Building inclusive intergenerational technology programs


Last week, Anna Verbuk, Resident Technology and Training Manager at 2Life, and colleagues from the Boston Chapter of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) collaborated to present their work teaching seniors how to use technology at Net Inclusion 2024, an annual conference organized by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.

Net Inclusion is a premier conference that connects organizations from across the country engaged with digital literacy, digital equity, and broadband development. The selection process for panel presentations is always highly competitive, and the conference is well attended: This year 1,300 people participated in person in Philadelphia.

The panel session was entitled, “Building Inclusive Intergenerational Technology Programs,” and encompassed both a moderated discussion and audience questions and answers. The statistic about the Resident Technology Support Program at 2Life that most impressed the audience was that over 800 residents — half of 2Life’s resident population — are members of the program! Audience members were very engaged in the discussion, and panelists continued answering questions about their work after the session ended.

The conference as a whole presented excellent opportunities to learn about the best practices of fellow practitioners. For example, a three-hour session on device programs was directly relevant to Anna’s own work on the Digital Device Lending Library at 2Life.

The highly energizing event underscored the importance of digital literacy warriors’ work. The Mayor of Philadelphia, Cherelle Parker, opened the conference and discussed the importance of bridging the digital divide for underserved populations, which is a prerequisite for bridging the economic divide.

Many thanks to Stephenie Hou, our longtime collaborator from LBFE, for sharing photos of the panel.

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