Westlake students link elderly to technology – Austin American-Statesman

Westlake students link elderly to technology – Austin American-Statesman

Students help elderly with technology; Links for Seniors program has more urgency during pandemic

Ashley Settle and Lauren He have made it their mission to teach your grandparents how to use technology so you don’t have to.

Through their organization, Link for Seniors, the two Westlake High School students partner with senior living facilities to provide technology lessons for elderly people. While they started offering classes before the pandemic, Settle and He said their work has taken on new urgency since the world moved online in March.

“When COVID hit we had to switch to a digital-based medium, so we adapted our lessons. We made YouTube videos,” Settle said. “How to Zoom or how to make an ecard and things like that. And then we had a few virtual classes and one-on-one sessions through Zoom.”

Other video tutorials include how to use various email browsers, including Gmail.

Settle said the organization has connected with 10 senior homes in the Austin area, and at least two facilities are projecting their Zoom classes for a small audience.

“There was definitely a really big need for them to be taught and I do think a lot of seniors and the older generation are more open to being helped by people in high school,” Settle said. “A big part of our class was building the personal relationship between the high schoolers and the seniors.”

Adjusting their teaching style for the pandemic digital world has been one of the bigger challenges Link for Seniors has faced, Settle said. During the
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