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Connecting Youth with Older Adults Through Technology

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The need for technology to connect older adults with family and friends came into sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent collaboration between CTAAN the School District No. 57 (Prince George) and the University of Northern British Columbia gave elementary students the chance to think about how they can use technology to keep in touch with older family members.

Students got creative as they thought of ways they could use a smart speaker to connect, support, or engage with an older adult in their family or community. They came up with ideas including using the speaker to help schedule virtual visits, reading together and helping with arts, crafts and baking. Students submitted short written entries and had the chance to win one of the Google Home smart speakers donated by Best Buy Canada.

“This contest was a fabulous opportunity for students to share some of their stories. During the pandemic period we know that connecting to older adults has been a challenge for many students – especially those with grandparents or Elders that live in more remote or First Nations communities, long-term care homes or in different countries,” says Andrew Lee, a vice-principal with SD57. “To be given the chance to think about creative ways to connect with older adults or Elders and to actually win a Google Home device to implement their ideas was just such an amazing experience for students.”

Submissions were open to students aged 8-12 in the Prince George Secondary School (PGSS) family of schools (elementary schools that feed into PGSS). A judging panel reviewed approximately 50 submissions.

Several organizations in the Prince George area worked together on the Google Home giveaway including Prince George Technology Group, the College of New Caledonia, CTAAN and UNBC.

“The intergenerational connec-tedness highlighted through this initiative opens up new opportunities to foster connec-tion, and collaborative learning across generations using tech-nology,” says Sara Aghvami, Director of Best Buy Health Canada. “It was delightful to see students' ideas on how they can use tech to support older Canadians and how technology can act as a facilitator for connection and an enabler of independence.

Article originally posted at: https://www.ctaan.ca/events/blog-post-title-one-z6waj-n9rtz-wryyw-ajjrj-geclj

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  • Date

    May 05, 2021

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