Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

March 16, 2013

Senior Issues: Become more iPad savvy with classes

Many of our older generation have weathered World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars. They have witnessed the world’s first successful commercial jet liner, Russian’s Sputnik 1 and Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. Most recently, they have watched the advent of the Internet. This relates from 65 to 80 years of a different life experience than a much younger generation.

Even though this significant segment of our population was virtually bypassed by the technology revolution, they are now finding it increasingly necessary to have computer skills.

So, they are refusing to be left behind. In fact, many seniors are finding new computer gadgets — including the iPad — to be both useful and stimulating.

“Apple’s iPad offers a simplified experience with technology,” says J.C. Capron, Certified Apple Instructor. “Computers have menus buried within menus. Options over more options. It’s chaos. The iPad eliminates all that while offering access to the same features and services found on today’s computers. Sending an email, there are five buttons. No menus — five simple buttons. Easy.”

For new iPad users, who have never owned an iPhone or iPod Touch, simple things like finding good apps, installing them, organizing them or even deleting them might seem like insurmountable tasks. Fortunately, Capron will be at the Traverse City location of the Senior Center Network for iPad classes. The classes by CityMac will be on two Wednesdays, March 20 and April 17, from 1 to 2 pm.

Research shows that older people can learn to use computers as effectively as anyone else, although seniors don’t necessarily learn in the same way. Most seniors thrive in a supportive setting that provides hands-on learning and translates the unfamiliar language of high-tech into everyday words.

“Having taught Apple classes since 1992, I have developed a clear and concise method for translating techie topics, with analogies, allowing the “non-techie” to relate and understand,” Capron says. “Seniors need this method with encouragement, giving them confidence to explore what most of us take for granted.”

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