New Technology Program Brings Elders and Teens Together

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We’d like to share a heartwarming story about a computer literacy program for elders that was started by a few enterprising teenagers; the program is called “Cyber-Seniors” and it’s the focus of a new documentary that’s in theaters around the country.
The “Cyber-Seniors” project was started by two sisters (Macaulee and Kascha Cassaday) to help tech-averse residents of an assisted-living community become more computer-literate. The teens seeded the idea as a high school project after they witnessed how technology had improved the lives of their grandparents.

Every aspect of “Cyber-Seniors” is a family affair. The documentary, which is getting excellent reviews, was even directed by Saffon Cassaday, the older sister of Macaulee and Kascha.

The LA Times calls “Cyber-Seniors” a, “a likable and optimistic tale with a bit of unexpected pathos,” while the NY Times deemed it a “sweet tale that will resonate with anyone who has tried to make a Skype call to a grandparent.”

The affable humor in the documentary comes in the moments when the tech-savvy teens patiently educate their older students on the ways of the Internet. When one teen instructor films a YouTube video with his elder student, a contest begins to see which teen and elder duo can create the best video. Some of the videos are funny while others are bittersweet. “I need more hits!” exclaims 88-year-old Shura after her cooking video was put on YouTube. You can watch Shura’s video here.

In the end, the elder students agreed learning more about the benefits of technology did help enrich their lives.

One of the biggest upsides to introducing technology to an elder is it gives them the ability to stay connected with the world. The biggest ‘likes’ given by the seniors in the documentary came when they were able to connect with friends through social media sites and interact with distant relatives over the Internet.

Read the story here.

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