We are fortunate to be living at a time when new low cost technology is rolled out at an ever increasing rate and there is no doubt that the modern world offers technological advances that our own parents never dreamed of. In my lifetime alone, I have witnessed the introduction of color television, computers, fax machines, cell phones, digital cameras, document scanners, Walkman, cable tv remotes, CD players, DVD players, mp3 players, video games, PlayStation, Wii, PVR, bank machines, microwaves, coffee makers, laptops, Ipads, Blackberries, tablet readers and Skype.
These inventions have definitely enhanced my life, but each one comes with a string attached – to take advantage of what each devices has to offer, you have to commit to learning how to use them, and then commit to upgrading your personal technological skill level as new features become available. Just try shopping for a new cell phone. The dizzying number of features now available can be overwhelming – but taking the time to understand the differences and get the phone that is right for your needs is more than worth the trouble.
I realize as I write this that I am speaking to the converted, but we all have older relatives that still find using a computer a great challenge. Two of the things that hinder a lot of Oldsters from benefiting from technology are an inability to use the device itself, and an inability to type. Every day these people are left further and further out of the conveniences of the internet. They are missing out on easy access to reading material, online banking, bill payment, mail, and shopping that would enhance their lives now that they are less mobile than they once were.
In an effort to help alleviate these basic deficiencies groups such as the non-profit organization SeniorNet has made it their mission to “provide older adults education for and access to computer technologies to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge and wisdom”. The organization offers computer-related products and services and also collaborates on research that focuses on older adults and technology. They also offer courses at SeniorNet Learning Centres in the US, Japan, Malaysia and Sweden as well as online courses on a wide variety of topics such as how to send and receive email, and how to pick out a cell phone.
Click here learn more about what SeniorNet.org has to offer.