This curriculum is designed to guide instructors in teaching seniors whom are beginners using computers. However, there are various factors educators should be knowledgeable about that may negatively affect older adults’ efforts to learn new skills. These include visual problems, auditory difficulties, poor concentration, tremors, arthritis, or other problems that hamper computer use. These physical and biological characteristics make senior learners increasingly rigid in thinking and resisting change. However, Piaget and Vygotsky’s theories of learning are critical in teaching seniors computer skills and processing what they have learned.
Piaget and Vygotsky’s Theories
In this case, Piaget’s pedagogical learning theory about children can be expanded and applied to adult training. Based on this perspective, a schema or categories of knowledge that assist learners in interpreting and understanding the world can be useful to take a shortcut to interpret a new or vast amount of information. In this case, a schema can be changed and reconstructed throughout an individual’s life (McLeod, 2020). This is attained through assimilation and accommodation. The equilibration occurs when the learners are in a position to deal with new information. This helps them find a balance between applying their existing knowledge and adapting their behavior to new information.
This theory can be applied by comparing computer concepts with items or things seniors already know to enhance understanding and learning. Driven by the motivation to learn, older adults may find it less overwhelming to absorb new ideas. In this case, web addresses may be compared to physical or street addresses. Such comparison can help these learners understand how web navigation works. When they are comfortable, Vygotsky scaffolding and MKO’s models can be applied to assist seniors in learning other content they may not process independently (Ahmad et al., 2020). Instructors recognize the importance of internal motivation to learning and alter the training approach from rote and memorization learning to an emphasis on making connections between known concepts (schema) and new ideas.
The objective of this course
The objective of this course is to make the seniors feel relevant and updated about the current world. In addition, providing computer training to older adults can enhance adaptation to new technology for a better and easier life, such as sending emails with just a few clicks. Computer training is also intended to stimulate the mind, support intellectual curiosity, and offer protection from dementia. This is also a means to build new relationships by enabling communication with individuals who share their interests. This training can also increase safety, provide other daily assistance, and simply be interesting.
Familiarizing with the Parts of the Computers
Instructors must ensure the seniors have access to computers, activities handouts, and copies of the glossary for new words. Introduce learners to the various parts of the computer and explain some basic terms, pointing out and describing the identified items (LoBuono et al., 2020). Then have the seniors do the activity where they label the different parts of a computer, such as a monitor and a mouse.
Engage seniors in activities where they locate a browser and open the internet window. Illustrate how to use the backspace button to erase the current address or click on the new tab button beside the existing tabs and then type what they need to search. The educator needs to be patient even when teaching gets repetitive (Rasi et al., 2020). For this demonstration, use Google Chrome, where seniors can use the white bar indicated to browse.
To introduce students to the computer keyboard to familiarize themselves with the proper hand position on the device. The goal is to improve typing skills without looking at the keys. Show learners how to place their left and right pointer fingers on the F and the J keys. Therefore, show them how to let the rest of their fingers on both hands fall on the remaining home row keys, namely, A, S, D, F on the left and J, K, L on the right (van Weerdenburg et al., 2018). However, as illustrated, the thumbs should be placed on the space bar.
Describe to the trainees a wide range of content available on the internet. Make sure to include the following items;
Reserving the Books in the Library
Illustrate to the seniors how they can reserve books online. Begin by demonstrating how to search the online catalog, then click on the ‘reserve this item’ button to make selections. Show them also how they will be prompted for their card number and PIN if they are not already logged in and how they can request a new password.
Ordering Food, Groceries, and Other Daily Necessities
Use different examples to show the trainees a general guideline on ordering food items online. Show them how to register, log in to their favorite website, and locate the groceries menu. Demonstrate how to add the selected items to ‘Cart’ and ‘Proceed to Check-Out,’ and make the payment to complete the purchase.
Basic Online Banking
Show them how to get started by gathering their account numbers and locating their banks or credit union websites. If they have already registered, indicate how they may be prompted to provide their usernames and passwords for their online accounts, making it easy to make payments, deposit checks, move and save money.
Video Calls with their Family and Friends
Introduce seniors to different applications and websites for communication, such as Skype, Facetime, and Snapchat. The instructor may guide the students to create online social accounts to help them independently navigate these platforms to communicate with loved ones (Ewin et al., 2017).
Show seniors how the platform works and illustrate how to make a booking in advance through the portal. The goal is to demonstrate how they can look for a cab or catch a flight via the website by entering locations, desired dates and times, and selecting a ride.
Booking online health check appointments
Instructors should Illustrate how seniors can use computers for virtual physician visits, schedule appointments online, and see which providers are available and their locations. Discuss various online health management tools for booking appointments, tracking test results, and staying in touch with the healthcare provider.
Using Hand GPS (Mainly for People with Dementia Who Could Find Their Way Back Home)
Explain the relevance of hand GPS before going into the details. Guide them on setting up geographic coordinates of their location through official websites. Remind trainees to look out for alerts when the device leaves a predetermined “geo-fence zone” that they created. Allow seniors to take an active role as they learn to use GPS to view their locations and the distance from their home address, and the speed the device is moving. This allows them to be accustomed to the tactile nuances of clicking keys. Another GPS features that seniors should introduce the SOS button used to dial for medical emergencies and receive alerts for appointments and medications.
Piaget’s theory of learning can play a critical role in teaching seniors computer skills and processing what they have learned. In this case, the assimilation of knowledge occurs when seniors learn new computer concepts and match them to ideas they already know. For instance, seniors come to understand how surfing the web works because it can be easily compared to navigating streets. The accommodation of knowledge requires the trainees to reshape those ideas, and learning becomes possible through equilibration. If Vygotsky scaffolding and MKO’s models are effectively used, impart knowledge because seniors will be already comfortable and motivated to acquire computer skills.
Ahmad, W., Yudthakajkumthorn, C. & Jaroenpong, W. (2020). Learning in classroom by applying learning theories of Piaget (constructivist) and Vygotsky (Social Constructivist/Interactionist). International Journal of Advance Research in Science and Engineering, 9(4), 1-17. Web.
Ewin, C., Ewin, C., & Ewin. C. (2017). Computers for seniors: Email, internet, photos, and more in 14 easy lessons. No Starch Press.
LoBuono, D. L., Leedahl, S. N., & Maiocco, E. (2020). Teaching technology to older adults: Modalities used by student mentors and reasons for continued program participation. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(1), 14-20. Web.
McLeod, S. (2020). Piaget’s stages of cognitive development: Background and key concepts of Piaget’s theory. Simple Psychology. Web.
Rasi, P., Vuojärvi, H., & Rivinen, S. (2020). Promoting media literacy among older people: A systematic review. Adult Education Quarterly, 71(1), 37-54. Web.
van Weerdenburg, M., Tesselhof, M., & van der Meijden, H. (2018). Touch-typing for better spelling and narrative-writing skills on the computer. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 35(1), 143-152. Web.