GRAND Magazine - September/October 2018 - 28

legacy

Can technology bring us closer?
BY JERRY WITKOVSKY

N

orthwestern University's Alumni Association
presents a wonderful program where professors talk about their current research. The
spring series was all about media, including a global
context.
At the end of ten weekly sessions, I was listening to the last speaker in the last session, and the
lightbulb flashed. Dr. Alexis Lauricella, affiliated
with Northwestern's Center on Media and Human
Development, was talking about how her mom was
having trouble relating to her (Alexis') children because
of limited technology.
It suddenly clicked how invasive technology is in
the lives of our grandchildren. And how that could be
divisive but could also potentially bring grandparents
and grandchildren closer together.

What is a technology tourist?

I was excited about the ideas firing in my brain, so I
talked to my son Michael about how this could apply
to helping grandparents and grandchildren enter each
other's worlds. Within a few hours, we whipped up a
framework for a Technology Tourist program, a nifty
kit whereby grandkids share what their technological
world is like.
Essentially, I envision a program where the grandchild takes the grandparent on a tour of their digital
world and identifies their preferred apps/programs
for being connected. After checking with the parent/
adult child first, grandchildren would self-record a
video where they share images of their digital space:
28 GRAND

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2018

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GRAND Magazine - September/October 2018

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