The Internet Isn’t Just for the Young

By Neil Genzlinger

  • May 15, 2014

Early in the documentary “Cyber-Seniors,” you might find yourself saying, “Ugh, are they really going to make me watch octogenarians poke fruitlessly at laptops for 75 minutes?” But the film soon stops that torture and becomes a likable intergenerational tale with a bit of unexpected pathos.

It chronicles a program begun in Toronto by two high school sisters, Macaulee and Kascha Cassaday, in which students tried to help residents of a retirement community become more computer-literate. At first the film sounds like an advertisement for Facebook, with the teenagers introducing their gray-headed charges to it, generally at too fast a pace for an aging newcomer to absorb.

But eventually one instructor decides to make a YouTube video with his instructee, and soon there’s a contest to see which pair can come up with the best video. Some of the results are funny — here you’ll learn that an iron is actually a cooking tool — while some are bittersweet. And as this is going on, a distressing side story involving Macaulee develops. The film’s director, Saffron Cassaday, is her older sister, and she does a commendable job of melding Macaulee’s personal setback with the film’s overall theme.

It would be nice to hear more from the young mentors about what they learned, and more from the cyberseniors about how computer use might be made more elder-friendly. But in general, this is a sweet tale that will resonate with anyone who has tried to make a Skype call to a grandparent.

Grateful Seniors Tech Training Volunteer Program

Seniors who love to volunteer – Cyber-Seniors is here to teach you how to take your volunteer services online.

Meet Keshav, a Cyber-Seniors Tech Mentor

Keshav is a 14-year-old student from Ottawa who volunteers as a tech mentor for the Cyber-Seniors Program. In this video interview he talks about how he learned about Cyber-Seniors, why he decided to sign up as a mentor and what he enjoys about it.

Our volunteers are what make the Cyber-Seniors Program possible – thank you Keshav for the important work you do!

Ian Feels Invigorated

Ian is a younger senior who loves participating in weekly tech-webinars with Cyber-Seniors. He says interacting with young people makes him feel invigorated. Cyber-Seniors is proud to be able to bridge generational divides and make a difference in the lives of seniors and youth mentors!

Jean’s Telemedicine Moment

Jean, a senior, expresses gratitude for being able to connect virtually with her doctor, through what she’s learned with Cyber-Seniors about telemedicine.

A Poem About Cyber-Seniors

A Cyber-Senior named Jean wrote this wonderful poem to thank our volunteers! Our student volunteers teach tech lessons and offer one-on-one help – they are what makes Cyber-Seniors possible! And we love hearing how much the program has improved the lives of seniors like Jean.

Cyber-Seniors Launches New Spanish Tech Sessions

Thanks to generous support from the Consumer Technology Association Foundation, Cyber-Seniors is now proud to be able to offer weekly tech sessions and one-on-one help in Spanish! Visit our website to sign up, or sign up for the Spanish-speaking senior in your life!

Cyber-Seniors is Participating in the Consumer Electronics Show

Cyber-Seniors is excited to be participating in the 2021 All-Virtual Consumer Electronics Show! Ahead of the conference, Cyber-Seniors Managing Director Brenda Rusnak gave this interview with CTA Foundation CEO Steve Ewell, on the importance of intergenerational technology programming and how Cyber-Seniors is making a difference during these difficult times.

Cyber-Seniors | HundrED Spotlight 2019

Cyber-Seniors trains students to become technology mentors for older adults and allows them to receive practical experience while earning service hours. Upon completion, students are awarded a completion certificate and become eligible for awards and prizes. Through this experience, students develop important job skills that enhance opportunities for future employment.

HundrED seeks and shares inspiring innovations in K12 education. The world is changing fast, and schools need to change as well. Impactful, scalable innovations are a way to make that change happen.

Cyber-Seniors: Making Miraculous Things Happen | GreatCall

Watch how older adults connect with teens at the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos to explore technology together and share their experiences. In association with GreatCall, the Cyber-Seniors program, held at the Best Buy Teen Tech Center, combines the wisdom of age with the energy of youth to make miraculous things happen.