If you like this post, read some of the other descriptions of our Father/Daughter iPad for Dad adventures — iPad for Dad, #1, iPad for Dad, #2, iPad for Dad, #3, iPad for Dad, #4, iPad for Dad, #5, iPad for Dad, #6, iPad for Dad, #7, iPad for Dad, #8, iPad for Dad, #9, iPad for Dad, #10, iPad for Dad, #11, iPad for Dad, #12, iPad for Dad, #13, iPad for Dad, #14, iPad for Dad, #15, iPad for Dad, #16, iPad for Dad, #17 , iPad for Dad, #18, iPad for Dad, #19, iPad for Dad, #20, iPad for Dad, #21 and iPad for Dad, # 22.
Whenever I introduce new technology to adults — teachers, seniors, my dad, even my husband — a rush of exhilaration bubbles over when the lessons begin. The learner is always highly motivated to get going with the equipment. Lots of successes occur quickly. But then comes a period when the activities of regular life intervene and less time is devoted to the new learning tasks. Using the older technology is simpler even though the new one is faster, better, and even easier. Right now Dad’s life is competing with his iPad practice.
All of the seniors in my life are busy people, their lives chock full of activities. Sitting down to master new technology is not quite as much fun as their many other endeavors. Have I mentioned that I am also teaching my mother to text?
So while enthusiasm and energy are always strong, their practice sessions are sometimes spaced farther apart, and the sequences of steps needed for various tasks are not committed to memory. My dad attributes this to age. I attribute it to lack of practice, telling him that every adult has the same issue without regular daily reviews (any adult born into the non-digital era, that is).
I will also admit to reminding him about how often he badgered me about practicing the piano.
The bottom line is that Dad loves his iPad and is eager to keep going. However, events intervene — an international conference in town, an upcoming music festival, and a campaign for mayor (he working on it, not running for it). Sometime soon an art show opens at the their retirement community, and they both exercise at the wellness center and enjoy activities with friends. I am pleased that my parents, both in their 80’s, have such active and pleasurable lives.
So we are taking iPad training slowly. Both of us have our agendas. Dad is eager to use — to really use — the iPad technology and looks forward to the day when he sends e-mail automatically. I want to do what it takes to get him comfortable, helping him feel confident and competent enough to have fun and even explore new things on his own. I also look forward to communicating with him via e-mail, enjoying the ability to swap ideas. My greatest frustration is that I will not visit again for a few more weeks.
We have scheduled an iPad phone tutorial to review e-mail for 9:00 on Saturday morning, May 22nd. I promise to report on that session.
In the meantime Dad will continue to read the New York Times on his iPad each day, getting used to pointing and touching and to moving around the pages, and I’ll know that every time he reads it his comfort level will grow.