Mature Learners: Technology and the Fear Factor

I’ve been trying to get some feedback from older learners about how they view technology. YouTube is a fabulous resource for getting a quick glimpse, a snapshot if you will of some of the issues mature learners encounter. Here are two examples. The first is a couple trying to learn how their laptop cam works unaware they are being recorded. Their daughter posted the video on line and it went viral. They became overnight sensations and were interviewed on radio and television. This next video offers an interesting point of view from an older gent about technology. Have a look and let me know what you think.


About M. Behrend

As a kid growing up in the sixties I had an overactive imagination. As an adult I realized that sometimes the truth can be more amazing than fiction. Everybody has at least one good story to tell.

4 responses to “Mature Learners: Technology and the Fear Factor”

  1. Richard Schwier says :

    I love these videos! And it is pretty obvious that not all seniors fear technology. I’ve worked with seniors a lot, and while I’ve seen few who are comfortable experimenting and learning on their own (they think they’re getting it “wrong”), I do think most have a hunger to learn how to accomplish things they want to do, and they love to have a demonstration and a list of procedures to follow. One of the challenges is to teach anyone to generalize their experience and to be able to problem solve when something doesn’t work for them.

    I want these folks to teach them! 🙂

  2. Mark Behrend (@MatureTechUser) says :

    Thanks for your comments Rick. What I found interesting was the playfulness the couple displayed on camera…it was “candid camera” at its best. All it was missing was Allen Funt and a round of applause….(oops, dating myself here)

  3. Jackie Behrend says :

    I suppose I am a senior, but I don’t feel like one most of the time, since I reitred from employment only 2 years ago. What I find is a sense of loss sometimes with technology changing so quickly. Everytime you turn on the TV, they are advertising some new technology, that of course will cost you more – but you must have it to stay ‘ in tune’. I used to take wonderful photographs and went into a camera store to get them printed. Then I would put them into a photo album (the ones that turned out) and admire them. Now I struggle with the digital cameras….get annoyed with the different menus and am never really satisfied with the end product. Then I have to transfer them to the computer and they are never printed, since I don’t feel comfortable saving them on a disk to take to a lab to print them. Yes it is easier seeing your photo immediately, but I honestly miss the good old days, when it was easier for me. I supposed you need to take courses or learn from someone who knows, but I find it frustrating still.

    • mbehrend says :

      Thanks for you comments Jackie. There are definitely things about new technology that make life easier for people. But that doesn’t mean they are necessarily better. We have become a generation of media users used to instant gratification. Instant messages, instant pictures. We have lost the art of learning patience.

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