Social Media for CARP Members – Back to High School

Thornlea Secondary

Help us spread the word about CARP’s Social Media Tutoring program. 

Contact your local high school Principal, and let them know about the success of our pilot program and the benefits to Seniors and high school Seniors alike.

ZoomerMedia videographer Darrin Maharaj visited the class and filed this report.

Our pilot project for the CARP Intergenerational Social Media Tutoring Program was launched at Thornlea S.S. in Markham, Ontario in spring 2011, and involved the kids in the school’s PAE “personalized alternate education” program.

Though this program, Seniors, (CARP Members) attend their local high school for a series of “after-school” computer classes in which the Grade 12, senior-students are the instructors.

CARP members, with existing basic computer skills, get informal instruction on using social media tools (Facebook, Skype, Youtube, Twitter, downloading / emailing photos, effective web searches, etc….) from the tech-savvy student-instructors.

The students benefit from the interaction with seniors in their community and improve their self-confidence, as they are notionally the experts on the subject and, as such, their roles are reversed as adults are looking to them for the transfer of knowledge.

(Much of the off-topic conversation overhead while the students were working with the seniors, one-on-one, was around career choices, post-secondary options, and talking about their own grandparents… there was a very positive connection going on.)

  • The program requires a school computer room (or two) and an adjacent class room to be available for a few hours after the final school bell, for a once-a-week series of sessions lasting 4-6 weeks.
  • A class of 15-25 Seniors are invited from among CARP members in geographical proximity to the school.
  • A ratio of 1 student for every two seniors is required.
  • Supervision of a teacher.
  • Access to 1 computer per senior, with internet access, open to social media websites.

Prior to the arrival of the Seniors, the teacher and his/her students spend a session planning the curriculum and polishing their presentation skills.

Student “experts” in each topic are chosen to lead the discussion on the topic before the students and seniors work on the computers with hands-on instruction.

A poll of the ability/interests of the Seniors attending the class is taken to find out how familiar they already are with the topic at hand, and more advanced users are grouped together, while beginners work slowly through the assigned topic.

Our pilot program involved students in the school’s PAE program, and it proved to be a successful match between the seniors and the students, but this is not a requirement.

To quote CARP Vice President, Ross Mayot, “These students don’t always have the chance to be the stars. It was a chance to turn the tables, to let them be the ones with the knowledge, and sharing and guiding others.”

Students were able to amass several hours of their required community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

CARP provided each the student with a Certificate of Appreciation and an apple iTunes/AppStore gift certificate in thanks for their participation.

Click here to read a news story that ran in a local paper in York Region describing the program.

Feed back from the School administration, Students and Senior-learners was unanimously positive and we hope to spread this program throughout the country.

Interested Teachers, Principals or School Boards can contact CARP c/o
Anthony Quinn, Manager – Community Development
1-888-363-2279 x274
[email protected]