North-east pupils help take the fear out of technology for pensioners

Pupils at a north-east school have been hard at work helping elderly residents get up to speed with technology.

The children at Hillside Primary School in Portlethen are finishing up a six-week project in which they have transformed the lives of eight elderly citizens.

Pupils will be giving elderly people lessons in technology.

The programme has been designed by the pupils who take part in the digital leaders group and is called Silver Surfers.

Primary three teacher Fiona Lindsey has been overseeing the project along with Elaine Strachan from Aberdeenshire Council’s adult learning team.

The scheme involves elderly people going to the school each week for assistance with technology matters.

She said: “The classes are designed by the pupils themselves.

“It has involved a bit of everything and has been really successful.

“We have 14 pupils in our digital leaders group and classes have been tailormade for whatever that person needs.

“For example, we have people who need help in sending text messages to keep in touch with family, help with their laptops or possibly iPads.

“It has been great for the pupils too as we have seen them come out of their shells while leading the classes.”

After each session, one person was selected to win “star of the week”.

The pupils also shared their helpful hints when using technology at the start of each session.

Aberdeenshire library service has also been involved, delivering a session about 3D printers.

Ollie Brown, one of the youngsters helping lead the class, said he was delighted at being able to help people.

The eight-year-old, who is in primary three, said: “The Silver Surfers have learned a lot about technology over the weeks.

“I’m happy because I’ve helped people like Annette to save documents, learn about the good and bad points of using devices and how to create documents.

“I’ve enjoyed showing the Silver Surfers how to set reminders on calendars, how to create documents and I’ve also learned how to do lots of things myself.”

Next year the school is looking to continue the project by helping families use technology.