Wow, what an amazing event. Thank you Sue for putting the idea in my head to take my Geek Squad down to the local senior living center. After about a month of planning and having to deal with English health and safety laws, we finally made it down to Sunrise Senior Living.
I had prepped “The Geeks” that they were to remember to speak slowly and more loudly than normal, but also to go slowly when they were showing the iPads. They tend to get very excited and speak very fast when they are talking about technology! We also talked about the things that we could show them and speak with them about. Some of the geeks found some of the accessibility settings that help with zooming. Others looked for apps that older people might enjoy.
We had a bit of a late start as the bus company didn’t get to us on time. So I warned the kids that we were going to hit the ground running and that they were to have the WiFi settings ready for passwords as we walked in! I turned around to greet Mark, our contact at Sunrise, and when I turned round I had 16 students ready for WiFi passwords! We got them all set up and then asked Mark where we were headed. As he was telling us, one of the ladies that was in the area we were headed to said, “Come on over, we’re ready.”
The Geeks wasted no time. They jumped right in and started talking to the residents. We spread them out a bit, but there was still a 3 Geeks to 1 resident ratio. Thankfully we had a few more residents make their way in a bit later. One is the lady that you see here talking to me. She worked with a Geek for a while, then sent him over to me. The first thing she said was “Now I want to hear your take on using these things in the classroom.” Boy was she tough. She drilled me like a prospective parent! And she turns 90 on her next birthday! She even asked her Geek, Egor, if it was a toy or a tool … to which he rightfully answered, “A tool!!” Go Egor!
One of the late comers turned out to be a lady who walked in and said “I want to talk to one of them, because I used to work for IBM in 1956.” Turns out she and her husband were around during the early days of computing. She worked for IBM for two years before her first child was born. Then she worked as a consultant for them for 10 years, by which time she had four children. She had worked in the US in Washington, DC. She said that her husband should have been working in the Pentagon but they didn’t allow it since he wasn’t an American citizen. Instead they rented him a really nice office nearby.
I had arranged for the parents to pick up their children at the centre and I am so glad that I did. They were able to see their kids in action. They were all really pleased with what they saw. Every single one of them asked if we were going to do it again!
I am very excited and happy that I did this. It gives yet another dimension to the Geek Squad; one that I am very excited to pursue!