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Seniors given a lesson in high tech

Chatting online and shooting digital were all new to a group of seniors in Port McNeill.

But their teachers were experts – teenagers. The North Island Youth Leadership Council hosted the day, March 5, in partnership with the Elders Better Living group from the Health Network.

“We started talking about things we (youth and seniors) could do together,” said Peter Carter, youth and addictions worker for Vancouver Island Health Authority. “It’s what they are good at (the youth) and what the seniors want to learn.”

The workshop took place at North Island Secondary and started with lunch prepared by the youth. Then the seniors broke into groups, depending on their interest. Youth taught the seniors how to use their cell phones, digital cameras, MSN, computers, Skype and iPods. The seniors brought along their electronics or borrowed those brought by the students. The seniors were keen to learn.

“I want to learn about Skype so I can talk to my granddaughter …,” said one. Several wanted to learn more about their digital camera, one woman wanted to change the settings on her cell phone and one man wasn’t sure if he should invest in an iPhone.

“It’s like having a new toy,” said one woman playing with a cell phone. But the most important question of the day was “Can we do this again?” And the answer is likely yes, said Carter. Especially since the Elders group bought a computer for the youth council.

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