Today’s world, largely communicated through smartphones and iPad's dominating much of children’s time, is very different to what was available to Aboriginal Elders.
Aboriginal seniors shared their stories with local Wagga students at The Bidgee School, with the children teaching the Elders how to use smartphones and tablets, as well as other forms of digital communication.
The Tech Savvy Elders Program sees the MGoals team working with local schools and school students to support Elders to learn about technology, including the internet and tablet devices.
Elders and their communities retain the ownership of their stories as they are edited and uploaded to their MGoals community site for future generations to share in and learn from.
One of the Elders, Lorraine Tye, said it was great to be taught the difference between what they had growing up to what is available now.
“It’s very fascinating and Caleb is showing me quite a bit, especially the camera as I have never really used that,” Ms Tye said.
Caleb Jacobsen, 12-years-old, said his favourite part was showing Ms Tye how to use the camera and also edit photos.
Mobile phones, tablet devices and the internet offers a plethora of options and services that can be used.
NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group project officer Melinda Brown said the program is aimed at bridging the communication barrier gap between younger and older generations.
“Technology is constantly changing and now we’ve got mobiles and iPad’s which we didn’t have back then,” Ms Brown said.
“Smartphones have everything and we want the Elders to have a wider understanding of what is out there, what they can use, such as internet banking, accessing Centrelink and library services.”
Ms Brown said the program not only helps Aboriginal seniors but also gives children an opportunity to hear their stories and what is was like before technology.
“It gives the students confidence to talk to them and have an understanding of what they’ve got and what others had in the past,” she said.
For James Ingram, who works with Local Land Services NSW, learning how to use technology is beneficial in his job.
“I am currently only using the phone to the bare minimum, not to it’s full capacity and that’s because I’m far from being tech savvy,” Mr Ingram said.
“Part of my job is to go out and record Aboriginal heritage values and the more I know how to capture information out in the field, the better it is for me.
“I wanted these young people to see my world and how the stuff that they know, can help me; it’s a two-way street.”