As a charitable affiliate of AARP, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) and its flagship program, Senior Planet, will continue to work collaboratively with state offices to provide (i) for individuals: interactive educational experiences at the intersection of aging and technology and (ii) for AARP state office staff: expertise and support to ensure that your state government’s Digital Equity Act planning, implementation and outreach efforts are age friendly.
As part of their efforts to grow impact, reach and relevance, states can request virtual programs, plan for in-person Senior Planet events, and leverage existing capacity building and train the trainer resources to help expand the capacity of local organizations and volunteer corps to deliver technology training and skill building. In addition, AARP state offices can request digital equity offerings and thought leadership support as their state government’s planning for Digital Equity Act plans launch in 2023.
Important for States to Know
A. Virtual lectures, beginning January 2022 – available to all states – limited capacity
OATS will partner with up to 20 states to offer Senior Planet virtual “Explore Tech” lectures for state and/or local audiences in 2023. Lectures cover dozens of topics, and each state can schedule up to six virtual lectures. Instruction is led by a Senior Planet technology trainer and coordination (including promotion) will be handled by each state office and supported by Senior Planet. Events are delivered on Zoom Meeting (OATS can provide Zoom Meeting rooms if needed) and administered collaboratively by state office representatives in partnership with Senior Planet. An eight-week lead time is required to schedule a session.
- Virtual lectures can accommodate between 25-200 participants. Events span 60 minutes to incorporate Q&A and engagement between attendees.
- Examples of available lecture topics include: All Things Zoom, Cloud Storage, Google Maps, How to Spot Fake News, Introduction to Social Media, Online Health Resources, Online Shopping, Protecting Your Personal Information Online, Streaming & Smart TVs, Video Chat, Virtual Museum Tours, YouTube, and many more.
- Virtual lecture descriptions are available here.
B. In-person collaborations and technology training programs, beginning Spring 2023 – available to select states and cities based on OATS’ existing footprint (inquire for more details and availability)
OATS will work with states to offer 40 collaborations (four per state) including lectures, workshops, fitness events, or tabling/event attendance. Senior Planet lectures and workshops feature flexible presentations that cover more than 100 topics, and OATS will work collaboratively with state offices to deliver in-person experiences in select cities and states to help individuals better harness the power of technology in their daily lives.
- Lectures and workshops consist of interactive presentations that span 60-75 minutes per session and cover mainstream technology topics that most meaningfully intersect with daily life as we age, e.g., How to Zoom, Protecting your Personal Information Online, and many others. A complete list of available lectures and workshops is available here.
- Senior Planet will provide the presenter and will work collaboratively with state offices to promote the program’s availability. A lead time of ten weeks is required to schedule a session.
- Senior Planet fitness events are interactive, movement-based programs that join dynamic instruction with mindfulness activities to help improve health and wellness.
- Through tabling and event attendance, OATS can share Senior Planet resources to attendees and provide information/services at state office sponsored events.
C. Build capacity for program delivery and make the free Senior Planet licensing program available to state office partners – available to all state offices – unlimited capacity
OATS will provide training for state offices and their partners on best practices for engaging older adults in virtual programming. OATS will also make its licensing program, which trains and supports organizations to provide in-person Senior Planet technology programs, available to participating organizations at no cost.
- Capacity building sessions will help state office staff, volunteers, and interested partners learn how to meaningfully engage older adults in virtual programming. The capacity building series is available to be taken at the learner’s own pace. Topics include: “Engaging older adults on Zoom” and “Older adults and tech.” OATS will host a virtual session each month for those who partake to ask questions of experienced Senior Planet trainers.
- Those who participate will also be invited to join an information session to learn about the Senior Planet licensing program. The licensing program is a nationwide initiative designed to equip local organizations across the country with tools to help older adults access technology and use it to enhance their lives. The Senior Planet licensing program can act as a powerful connector between state offices and their partners who wish to ‘go-deeper’ using Senior Planet’s proven approach. The program is free for designated AARP partner organizations and is intended for partners who wish to deliver Senior Planet content on the ground (in-person) in their communities.
D. Provide age-friendly digital equity planning and implementation expertise and support – available to all states – unlimited capacity
OATS can provide AARP state offices with offerings to ensure that state Digital Equity Act planning, implementation and outreach are inclusive of older adults and sustainable. Specifically, we can support AARP state offices by:
- Building capacity and providing offerings that AARP state offices can use to achieve age-friendly digital equity in your state including:
- Talking points to use with State Broadband offices on age-friendly digital equity plans
- FAQs to arm you to respond to questions from State Broadband offices
- Reports and research
- Providing materials and reports in concert with AARP to State Broadband offices including:
- Checklist to achieve age-friendly digital equity in your state
- Reference guide with template, best practices and case studies
- Written reports and workshops on age-friendly digital equity
- Promoting Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and sign ups of AARP members through:
- Senior Planet’s “Affordable Connectivity Program” workshop and “Affordable Home Internet” lecture.
- Presenting at AARP ACP outreach events e.g., AARP tele-town halls, webinars, etc.
Links for Additional Information, Resources, and Content
- Virtual Form where states can request collaborations with OATS
- General Information: seniorplanet.org/aarpstates
- Virtual Lectures: Virtual lecture topics and descriptions
- In-person programs: In-person lecture and workshop descriptions
- Licensing: Description of the model
- Digital Equity Act Information: Information and resources