Technology is a term that for some evokes thoughts and feelings of joy, opportunity, and connection. For others, is creates anxiety, fear, and confusion. The purpose of this article is for you to think beyond your assumptions regarding technology and begin identifying and implementing strategies to foster growth for volunteers, clients, and your agency. This will be accomplished by providing an interactive approach to this article. You will not be asked to write a blog about your experiences or update your status on Facebook. My challenge to you is that you give thought and intention to the questions presented and consider how you can think beyond your current use of technology in a way that fosters growth and opportunities for you, clients, and agency.Current Assumptions and Thoughts about Technology
After you have identified your current perspective of technology consider how technology can help you to develop support and connections for you, your agency, and your clients.Enhancing Connections
- How do you define technology?
- How do you currently use technology in your agency or in your caregiving capacity?
- What resources are lacking for you that would be beneficial in outreach or training?
Now that you have taking time to gain an understanding of your attitudes about technology and how you are currently using or plan to use it to develop connections, consider how technology can bridge gaps between your clients and the community.Client and Community Connection
- Take a moment to list the technological applications you currently use to stay connected. Is it email? Pinterest? Facebook? Email?
- What tool will you add? If you have limited comfort in adding a technology tool, who can you ask to help you? By asking for help, you are creating an opportunity to connect with someone!
- If you are proficient with technology, how can you help others?
- How can you use technology to increase outreach? Consider follow-up emails, an updated website, or a Facebook page.
- How can you connect your client with technology? Is it with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop lesson with your client?
- Is there an opportunity to connect student/community volunteers to spend time with clients to teach basic technology skills?
- How can you utilize technology to connect clients with mobility issues with friends and family? Consider Skype, Facetime, and Email.
Technology and volunteer caregiving has the potential to create connections if you are willing to challenge your current assumptions and possible fears associated with it. If you are proficient in technology, consider sharing your expertise with other caregivers and clients to further add support and comfort. Think beyond “the cloud” and consider creating opportunities for growth, connection, and enhanced service delivery for all involved. Good luck on your new techno journey!