YOUTH SPOKEN

Technology-smart teens help businesses in community

By Cristin Morgan | Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teens embedded in Facebook, Pinterest, Skype and texting have become the generation with technology minds.

“I think they were born into a world that was already technology advanced,” Cecilia Barham, Decatur public library director, said. “They adapt to technology a little more quickly.”

Cristin Morgan

Cristin Morgan

Barham is looking for a high school student to help with technology support at the library. The job will consist of updating the electronic bulletin board, creating flyers for different programs and maintaining their social media to promote the library.

“I’m comfortable with technology,” Barham said. “I don’t adapt to it as quickly as teens, and I don’t think I enjoy it as much.”

Decatur High School’s videographer for the newspaper, Austin Lamirand, also helps out in the community with technology.

“I video the World War II veterans and compile their stories into a movie,” Lamirand said.

Local veterans Stephanie Cooper and Rachael Vance asked the DHS Journalism Department to take on the project of filming veterans telling their stories. The job was to edit all the videos, then place them in libraries, schools, the Wise County Heritage Museum and give them to the families of veterans.

“Kids’ networking capabilities now are way beyond what we’re used to,” Vance, historian of the Wise County Veteran’s group, said.

Vance wants to document their stories so the community can hear them tell it, and not just read it out of a book.

“Watching Austin talk to the guys, he is genuinely, heartfelt interested,” Vance said. “I thought if we get a hold of kids now, they may get the same profound effect that I had.”

Still in the process of making movies, Lamirand enjoys listening to the veterans and how they overcame obstacles in the war. While entertained by the veterans, he is also helping the community with his technology skills.

“The older people don’t get new technology like the younger people,” Lamirand said. “This generation catches on faster.”

NRS is another business in Decatur that hires teens to help with technology.

“I helped install and set up programs on new computers,” senior Kory Jones said.

Looking for a small job, Jones found this one and knew what to do.

“They did the first one, then gave us instructions,” Jones said. “We would get the computers, turn them on, install the program, take them back down and send them to wherever they were going.”

Using technology every day, whether on the computer, phone or iPod, teens become more technology smart.

“Parents say to their kids, ‘Oh, color TV.’ We will be first to tell our kids, ‘Oh look holograms,’” Jones said.

Jones’ advice to ones with technical difficulties includes: use the computer and other technological devices and learn them.

“Knowing how to do the basic stuff will help build on it and everything you learn,” Jones said. “Our brains are more equipped to deal with new stuff. It’s easier for us, and we can help older generations understand it better.”

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