Learn with Grandma — teaching and learning across the generations focus on bridging the intergeneration gap created by technology and variations in age. It is a program promoted by KAWA in collaboration with its founder, Valerie Wood Gaiger who lives in Wales.
Valerie Wood-Gaiger is a 76-year-old great grandma living in the Welsh hills and has a personal mission to close the digital (age) gap and bring generations together around the world.
As a proud great-grandma, Valerie is passionate about making the most of the time spent with grandchildren (and great grand children). Yet this closeness also highlights the increasing divide between generations – something she thinks has been intensified by the digital revolution. In response, Valerie wants to use this wonderful technology to bring generations together. And so, in 2003, she started Learn with Grandma.
Learn with Grandma aims to address problems around intergenerational relationships such as:
— Changes in family structure mean fewer grandparents look after grandchildren regularly. We should encourage this and create a love of learning with their grandchildren.
— Increase respect across all generations. This can work both ways, with old and young learning from each other.
— Social isolation and loneliness is a growing problem for all ages. Technology may cause this, but can also be a source of support. Technology also allows us to share ideas worldwide!
“Learn with Grandma aims to address problems around intergenerational relationships as changes in family structure mean fewer grandparents look after grandchildren regularly.”
In 2014, Valerie discovered the wonders of Facebook, and started sharing her ideas to close the digital age gap. In a very short space of time Learn with Grandma gained strong support on social media, and has now become an international network — with 18 groups in Africa alone. Bit by bit, Valerie is helping to show the advantages of using technology to enhance intergenerational learning and relationships.
So what does Valerie actually do?
Ultimately Learn with Grandma is about sharing inspiring stories about how grandparent-child relationships are working, and how grandparents are both learning from and teaching their grandchildren. Practically, Valerie helps people across the world organise e-learning conferences, seminars, and other events to promote this in an efficient and cost-effective way. It’s cheap and sustainable, people share their knowledge and successes through using the resources and technology they already have.