Copyright (c) 2012 David Kinghorn
As we take a look at computers and technology for baby boomers, we should remember that many baby boomers were raised on the earliest domestic computers, such as the chunky BBC models and Sinclair’s Spectrum, and those who have web access spend 50 percent more time online each day than the UK average of an hour.
But according to Age Concern almost half those over 50 still don’t own a computer, often relying on libraries and other computer centres for their internet surfing. For some there is still the psychological barrier that they are too old for technology, or computers are “not for me”.
But the mindset is changing. For instance the number of Facebook users aged 64 and older is increasing faster than any other age group. The net is a great way for people, who might otherwise find themselves isolated, to keep in touch with the rest of the world. Email and chat rooms like Gransnet, photo uploading sites such as Flickr.com, free video-conferencing through Skype and mini-blogs like Twitter, can all bring people together.
Also websites designed for older people are starting to appear such as finerday.com and thetimesofmylife.com, which allow people to share their memories – in sound, words and images.
Try the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) or Computer Literacy and Information Technology (CLAIT). Both are an easy introduction to computers and modern-day basics such as the internet, email, word processing, spreadsheets and databases.
It?s worth finding out about iPods, Skype (a system for making phone calls through your computer) and other technological advances. Reducing your fear of change is important and will give you more confidence.
Older learners can take part in general adult education classes at all levels – on vocational and non-vocational topics – as well as in sessions designed to meet the needs of a specific learning group. Some thrive among students of other generations, and would resist ‘Segregation’. For others, learning with their peers can promote confidence.
AGE UK, the charity for older people, is working with a network of community projects across the country, to provide training for computer and technology for baby boomers and older people. A great feature is a determination to avoid jargon and explaining things clearly in plain English. The websites of the BBC and the charity go-on.co.uk both provide resources for beginners to learn about computers, the internet, and digital technology.
Go-on.co.uk is a new cross-sector partnership that aims to make the UK the most digitally-capable nation in the world, and bring the benefits of the internet to every individual and every organisation in every community across the UK.
The government-backed UK Online also has 6,000 centres around the UK providing access to and advice on computers and the internet, and most local authorities offer computers and training events at their libraries.
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* Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/lewis-black-on-the-millennials-and-the-baby-boomers
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Transcript – This whole idea of millennials being this or that or the other I find it ludicrous to be critical because you’re talking about the generation that was the tipping point of why the Supreme Court past the marriage for gays. They’re the tipping – they’re the ones going are you kidding me? They’re the gender fluid group. I mean I don’t get that at all. I mean it was hard enough for me just to be a guy, let alone I’m going to figure that I’m fluid about this. I don’t get it but it doesn’t disturb me. A lot of my generation, I might as well of been born on a different planet than some of these pricks. I feel like they’re dinosaurs. Really, you’re going to carry this stuff from the ’50s on with you? Really? You’re going to stand there in Congress? That I find more enraging. My real anger is is that they scream about these kids and the way in which they operate and interact and socialize and the way that they are, and yet this is the generation that had the phones dropped on them and the computer dropped on them and things changed. And so you’ve got a whole generation that is living in a different world than we are. And they live on screens. Their whole life is on a screen for most of them. When I was a kid I did LSD. And they said you can’t really do a lot of LSD. So they made it illegal and then they took it away kind of. You couldn’t get really good LSD after a while. But it was like you can’t do that. That generation turns around and drops on these kids something that was just as potent as LSD. That phone and the amount of apps and the amount of crap and the computer, it’s the extension of the human nervous system. It’s a drug and it’s not treated that way. And then they go boy, I can’t believe they’re doing that. Well schmuck it’s because you didn’t. Because you didn’t do it. And that’s it. And I think that’s, going back to politics, that’s part of the reason we live like we live now. That’s part of the reason things are the way they are. We are in the midst of a total sea change. We have gone from one age to another. We have not entered the new age and we haven’t left the old age, but boy it’s happening and it scares the shit out of a lot of people.
Lewis Black: The Baby Boomers Gave the Millennials a New Drug. Technology.
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