Tech Savvy Elders

The Burraga Foundation attended the Tech Savvy Elders event in Wagga Wagga and had a great day with the students from Bidgee school, The Wagga Wagga Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc, Elders in the community and Leanne. A big thank you to everyone involved.

Tech Savvy Elders is an event where students and Elders come together to talk, listen and learn about technology from the past to now.

We start by having a yarn about writing letters and compare that to email and text messaging and how quickly people get messages now. We then continue with how things were and how they are now:

  • communication by telephone and now, wow!, how things have changed from when we had landlines at our homes and offices and around the street in phone booths but today we mostly have all different kinds of mobile phones that we take everywhere on us.
  • how our TVs were these big boxes with black and white screens and then we had colour TVs; the knobs to turn the TVs on and off and now today, how TVs are flat and long with remote controls so you can sit away from the TV and change channels easily, and so many more stations and how we now watch TV on our phones.
  • how music was played on record players, tape decks and walkmans but today we have CD players, iPods, phones and download music off the internet.
  • how computers were such bulky, boxy machines in offices and how now we have flat screens, laptop, iPads, tablets.

Students listen to Elders about what it was like back in the day so they can learn about the past and how things have changed. Elders learn from students by checking out iPads and finding out what they are used for. Students demonstrate how iPads are used for things like finding music, addresses, and information about themselves. Students show how games are played, video clips on YouTube, searching the internet, taking photos, and recording videos and stories.

With permission from the Elders, the students record stories about the past from the Elders so that the stories can be shared with future generations to remember the past. It’s a wonderful experience for both young and old alike.

Story contributed by Melinda Brown from Burraga Foundation, Storylines, MGoals and Tech Savvy Elders. Published in 2018.