Data analysis from recent digital literacy expo

Area seniors listen to a presentation by Tak Sato at the Living in the Digital World Senior Expo on May 10. Photo by Mely Sato

There are many reasons I love Cleveland, one of them being that the four seasons are similar to where I grew up. Yet even after living in CLE longer than I grew up in Japan, I still can’t tell how I should dress during our short spring season. I left home in a T-shirt the other day because it was 76 the day before. I should’ve consulted my digital mercury, aka my smartphone, as it was 46 degrees that day.

At least seniors enjoyed warm weather to attend our second annual Living in the Digital World Senior Expo on May 10.

As we continue to tabulate data from the event, the early analysis is giving us reassurances that the calling we answered in 2015, i.e. to help seniors attain digital literacy, was the right commitment. Seniors walked, drove, rode the Lakewood Division on Aging shuttle bus, and some even took the RTA to the expo. Whatever mode of transportation, they were engaged in the presentations and talking to the exhibitors.

There were door prize drawings and abundance of food donated by area small businesses who understood and supported our mission. Some may say that those alone are reasons enough to attend any event. Maybe, but just by the sheer number of seniors sitting in our presentations and the feedback I received in-person afterwards, the main draw was none other than their thirst for knowledge.

Here are some more data points from the expo. The attendance doubled from the inaugural year to some 200 attendees and that’s a conservative estimate. At least 19 hailed from Westlake and 10 from Bay. In total they came from 16 cities, as far away as Twinsburg, and some said they even took a day off from their job.

Exit polls from the presentations also reflected how hungry they are for information that is presented in a palatable manner. Palatability translates to simple explanation delivered with patience and empathy. Luckily those are some of the pillars of the Satosan Method used in our free “Discover Digital Literacy!” program for the seniors. Compressing a 90-minute program into a 20-minute presentation is challenging but I know I have room for improvement.

As the ink dried on the signature line to reserve the halls for next year’s expo on May 16, 2019, our minds were off to the races on innovative ways to increase digital literacy awareness. It has become a life skill that we recommend to every senior as it helps increase their connectedness factor to family, friends and community.

Thank you to all the sponsors, partners, exhibitors, volunteers, and especially our beloved seniors in attendance.

Building digital literacy awareness is a movement and every senior counts!

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder for the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

Read More on The Digital World
Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 9:33 AM, 05.15.2018