Teach Parents Tech – Google’s Technophobia Antidote

Posted on Monday, December 27th, 2010 by

Teach Parents Tech – Don’t we all have at least one member in the family who has given up all efforts to learn how to make the most out of the Web? My 86 year-old grandma uses her PC offline to play solitaire, and online to read the news -she visits over 10 major news sites per day!- and receive emails, as long as these are text-only, basic messages without any attachments or links. On numerous different occasions I have tried tempting her to learn the wonders of the Web, but she would always reply with the same aphoristic claim: “Honey, I’m too old for that.”

My relentless efforts of Web-pushing (including creating for my grandma an All My Faves mini user showcasing all the news and health sites she reads obsessively every day) fail to lure my granny into deeper levels of Web exploration and interaction. It seems she’s dead set on keeping it as basic as possible, and even that, she says, is way too much. Seen as my grandma’s case is a familiar one among seniors, baby boomers and individuals with a low-tech life approach, it was wonderful to discover Google’s recent initiative, Teach Parents Tech, helping to eradicate the strong technophobia pandemic among older people.

Beautifully designed and super-easy to use, Teach Parents Tech is a two-part process; first is the form (shown above) you, the experienced Web users fills out, checking the boxes next to the online actions you wish your parents/grandparents/aunts & uncles would learn. Once you hit Preview you will be taken to a new page structured in a letter format including how-to videos corresponding to the issues you checked in the form. Next all you have to do is provide your and the recipient’s email addresses, and you’re good to go.

For my grandma I picked the two how-to videos below (how to copy & paste, and how to change the PC’s desktop background, respectively). The Teach Parents Tech project is outstanding in both its concept and execution, and I highly recommend using it for the technophobes in your family. This is a keeper!

I wonder how long it would take for my grandma to learn how to use Google Reader. On second thought, I think I’ll just take it one baby step at a time…

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