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Smartphone workshop for silver surfers

1 December 2017 | By:
Smarthphone Workshop

© Mehrgenerationenhaus Oestrich-Winkel

EBS students support seniors in taking that bold step into the digital age

The so-called Service Learning Projects are an integral part of the study programme at the EBS: students take active responsibility for the common good and consolidate learning content by helping in social institutions. This was now the seventh time bachelor students have organised a smartphone workshop for seniors and other residents in the multi-generation house in Oestrich-Winkel. Florian Trabert reports on the participants’ reactions and learning methods when faced with the “great unknown” smartphone.

The smartphone workshop is fast becoming an established tradition at the EBS. Twice a year, EBS students come together as part of the Service Learning Projects to show about 20 seniors that using a smartphone is not as complicated as they thought. In this social project, the focus is on the simpler functions such as using the camera, opening, closing and using commonplace and useful apps or entering events into the calendar.

Whereas young students cannot imagine life without it, this is a completely new experience for some seniors. A mobile phone, combining diverse tasks in one device and, in general, making life easier. Nevertheless, first task is to explain it all as clearly as possible. During the two-day session, both young and elderly have great fun exploring the many possibilities the mobile phone has to offer. And the learners develop a whole range of methods to memorize each step, learning how to handle the phone bit by bit. Some write the entire procedure on a piece of paper so that they can proceed step by step, others think of it more as a game, working on the principle “what could go wrong?”

“In the last two days we have seen a great deal of learning methods and can confirm that all participants have learned a great deal and have definitely further developed their skills”, says Tristan Schelhorn, one of the students who organised the smartphone workshop. One of the most positive aspects is the feeling of mutual appreciation among the participants.

And, indeed, after the workshop there were many happy faces, finally able to keep in hassle-free touch with their grandchildren via WhatsApp or to have video or voice conversations with their daughter or son. Everyday life for the seniors is not only more exciting but it also opens up totally new communication channels. “It’s not a classic teacher-pupil scenario. I think everyone learned something during the workshop. Everyone goes home feeling good”, according to Jakob Kozak, one of the students at the workshop. The SCI project “Smartphone Workshop” has been a tradition at the EBS for the last four years. And so after the workshop is in fact before the workshop. The last organisers have already begun planning the next workshop with the new semester’s students. All things considered: a real success story.”

Florian Trabert is 21, comes from Rothenburg ob der Tauber and is studying General Management in his 3rd semester.

More information about Mehrgenerationenhaus Oestrich-Winkel on: http://www.oestrich-winkel.de/mehrgenerationenhaus/index.php

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