Recording a Video

It’s common for the older generation to feel disconnected from friends and family, especially when loved ones live far away. Teaching them how to record videos can help them stay in touch.

Recording a Video

Mu logo circle

Teaching Smartphones

Smartphone 4x4

10 minutes


30 minutes


20 minutes

"Have you ever stopped to consider all the ways your smartphone keeps you connected with the world around you? You can access your grocery list, check your bank account, and keep in touch with friends and family, all from your smartphone. Using a phone may seem like second nature to you, but to an older person it may be like speaking a foreign language. Not all phones have the same capabilities, but these basic tips will apply to all."

Step 1:

Set Up the Phone

Phone icon

Show them how to turn the phone on and off.


Help them choose a passcode to keep their information safe. Use one that’s relevant and memorable (e.g. their birthday day and month, lucky number, etc.).

Swipe hand

Teach them how to navigate the home screen.

Contacts phone

Explain how to add friends and family members to the contacts list and speed dial/favorites.


Download apps like games, podcasts, news, and tools that will help around the house. Feel free to suggest your favorites!

Step 2:

Teach the Basics

Scroll hand

Show them how to scroll through contacts and select someone to call or text.


Help them send a text and make a call to a friend or family member. Practice calling from the contacts list as well as dialing on the keypad. Show them how to hang up.


Teach them how to open the web browser, use the search engine, and type a URL.


Help them set up their email account and practice sending messages. See Mentor Up’s Email guide for more tips.

Step 3:

Play with Additional Apps


Show them how to take a photo/video and view it in the photo library. Let them text/email it.

Map pin

Explain how to use the maps app. Let them practice by finding the distance from your house to theirs or from their house to thesupermarket.


Show them how to listen to music from their music app. If they have a music app account, help transfer music from their computer to the phone.


Show them how to turn an alarm on and off. Set an alarm for multiple days and times.

Additional Resources

For more resources on teaching older adults to use technology, check out these sites:

Report Back

Once you're done, head back to the "Teach Older Adults Tech" page and report your story for a chance to be featured on or get a little surprise from the Mentor Up team.

Need help?

If you have questions or need some more tips on Teaching Smartphones , contact the Mentor Up team at