Do you have an older relative who is fairly (or totally) new to computers and technology? If so, this video and the show notes are for you!
- EXPLAIN WHAT THE GADGET DOES, This should be the first thing you do when instructing someone about a device. For starters, this should spark interest from the person and may cause them to pay more attention during your explanation. If they know, for instance, that they will be able to watch their favorite show or check their stocks on the internet, it gives them more incentive to learn. The older generation tends to not know what a lot of the newer gadgets are or what they do, so when you say “wireless router”, their head may explode. Just explain this is the device that will allow you to watch their favorite show or check your stocks. Maybe compare it to similar devices around the house like a digital cable box. Before moving on, make sure the person knows the function of the device.
- ASSUME THIS PERSON HAS LIVED IN A CAVE FOR 20 YEARS. What I mean by this is, assume that the person is TOTALLY ignorant to what you are teaching them. Make sure you explain EVERYTHING. It really sucks when you have to make a trip back to grandma’s house AGAIN because you forgot to explain her screen is blank because her monitor is not on. On a side note, if they say they know, make sure they do. Remember , old people get confused too. If they say your treating them like a baby, politely say “Yes I am, because you grandma, are an infant to technology.”
- DO NOT INCLUDE INFORMATION THEY DON’T NEED TO KNOW! For instance, if your grandma just got her first computer and she is just going to use it to look up recipes and email, there is NO NEED to explain about hard drives, processors, memory, etc. All she needs to know is how to access the information and exit the information. Trust me, I have ran into many problems trying to explain WAY too many things at a time with people. Their brains just can’t handle it. So keep it simple. You will have plenty of time, (hopefully), to explain to your grandma the ins and outs of the PC which will probably come when your sent to fix her computer the first time.
- LET THEM DO IT THEMSELVES! A lot of people are tactile learners and NEED to do something to learn it. So, after you have done all the explaining you can do, ask them to try it. Make sure they do everything right, as this is probably the way they will do it for the rest of their life. If they do something wrong, START OVER. Do not go on from where they messed up. This will keep the order of the process correct in their head.
- WRITE THE INSTRUCTIONS DOWN! This is great for older people who just seem to LOVE to read. This should be a simple list of how to turn on, work, and turn off the device. Tell them to tape the instructions to the device such as the back of a monitor, bottom of a dvd player, etc. This will save you many phone calls of complaining that the device won’t work.
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