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UT Tyler Partners with The Hamptons Retirement Community on Technology Program

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April 22, 2014

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

April 21, 2014

The University of Texas at Tyler has partnered with The Hamptons Independent Living Community on a program aimed to introduce digital technology to seniors.

In this collaboration, UT Tyler has provided iPads and one-on-one and small group training sessions for 20 residents at The Hamptons. Residents in the program are learning to utilize iPad technology – beginning with the learning of basic technology use – and advancing to more sophisticated technology use such as Internet, email, photo sharing, as well as accessing online libraries, social media platforms and videoconferencing technologies.

Dr. Rochell McWhorter, UT Tyler assistant professor of human resource development, and Dr. Julie Delello, UT Tyler assistant professor of education, are leading the project. UT Tyler students also are part of the service-learning initiative, as they implement technology-training modules created by McWhorter and Delello.

“This service-learning project at The Hamptons is designed to empower the elderly through technology training that will not only render computer use easier for senior citizens, but also reduce loneliness and isolation by connecting them to their families and the community,” McWhorter said.

The professors plan to recruit and train about 40 senior participants annually through the program.

“We are very excited to be partnered with UT Tyler to launch this initiative,” said Nancy Johnson, The Hamptons community director. “Many of our residents have expressed an interest in learning new technology, and this is a wonderful opportunity.”

A second phase of this project involves the creation of digital memoirs for the residents who choose to participate. Many individuals living in retirement centers have lived during the Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, the first moon landing, the fall of communism and have served during times of war.

“It is vital to preserve a piece of our nation’s history as many of their experiences remain untold,” Delello said.

The third phase of the program will establish a Book Buddy Program connecting the residents to the community. Using a video conferencing platform, the elderly will mentor elementary students who need extra support in literacy achievement.

For more information, contact McWhorter, 903.566.7330 or rmcwhorter@uttyler.edu; or Delello, 903.566.7489 or jdelello@uttyler.edu.

The Hamptons in Tyler is a senior living community that is a perfect blend of living options, from independent living cottages and apartments to assisted living and memory care, providing top tier service and amenities in a one-of-a-kind master-planned retirement community.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.
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