Technology spanning the generations

26 Dec

For Christmas this year, we gave my in-laws their very first tablet. Initially, they were very hesitant about using it. It has been interesting going through the process of teaching them how to use it, and comparing their learning curve to that of my two young children. Both of my children interact with our iPad in one way or another each day, using it for learning, games and videos. They are comfortable with touching at screen and having it respond. But my in-laws are hesitant to touch technology. It is foreign to them, and they don’t want to mess it up. However my children have no fear when it comes to technology, they are hands on. Comparing the two mindsets really got me thinking about how much attitudes towards technology have changed, and how intuitive some of the new devices are for anyone, whether they are young or old.
My children do not yet use the iPad for communicating with others, but I know there will come a point soon when they begin to figure it out. But for my in-laws, the purpose of the iPad is for them to stay connected, primarily through email. They have a Facebook account, but have always had trouble figuring out how to post images or links from their desktop computer. Being able to share an image they just took with the iPad by pressing a button and posting it could be somewhat liberating for them. It will allow them to use FaceTime with our children who live 600 miles away.
Being able to help them get the iPad set up and show them the basics while we are visiting them has been helpful, but they have commented about how they want to learn more about it but wouldn’t know where to go. I immediately think – go to YouTube, or do a search for tutorials. This concept is foreign to them, yet it is such a big part of life for younger generations. Learning is now at our fingertips.

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