Your grandmother may be joining Facebook soon

I’m not a Facebook-er. Or a Twitter-er.

In fact, this is my second blog post ever.

But at The Numad Group, we’re having a wonderful time partnering with South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension to evaluate a pilot project - TeachSD - they recently got off the ground to help adults gain valuable technology skills.  The project will eventually be offered in seven communities across South Dakota.

Black Hills Fox did a great feature on the project this past week that you can watch online here.

Recently, SDSU Extension offered a training program for the pilot project at the YMCA right here in Rapid City. 

We really emphasize that you have to let the adult do it. You have to. Because so many of us have to touch and feel to learn. And our instinct sometime is to use technology, is to grab the mouse or the device and do it for them. But if we want real learning, that happens here at the YMCA and then is taken home and is used. We got to let them do it.
— Leacey Brown, Gerontology Field Specialist

The technology trainers are youth who receive training about the aging experience and gain skills in teaching technology. We know that older adults who use technology report being able to age-in-place more effectively, remain connected to family and friends, and find the resources they need online.

This exciting project is aimed at increasing the number of South Dakota adults who use technology on a regular basis to enable them to have more choices as they age.  

In other words, perhaps your grandmother—if she isn’t already—will be friending you on Facebook soon!

The evaluation work Numad is partnering with SDSU Extension on will guide program decisions, demonstrate results, support future funding opportunities, and replication of the program elsewhere.

What I personally enjoy about this collaboration is that we are also offering general training on evaluation theory and design, building capacity internally at SDSU Extension so that they can apply this work on other projects. I have learned a good deal about aging and technology--the cataract simulator was especially enlightening! 

Leacey, Kathy and the team at SDSU have been wonderful to work with, and we can’t wait to see how the project grows and evolves in the weeks and months ahead.