Learning Together: DigCitKids & Cyber Seniors

We at @DigCitUtah LOVE seeing kids learning and acting positively with technology. Proudly, we share this blog post from the 10-year old changemaker and creator of DigCitKids, Curran Dee. He shares with us a concrete example of how to connect with the seniors in your life. Plus, we see how fun it is to introduce technology to seniors and learn from them. #bettertogether

The DigCitKids Challenge

In January, I took the DigCitKids Empathy Challenge and was inspired by Epik’s Cyber Senior Program to focus on the special seniors in my life. I reached out to my grandparents to learn more about what we could learn about technology together. I created a Google Form and the responses taught me a lot. First, one grandmother completed it, but every response was blank and the other grandmother printed the online form and answered the questions by hand and mailed the answers to me.

What kind of technology do you use?

Both grandmothers use a computer and an iPhone, but they don’t always bring their iPhones with them and when they do, they are usually turned off or the battery is dead. This is really interesting to me because why have an iPhone if you don’t use it? Both grandmothers said they only have an iPhone because their kids (my parents) insisted.

I don’t have a device of my own, so I don’t carry one around either. I use technology at home to create and build in Minecraft, blog or I’m online with my mom on our mother/son account @CurranCentral.

How do you use the technology?

Both grandmothers are consumers. One grandmother uses technology to read the daily news and the other grandmother shops online. One grandmother is on Facebook, but doesn’t post and the other grandmother is not on Facebook.

I use technology to create and learn with the world. I produce content more than I consume it. My grandmothers question the quality of online content and told me about a time when the newspaper was delivered twice a day. Even my parents remember when a morning edition and an evening edition were delivered by a kid walking a paper route. We don’t have a newspaper delivered to our house, so I can’t even imagine a newspaper being delivered or read.

child learning with seniors

Photo credit: Marialice B.F.X. Curran

My take away

Learning is a two-way street. We have a lot to learn from our seniors and they have a lot to learn from us.

We don’t even have a home phone, but I learned that calling my grandparents was a better way to discuss this project than sending the online survey. I also learned that seniors don’t need to carry a device with them wherever they go. Being connected means something different to them. Being connected to my grandmothers means being present with the people you love.

Advice for today’s generation

“Stop and unplug!”

“Enjoy the present; be in the moment!”

“Be aware of the beauty that surrounds you.”

My generation could help seniors learn how to take online surveys, like the one I sent for this project, and how to use different technology tools to help them connect with their grandkids and the world.

This project is just the beginning stages of the DigCitKids Mobile Learning Classroom where we take the DigCitKids Help Desk on the road to libraries, senior centers and community organizations to continue to learn together. As they say on Twitter, we are #BetterTogether both on and offline.

Written by Curran Dee


  1. Carol Varsalona on February 27, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Great work, Curran. This blog should be sent around the world and you should mention how old you are. Be in the moment is great advice and #BetterTogether is a wonderful mantra.

  2. Katherine Krishnan on February 27, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I love how respectful you are toward your grandparents technology habits. I love how you included their advice (unplug!) and what you can learn from them, and included what you can teach them. Dialogue between the generations can only promote positive relationships and learning! Thank you for sharing, Curran.

  3. Jan Garbett on February 28, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I laughed out loud when you explained the iPhone usage of a phone either turned off or out of battery. How real that is for many is an intriguing study. And while it may seem strange to not be connected electronically not having newspapers is also strange. Your comments made me see this for the first time as kind of the same thing. Thanks for your insight and the empathy I felt as you described your encounters. With that empathy (on both sides) we are #bettertogether!

Leave a Comment