Generation Exchange‘s mission is to make technology easier, more accessible, and empowering for older adults through the one-on-pairing with student mentors in workshops. We also strive to create meaningful experiences for our mentors as they benefit from the wisdom and experience of their older counterparts.
Generation Exchange is looking to connect with DU faculty and students on the following projects:
- Internship: Work with Generation Exchange to design and implement a free pilot workshop at DU where older adult (40+) mentees are paired with DU student volunteer mentors to learn about technology of interest. From this pilot, we would like to explore potential for creating a DU Chapter that sustains free technology workshops through the year.
- Program Evaluation: We would like to improve our understanding of mentee needs and better inspire knowledge exchange between mentees and mentors. Some questions we want to explore include:
- How can we enhance our Mentees self-assessment of which tech questions they will explore with their Mentors? We wish to evaluate this approach in order to discover if we and they are missing additional fruitful areas of exploration because they “don’t know what they don’t know”.
- We’d like to evaluate and improve our process of pairing the needs of our self-directed older-adult Mentees with the resources and interests of our younger-adult Mentors.
- We’d like to evaluate our approach to reversing the Mentor / Mentee roles in our workshops and design more powerful techniques from that evaluation.
- We’d like to evaluate our current Mentor and Mentee outreach methodologies in order to design for broader application of outreach methods in other communities.
- Research Design: We would like to conduct psychological research that explores Karl Groos’ notion of “the pleasure at being the cause” as it pertains to our older adult mentees by exploring their desire to have the ability to cause predictable effects in their world. We believe older adult’s loss of roles and technological literacy is a precursor to detachment from one’s own identity and thus subsequent experiences of isolation and depression. We wish to explore and possibly prove that: 1) Our assumptions about the correlation of “caused effect” with optimism versus isolation and depression are valid, and 2) Our techniques and methodology for enhancing “the pleasure at being the cause” are valid and effective.