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SDSU Extension Launches Toolkit to Help Teach Older Adults New Technology Skills

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension has developed the TeachSD Toolkit which provides educational videos and instructional guides to assist individuals and organizations seeking to help older adults learn new technology skills.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is inspiring many individuals and organizations across the country to use technology to connect with the people they serve,” said Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist. “However, estimates suggest that one in ten Americans do not use the Internet.”

Some barriers to technology use include a lack of access to broadband, costs associated with technology and individuals not seeing technology as relevant to themselves.

“What makes the TeachSD Toolkit unique is its emphasis on training volunteers how to teach older adults to use technology.”

— Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist

The toolkit includes three videos developed for the TeachSD technology trainer orientation that may be useful to individuals and organizations seeking to help non-users get online and learn new technology skills. Topics addressed in the videos include introduction to aging, understanding learning styles and advanced technology teaching skills.

The TeachSD Orientation Guide included in the toolkit provides direction for conducting a technology trainer orientation, which provides individuals with the experience and knowledge needed to effectively teach individuals with limited technology experience to learn new skills.

The TeachSD Implementation Guide provides instructions for organizing a technology training program in a community. The guide includes planning tools, checklists, lessons learned and other tips and tricks to make technology lessons available in a community. 

To view the videos and receive a copy of the two guides, visit the SDSU Extension Teaching Adults Technology page.

The materials were made possible due to generous support provided by Grantmakers in Aging and South Dakota Community Foundation.

For more information, contact Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.