HIEC connects Halton seniors and students with innovative technology program

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HALTON, ON - North Halton seniors and students got a taste of Hollywood as the Georgetown District Seniors Centre played host to a grade five/six split class from Gardiner Public School on March 9, 2011 to celebrate the end of phase two of the Seniors & Social Media: Connecting Generations Through Technology project. The program, presented as part of the Halton Industry Education Council's (HIEC) ongoing commitment to intergenerational mentorship - and offered in partnership with Apple Canada - saw students create video presentations using Apple's iLife software suite. Their goal was to tell the life stories of local North Halton seniors through a short film.

'I think it was really cool that we got to take part in this activity, because I think it is important to know how senior's lives are compared to ours,' said one student participant. 'It was also great that we got to use the Apple technology. If I got the chance to do this again, I would definitely say yes.'

The seniors and students first met in January at the Georgetown Seniors Centre. After conducting their interview and taking detailed notes, students spent a month in their classroom working with MacBook computers and software like iMovie and GarageBand. Their goal was to capture the life of a local senior in a creative, cinematic way. The students presented their creations to their senior partners on March 9, 2011 in Georgetown.

'I would really like to thank all of the senior partners here for making this program possible, and I would like to thank HIEC for choosing our class to do this program,' said one student participant as she presented her video to a jammed-packed room of seniors, students, local media, HIEC staff, representatives from Apple Canada and David Euale, Director of Education from the Halton District School Board who brought greetings on behalf of the board.

Connecting Generations Through Technology, supported by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Initiative, works as an excellent opportunity for students to connect with local seniors, while learning about video production and computer technology. The program's goal is to facilitate intergenerational mentorship between elementary school students and local seniors, while increasing awareness of new forms of technology. This program bridges the generation gap between senior citizens and young people - a critical part of building a healthy and strong community.

'I just thought it was wonderful!' said one senior participant. 'These students are really great and create such nice videos! I would definitely participate again.' The completed videos are now on the program's password-protected website where the students and seniors can access them to show their family and friends. With the continued support of its community and business partners, HIEC is currently working on creating an advisory committee to look at expanding the program to more students and seniors. If you are interested in participating or sponsoring this program please contact HIEC at 905.634.2575.

 

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