I saw this article, Want to Know What Your Cell Phone Can Do? Ask a Teenager, published in a Patch.com Reston,Virginia edition. It’s a wonderful story and presents an idea — students and seniors working together — that any family, school, or church group can easily replicate.
The article describes how middle and high school students, from the Reston, Virginia area, volunteered to be cell phone tutors with seniors, helping them learn how to use mobile phone features such as texting and checking voice mail. While many of the senior participants attending Cell Phone 101 had purchased phones for safety reasons, most were not able to use other phone capabilities. The student mobile phone mentors demonstrated how seniors could use their phone more effectively, and voicemail tutorials appeared to be especially popular. Students also explained how some of the phone capabilities cost extra money to use.
This is a project that can be replicated in any community, and the work benefits everyone involved. The teen volunteers are sharing information that is essential for seniors to learn, and the students are discovering that people continue to learn throughout their lives, no matter how old they are. Moreover, the teens are, in a way, reviewing important aspects of virtual world citizenship as they help others master digital skills. The elders are increasing their cell phone skills — important for their safety and confidence — but they are also enjoying interaction with young people.
I’d like to know more, especially how much follow-up time the kids had with the elders. I am planning to propose a project like this as a middle school community service project at my school.
Patch.com is a news online service set up to bring local news. It looks like an interesting new venture.