Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

EarthLink Program Bridges the Generation Gap with Technology

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

EarthLink Program Bridges the Generation Gap with Technology

Article excerpt

One reason the creation of the Internet was so remarkable was its ability to provide a faster way to keep people connected worldwide. Now, a new program is helping to promote connections using the Internet in a different way. GenerationLink by EarthLink connects high school students with senior citizens from the community who want to take part in technology. "The goal is to teach the senior citizens basic Internet skills, but along the way we also want to foster a greater intergenerational understanding, "says Dan Greenfield, EarthLink's vice president of corporate communications.

First launched in an Atlanta high school last fall, the current GenerationLink project is underway at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Fla. A group of 10 seniors from the Hal Marston Senior Center visits the high school weekly for hour-long classes where they learn basic Internet skills such as e-mailing and searching the Web. The skills learned help the seniors visit their hometown newspapers' Web sites, research news about health care and prescription drugs, and stay in touch with their families by receiving pictures of their grandchildren via e-mail attachments. "The idea is to demystify technology [ for the seniors]," says Greenfield. "Technology is new to the seniors--they may be scared of it--but it is natural, almost second nature, to the students."

The students at Maynard Evans chosen to participate in GenerationLink are part of the Professional Educators Academy, a program that works with students who ate interested in becoming teachers. …

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