Learning with Laptops


The effects of interconnectedness on the potential well-being of senior citizens.

This report describes the various workshops provided to a seniors community in the York Region and is situated within the fields of study of ageing, communication and media. The primary goal of our workshops was to enhance the digital literacy of seniors through collaborative learning. We also aimed to positively improve the perceived well-being of the seniors through their uses of their newly-acquired computer skills. The final report, titled Learning with Laptops: Digital Learning at the Cross Links Senior Community Centre, can be found here.

Timeline of the Project: November 8th 2013: Planning and organization for workshops began on this date.

January 29th 2013: Communication with research assistants who had worked on this project at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec – Arwen Fleming and Kendra Besanger had initiated. Dr. Barbara Crow had mentioned that they would provide us with a manual they used during their workshops, which would help guide our planning of the workshops. This manual included information, regarding which scanners would be preferable for us to use, provided detailed instructions on “How to Scan,” and basics on the maintenance of the scanners used.

April 24th 2013: Communication with Astral Zeneca Pharmaceuticals IT department had begun and laptops were acquired for project.

February 20th 2013: Communication with Crosslinks Director began. Initial meeting to take a look at facility and rooms for workshops was set.

May 9th 2013: First workshop session. Included an introduction to the basic uses of the laptops as well as the internet. This included the layout of programs on the desktop such as the location of the Start button, its uses as well its ability to aid the user to open desired programs.

May 16th 2013: Second workshop session. Scanning tutorial were given, which included scanning photographs onto the computer, the use of a USB stick, and an introduction to Hotmail (Outlook, Gmail, etc.).

May 23rd 2013: Third workshop session. Included recap from last session (the creation of email accounts, which many of the residents did not have before these workshops, as well as time for scanning for those who were unable to do so last week), as well as an introduction into Skype with the newly created emails.

May 30th 2013: Final workshop session. Included recap tutorials on surfing between different websites on the Internet, the creation of email accounts for those who did not have an opportunity during the last session, as well as a review of YouTube, as well as other features of which members were unsure. Interviews of participants were conducted as well.

ACM Project Mentor: Barbara Crow
Researchers: Sumeet Farwaha and Erica Melamed

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