Student mentors help seniors share technology

Once she got online, Annette turned into something of a party animal.

She was on top of all the party invites and quickly joined the online dating scene. The best part: She’s 76 years old.

Even so, Annette is the youngest of a group of seniors who challenged themselves to learn about technology and become comfortable with the Internet.

Teaching the adventurous gang is a group of young tech-savvy teens whose experiences have been captured in the new Canadian-made documentary Cyber Seniors.

Reaction to the film at recent screenings has led to the formation of local chapters across the country, where communities of people eager to help seniors get the most from technology. It’s triggered an entire cyber-senior movement, and intergenerational connections are being formed in real world communities across Canada and in virtual communities online.

The goal is to have even more young people help older adults bridge the technology gap and see technology as a way to expand their social and physical worlds.

That’s what viewers of the Cyber Seniors documentary have seen. Directed by Toronto’s Saffron Cassaday, the film presents a candid, humorous and supportive look at what seniors face these days as they learn to use the Internet with the help of their teenage mentors.

It captures activities in two Toronto seniors’ residences that were piloting the Cyber Seniors program, started by Saffron’s younger sisters, Kascha and Macaulee, as a high school community service project.

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