Virginia Beach, VA, August 31, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- They’re making new friends, posting photos of their latest adventures, comparing video gaming scores, and booking reservations for their next social outing. These are not techie teens, but residents at Atlantic Shores, the Neighborhood for 55 and Better in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As information technology becomes an integral part of daily life for all ages, these enthusiasts are using technology to expand their world, and are driving a community-wide program for their fellow residents to embrace it.
The movement began with the recent launch of the community’s ASpire initiative, a project designed to use technology to enrich the lives of Atlantic Shores’ residents -- connecting them wirelessly with each other and the world. This groundbreaking program gives residents the convenience and freedom to connect wirelessly within the 100 acre campus, with virtually no IT knowledge required.
As part of the ASpire program, Atlantic Shores developed and launched a corresponding mobile app, which provides an easy way to stay in touch, access community information including staff and resident directories, view dining menus and weather, register for on-site activities and off-site excursions, and ability for one touch emergency dial to the Atlantic Shores gatehouse.
Also accessible via the app, MyAtlanticShoresLiving, is a private virtual community designed as an interactive communications tool to connect and inform. This unique social network is open to all Atlantic Shores residents, staff, family and friends. Members can create their own profiles, “friend” each other, and even link directly to their Facebook accounts, and use the site to stay actively involved in events, check menus, view their wii sports competition scores, participate in forums and group discussions, send messages, and post their status with pictures and web links.
In order to encourage residents to adopt these technologies, the Hub Club was formed -- an energetic a group of Atlantic Shores residents who ASpire to refine the functionality and direction of the community’s technology platforms, and educate others to embrace them.
Atlantic Shores staff Resident Technology Support Manager Jamie Lockard shared, “We wanted to organize a group of residents that could lead us forward with our technology, suggesting initiatives that they would like to see happen. We also wanted to support them in serving as peer-to-peer ambassadors - - spreading the word and encouraging those who might be intimidated by new technologies to explore the possibilities.”
The group launched by distributing a survey to all Atlantic Shores residents, to discover how many used electronic devices, what type they had, and if they would be interested in receiving community information electronically. The club then presented a technology overview for residents, showcasing the variety of different devices available, including the ability to test desktop and laptop computers, smart phones and tablets, to see which met their personal needs.
Hub Club meetings are extended the entire community, to explore ideas. The committee’s chairpersons approve new initiatives, which are then shared to all residents, staff, and standing committees. Several members also dedicate time to work one-on-one with residents who are not as comfortable with technology.
The club has already re-designed the layout for ease of use, requested a zoom feature on the app, arranged posting of daily and special event menus, added advance reviews of on-campus movies, and created a special section in the classified area, offering items for sale to benefit the community’s Employee Gift Fund. Additional refinements include adapting many popular paper documents used by residents, including an electronic comment card where residents can send feedback directly to a specific department. A separate tab has also been created for the community’s Welcome Package, featuring all information included in the resident handbook.
Hub Club members are also sensitive to their fellow residents who are frustrated or slower to embrace technology, even posting “tech cheat sheets” in the Atlantic Shores mailroom. Staff tech leaders also help with the learning curve, staging nteractive training sessions to provide personal assistance for all residents. According to Ms. Lockard, “Sometimes, some of our more tech-savvy residents even drop by to lend their expertise, including recently when one of our Hub Club members stopped in, and ended up teaching another resident how to use Facetime on her iPad.”
Residents and their Hub Club leaders are already blending the tech tools into their daily lives. According to Hub Club member Jan VanHeiningen, “I like that we’re easing, teaching, and giving confidence in transitioning from notes and word of mouth, to electronics.”
Moving forward, Hub Club members will introduce the community’s technology initiatives to new residents during their orientation, and assist them in connecting personally and electronically with their new neighbors. Future goals also include setting up an interactive residents-helping-residents program, pairing peers at the same own age to explore technology without fear.
Discover more details on the ASpire initiative at Atlantic Shores at #AspireClubAS,
facebook.com/atlanticshoresliving, and www.atlanticshoresliving.com.