Residents Learn Facebook from Local College Students

meadows facebook

“It was fantastic meeting young people who know things that can help me learn to use Facebook, but the real significance and wonderful thing about the experience was meeting them,” says St. John’s Meadows resident Art Trimble.

This sentiment resounded with the St. John’s Meadows and Brickstone by St. John’s residents that visited St. John Fisher College once a week for the month of October to learn from students about using Facebook.

meadows facebook

“The idea was for elders to learn about Facebook and the students to write an instruction manual. So the end product is something the elders are going to get, and it will help them remember the steps they need to remember when it comes to doing certain things on Facebook,” says St. John’s Director of Recreation Deb Hammond.

Hammond coordinated the collaboration between the two groups with the director of the Center for Service Learning at the college. The topic of the class was ‘digital literacy’ and both students and residents learned a lot from the experience.

One of the students that helped to design the Facebook lessons says “learning how other people learn” and “learning how to teach this kind of technology” were an incredibly valuable part of the experience.

Another student enjoyed being able to talk to residents about not just Facebook, but about the news and what was going on in the world. “Being able to have a conversation that wasn’t strictly business; that was really where the reward was,” says the St. John Fisher College student.

meadows facebook

For the residents, spending time with a younger person and learning about their lives was the most valuable part of the experience. “A lot of residents said to me ‘well I learned some things about using Facebook but what really meant a lot to me was meeting and establishing a relationship with a younger person,’” says Hammond.

When describing the overall experience from an outside perspective, Hammond says “when I walked in the room the first time and everyone sat down together, it was like magic. It was just like magic to me to see these two age groups together.”

The group celebrated the success of their time together at St. John’s Meadows on November 6 with dessert and coffee. Students visited residents to view their computer and Facebook setup, and also received a tour of St. John’s Meadows. When Hammond asked the students what they thought of St. John’s Meadows, they resounded with “awesome,” “really nice,” and even “when can I move in!”

Residents and students chatted away, talking more about Facebook and technology or about their daily lives. One of the students helped resident Art Trimble post a photo to Instagram from his phone.

When the gathering was wrapping up, Hammond reiterated that everyone stay in touch. “This doesn’t have to end here. . . you know each other, you know email addresses, and I’m hoping this continues.”

“And we’re all on Facebook!” a resident added as a burst of laughter followed.

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