Teaching Technology to Seniors

It is fun seeing your mother or your grandmother play Candy Crush all day. But, they will end up following you around for more information. It is up to you to teach them all there is to know about technology. You do not have to teach them about programming or software design, just the basics. In this day and age, technology is crucial and almost everyone should understand the basics. (Yes, even your grandmother). To avoid the constant stream of questions, you should save yourself the trouble and teach them all they need to know about technology.

Teaching Technology to Your Grandmother is Hard, Right?

“What does this button do?” “How can I send an email?” “What is an Emoji and where can I find it?” Does this sound familiar? Well, if it does, then you probably tried teaching a senior a thing or two about technology. You are probably tired of all the questions and the different ways they do not know how to use their email. But, you should push through because it will help you in so many ways. This article will tell you about ten strategies that can help you remain patient while you are teaching technology to seniors, or the basics of technology.

Build on Existing Information When You Are Teaching Something New

Teaching a senior something new might not stick with them the first time. This is why you should consider comparing new information with existing knowledge they are familiar with. As an example, you can explain web addresses as digital street addresses. This helps them understand the idea of web navigation and the use of web addresses. You can correlate existing knowledge they have to explain new technology concepts. If you plan to teach technology to seniors, then you should correlate terms they are familiar with new data. The information you are teaching them will be easier to memorize and understand.

Explain Why It Is Important Before Going In-Depth

A senior might know how to use today’s technology. But, they might not be able to fully understand its importance. It is up to you to explain to them the importance of the world’s leading software features and application. You can always show them cooking recipes or gardening tips on Facebook; this will help them understand the benefits they can gain from these gadgets. Once they understand why these features and applications are beneficial, they will be more eager and enthusiastic to learn. Additionally, they will be more patient during the learning process. (And, what is better than an eager student who wants to learn, right)?

Do Not Use Complicated Jargon and Keep It Simple

Modern day slang has become a part of every person’s vocabulary. But, not everyone understands it. (We doubt that your grandfather understands “woke” or “simp”). Regardless, you should make sure that you are careful with the words you use. There are many technology-related terms that they might not be familiar with, or simply do not understand. Make sure that you use simple and consistent words when you are explaining something to a senior. That way, they understand the point you are trying to come across and they do not lose their train of thought along the way. You do not want to overwhelm them and discourage them from learning.

Keep a Consistent Pace (Preferably a Slow Pace)

This tip might be a little obvious, but it is an important tip nonetheless. You need to constantly remind yourself of your pace when you are teaching technology to seniors. It might be easy for you to understand, but they might not be able to catch up with your pace. Make sure to pause and take a breath between each step you teach. This gives them the time to process the information. Additionally, you should make sure to ask them about the pace you set. Is it fast or too slow? Are you explaining well or is it too complicated? The feedback of the seniors will help you understand their learning process.

Repeat Yourself Once, Twice, and Three Times

There is a possibility that the amount of new information that you teach seniors about technology will overwhelm them. It makes sense; that’s a lot of information to take in at once. This is why you should keep in mind that you will have to repeat yourself more than once. When you repeat key terms and concepts, they will remember the terms easier and understand it. The most important thing you should have when you teach technology to seniors is patience. You need to be very patient, because they will not process the information as easily as you would.

Allow Them To Ask You All Types of Questions

When you are teaching technology to seniors, you should make sure that you make time for questions. (They will ask you questions, definitely). There are many instances where you will find them asking you a question in the middle of your explanation. You should make sure that you provide a specific moment during the learning process where you allow them to ask questions. This will make them feel more comfortable and they will speak more freely with you. Additionally, you will understand what concepts you need to focus on moving forward.

 Practice Makes Perfect

Practice really does make perfect and you should apply that when you are teaching technology to seniors. Most of the time, you should not explain anything tech-related without showing them how it is done. If you show them how it is done, then the information would be easier to understand. However, to go the extra mile, you should consider leaving them to navigate on their device. You will probably want to take matters into your own hands and get it done yourself. But, practice will help them understand how to do it.  Additionally, seniors will be more adaptable to the different features of the device after using it several times.

Consider Using Tech Resources That Are Designed For Seniors

You should consider encouraging seniors to use tech resources that are custom-made for seniors. When you are explaining something and it just does not sit right with them, then the tech resource can do a better job. There are online resources that allow seniors to watch free technology tutorials and the tutorials are made specifically for seniors to use. This means that the language is consistent and the pace is not too fast. Additionally, the tutorials can be repeated as many times as they like. This will make it easier in the long run, if they forget something or if they want a step-by-step guide.

Expect Confusion and Remind Them That It’s Okay

Most of the time, seniors understand a lot of different concepts in life. But, technology is not one of them. This is why you should expect confusion and a lot of “what do you mean?” throughout the teaching process. You might not be used to it, because most people around you understand the basics of technology. Make sure to reinforce that the learning process is hard, but that practice will help them get through the learning process. If you suffer from any difficulties from technology, then you should consider telling them. That way they will not feel alone.

Remind Them How Amazing Technology Can Be

It might be hard to remember how awesome technology is, especially when you use it every day. You should make sure to remind seniors of the “wow” moments of technology. Remember that they have never seen this before and they have the right to be amazed. Additionally, you have the right to be reminded of the awesome features that technology has to offer; learn something alongside them. You never know, maybe you will learn something new about technology too!

Conclusion

Overall, teaching technology to seniors could be a tough task, but it is very rewarding. You will be able to teach someone about a whole world that they are unfamiliar with. Make sure that you teach them at a consistent pace and leave space for them to ask questions. You have to remember that the process is new to them, so give them time to process everything. Repeat key concepts over and over again. Additionally, make sure that they navigate on their devices and practice the concepts you taught them. You should teach technology to seniors by comparing the different concepts with existing knowledge they are familiar with.