State Office Spotlight: AARP Colorado
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, utilize a new set of DIY-Toolkits, 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 part of their state government’s continued planning for Digital Equity Act implementation in 2024.
Important for States to Know
A. Virtual digital literacy lectures, continuing in 2024 – 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 2024. 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, Introduction to A.I., Introduction to Social Media, Online Health Resources, Online Shopping, Protecting Your Personal Information Online, Startup!, Streaming & Smart TVs, Tips for Being News Savvy Online, Video Chat, Virtual Museum Tours, Virtual Reality at a Glance, YouTube, and many more.
- Virtual lecture descriptions are available here.
B. In-Person Programming (Collaborative Programming or Fellows Program) Collaborative Programming (CO,FL,NY,TX,DC,MD,VA,DE)
OATS will work with states to offer 80 program sessions (10 sessions per state) that include lectures, workshops, and 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.
- States have the option of selecting a Senior Planet Center to host sessions.
- Through tabling and event attendance, OATS can share Senior Planet resources to attendees and provide information/services at state office sponsored events.
Fellows Program (Available to all State Offices)
Collaborating closely with state offices, OATS will recruit and designate “Senior Planet Fellows” in each state to serve as ambassadors for OATS programming and engagement. Senior Planet Fellows are local volunteers who receive on-boarding and regular training from OATS to empower them to coordinate local lecture offerings, liaise with local partners, and represent Senior Planet from AARP in the local community.
- OATS will work closely with State offices to identify program topics
- States have the option of selecting a local site or their own state office to host sessions
- OATS will disseminate all survey tools and provide metrics to state office staff
- States are responsible for creating CVENT pages for program sessions with support from OATS Staff
C. Train state office partners to deliver in-person Senior Planet classes through the free Senior Planet Licensing Program – available to all state offices – unlimited capacity
States can nominate up to two local partners to participate in the Senior Planet licensing program free of charge. 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. Licensed partners are trained and supported to deliver in-person Senior Planet classes locally and have access to curriculum materials for hundreds of Senior Planet programs.
Successful organizations in the licensing program have staff and/or volunteers available to administer and deliver programs; a classroom set of devices for hands-on classes; and a space capable of hosting programs.
OATS will reach out to nominated organizations and speak with them about the program in more detail and ensure their ability to participate. Should they be interested in moving forward, AARP state office-nominated partners will go through an expedited application process.
D. Provide age-friendly digital equity planning and implementation expertise and support – available to all states – unlimited capacity
Specifically, we can support AARP state offices by:
- Working in collaboration with AARP Government Affairs to support public comment on State’s draft Digital Equity Act plans (based on timing of your state’s digital equity planning. OATS will continue to provide support to states in the planning stage).
- Quarterly update (beginning in Q2) to National and State AARP staff on OATS use of Digital Equity Act implementation funding
- Roadshow of OATS latest research on the state of digital equity for older adults
- Capacity building on the foundations of digital equity for older adults e.g., presentation
- Sharing external digital equity resources and best practices from prominent sources
- Promoting Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and sign ups of AARP members through Senior Planet’s ACP classes, and support at AARP ACP outreach events e.g., AARP tele-town halls, webinars, workshops, etc. If the ACP program ends, OATS will provide tools to help older adults access affordable internet options.