Living Connected’s Young Mentors Program aims to train students to help members of the older generation with their use of technology but also learn from the seniors’ life experiences.
Early in 2020, we had planned to run a face to face Young Mentors Training Program in partnership with the eSafety Commissioner and local high schools. We would run 2 instructional meetings with the students at their schools to teach them the basics of digital mentoring and to encourage them to reflect on their own use of technology in comparison of that of older generations. There would then be 2 practical sessions where the students would come to our Dropin sessions to get practice at helping seniors with technology and experience some inter-generational conversation.
We had put these plans on hold when schools and aged care facilities closed due to COVID19 restrictions. With the majority of our help sessions with seniors moving online, we realised that the same could be done with the Young Mentors. Most school students were also learning online during 2020, so the change made sense.
Our first online offering of the Young Mentors Training Program has just finished with 10 High School Students and 2 senior Primary School students from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven successfully completing the program.
As of the end of 2020, we have completed three full online offerings of the Program, each with up to 12 school students from the Illawarra and Shoalhaven taking part and learning how to pass essential digital literacies onto seniors.