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Enabling older adults to the digital age: Introduce older adults to the Maker Movement and the power of a connected world (Internet of Things) with a peer tech support program and maker faires organised by teenagers.

One of the fastest growing trends worldwide is the deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics which is constantly transforming the way we describe and understand our cities and the connected devices within our house. For the young generation, which was born in the digital age, this pace of change is natural and they can easily adapt to it. The older generations though, are quickly becoming digitally illiterate. As we move from an analog to a digital living experience how can we ensure this knowledge and skill transfer between the new and the old generation? What if we could create a tech support line with teenagers where adults could call and ask advice? Or use a similar to the code for america model?

Photo of Angeliki Kapoglou
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Smart connected devices are playing an increasing role in helping people navigate through cities, discovering places, services or things that are of interest to them whenever they want and wherever they are. Smart personal devices allow us to see and interact with urban infrastructure networks of mind-boggling complexity in real-time. These devices are both a new lens on the dynamic life of the city around us—directing us to attractions, people and constantly changing events around us—but also remote controls we can use to activate the world at a distance— control home devices, hail a taxi, direct a colleague, rendezvous with a friend, watch after a patient at home or summon a food delivery. 

These smart connected devices are playing an indispensable role in our lives whether we are out and about, at home, in retail environments or in entertainment venues, providing us with relevant information or services in each of these locations and/or enabling us to interact digitally with other connected devices within our proximity. This new connected world is unkown to most of the older adults who didn't grow up with the internet or are not used to operate smart phone devices. How can we enable the youth to introduce the older adults to the benefits of this connected world which is becoming increasingly important as we move from an analog to digital living experience. For example many older people really enjoy building things or taking care of their garden. What if they knew how to use a 3d printer, or set up arduino and sensors? This tech support line from the video could be a starting point. A tech support line where older people could call for digital advice or guidance.
eenagers could volunteer their time to become part of this "digital superheros" network and receive credits for social work and volunteering. The program could gain the credibility and recognition similar to the Code for America program but tailored to offer solutions and digital mentoring to older people not local authorities or goverments.


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Hi Angeliki,

Yours is one of the best contributions.

Photo of Angeliki Kapoglou

Thanks for the encouragement!

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