When a person walks into a computer class, they are probably expecting to see frustrated faces and hear sighs of exasperation. TMC for Seniors is clicking delete on this expectation with a new computer tutoring class that is fun, informative and free.
At the Cyber-Seniors classes, high school students volunteer to teach seniors how to navigate today’s digital technologies – and the senior-millennial mixer is a big hit. “It has been amazing! There’s a lot of learning and a lot of fun,” said Maya Luria, director of TMC senior services.
From one end-of-the-room to the other, big smiles emerge as seniors log on to social media, use a new web server and FaceTime with family. Each senior is matched with a volunteer student from The Gregory School. Who better to help explain modern computer technologies than teens who have grown up in the digital era.
Anyone doubting communication between the generations will get a system crash. The kids and elders work together like family. “It’s wonderful,” said one of the seniors, as she praised the program and her teen tutor. “She is so patient, and knows so much. It’s easier than I thought it would be.”
“I really wanted to learn how to use computers to communicate with my family – and it turned out to be really fun.”
One of the Cyber-Seniors pairs included a 17 year-old and a 71 year-old. “It’s a new thing for me to be teaching instead of learning,” said the student. “It’s awesome!” Her senior partner was just as enthusiastic, “I really wanted to learn how to use computers to communicate with my family – and it turned out to be really fun.”
Cyber-Seniors started as a film, documenting millennials teaching seniors how to use computer, smart phone and social-media technology. The film quickly became a movement that spread throughout the country. The innovative program is being offered locally through TMC for Seniors at the El Dorado Health Campus, made possible from sources such as the TMC Foundation.
The six-week program meets every Friday for two hours. Participants will receive written material, use of a laptop at each class, and of course, a tutor from The Gregory School.
“We encourage the students to volunteer in the community, and Cyber-Seniors is a meaningful way for students to contribute – sharing their digital knowledge with seniors,” said Assistant Head of School Lori Patton.
In today’s cyber environment, there are understandable concerns regarding identity and software protection. The course also includes a special two-hour presentation on cyber security and safety taught by the TMC information services department.
The first Cyber-Seniors course is wrapping up, and a second will be scheduled soon. The course is free, however, registration is required. Keep an eye on the TMC for Seniors website here, or call (520) 324-1960 for more information.
Don’t let digital technology intimidate you. Social media and web applications can be safe, fun and easy. Learn in a light and supportive atmosphere with the Cyber-Seniors courses from TMC for Seniors.