BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extenison Gerontology Field Specialist, Leacey E. Brown and Jane Strommen, a Gerontology Specialist in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University were recognized by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) with the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal Best Paper Award during the annual conference held in St. Louis, June 24.
The paper, “Training Younger Volunteers to Promote Technology Use among Older Adults” was co-authored by Brown and Strommen and published in the March issue of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal and is available at and can be downloaded at no cost until July 15, 2019.
"The purpose of this study was to enable older adults in South Dakota, especially those in rural areas, to use technology.”
By reviewing data, Brown learned one out of three older adults did not know how to use the internet to send and receive email. Next, she trained young people, ages 14-24, to work with older adults. “Part of the training was to develop an awareness of working with older adults,” Brown said.
After the program started, Brown determined implementation was not moving as smoothly as planned, so she evaluated the process and made several changes.
The biggest change was the development of the TeachSD Toolkit. This shortened the training period from half a day to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Instead of recruiting and training volunteers, Brown made the Toolkit available to organizations who wanted to conduct intergenerational technology training for older adults. A small fee is charged for the toolkit. This fee is used to provide technical support. The project was supported by Grantmakers in Aging Supporting Older Adults in Rural Areas Program.
Strommen, who co-authored the paper with Brown, helped fine tune the project so the lessons learned could be compiled into the TeachSD Toolkit.
The three criteria utilized in determining the Best Paper Award include: the importance and originality of the topic; strength of the methodology and results; and the potential for a lasting contribution to family and consumer science.
More about Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal
The Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal publishes original research in all areas of family and consumer sciences. AAFCS, the sponsoring organization of the journal, is the only national not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization that provides leadership and support to family and consumer science professionals in education, research, business, and not-for-profit organizations. More information is available online.