, and the staff who are working the program will be involved in implementation and launch of the new service.  The program is relying on the staff of the existing program and a teacher’s aide, but volunteers will also be sought out who are appropriate for the program.

Training for this Technology or Service

The students, library staff, and volunteers will have some preparatory training for the program.  The students will be guided on teaching methods and how to best transfer the lesson so that the information can stick, but the students will take the lead on brainstorming ideas on how to progress the development of the lesson and the specifics pertaining to it. The preparation for the program will happen in August with students using their elective period to develop the lesson for one week, and the library staff and volunteers will meet with students the following week so that everyone is on the same page about what will take place in September.  Moving forward, students will continue to meet on campus during their elective period to make further developments on their lessons, and library staff and volunteers will meet with students 30 minutes before each program session at the library in order to work cohesively during the program.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service

 The promotion and marketing for this service will be done through word-of-mouth, library fliers, and postings on the library website and social media pages.  Word-of-mouth is a powerful way to get the message out, and everyone involved with the program will be encouraged to share the availability of this service with anyone they think will benefit from participating.  The fliers will certainly be placed within the library, but I can also visit adult day care centers and adult living communities within a five mile radius of the library, and ask if I can do a short announcement and leave fliers at their facility.


I will evaluate the effectiveness of the program through speaking with students and adult participants, and also create an evaluation form with a five point scale, requesting the adult participants’ observations about different aspects of the program.  On this evaluation form, I will also include a place for people to jot down their ideas, suggestions, and constructive criticisms for improvement.  

The service can be expanded by an ongoing offering of the program throughout the entire school year.  In establishing longevity, I can observe which lessons are most popular and which teaching methods work best to create tools to work synergistically with the program.  I would like to put together a well-thought out video that adults can access throughout their days to assist with practicing digital skills they have learned.

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Digital Inclusion Mobile Devices & Connections Now and Then

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tiffany Song  |  October 23, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Hi Esther,

    I loved learning about what this project meant to you personally and I for one would love to see this endeavor succeed! I think it’s great to provide an opportunity for the younger and older generations to work together and create a new community.

    Also, as someone who is quite honestly horrible with keeping up with new technology that isn’t a video game, I’m very interested in these programs and I personally have sympathies when people struggle within the digital divide.

    I think it’s great to create opportunities for the younger generation to enrich their own lives and earn lessons of patience and wisdom. They may also find that by taking part in this program that they are increasing their leadership and instruction capabilities in the process and enriching the lives of others as well.


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