Posted in cell phones, communicating with grandparents, family conversations, gadget ownership, online communication

Grandma’s iPhone

Over Easter weekend we’ll help my parents learn how to use Skype.

When it comes to her iPhone, few learning difficulties have popped up for my mom, age 84. I am delighted at the ease with which she has transferred from her old flip phone to this one — a 3G that I retired when I updated my iPhone.

How Mom is Using her iPhone

  • Her first lesson focused on typing in her contacts, and she caught on right away and also understands how to make a call using the contacts app.
  • The visual cues on the iPhone screen are terrific.
  • She loves being able to sit in a comfortable chair and play solitaire — no lessons required for this!
  • She enjoys using the speaker feature rather than holding the phone up to her ear.
  • She likes to use Safari anytime and anywhere when she wants to look something up, though like me, she is sometimes frustrated when the phone is slower because there is no wi-fi.
  • She is starting to use the map app.

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Posted in digital parenting, online safety, parents and technology, service-learning, technology support, teens and mentoring

Seniors, Cell Phones, and Teen Mentors

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.

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