Computer classes a hit with seniors

Matt
Matt Gardner
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A class teaching the basics of computer use has drawn an enthusiastic response from area seniors.

Registration starts on Wednesday for next month’s introductory computer class for seniors at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library. Basic Mousing takes place on Jan. 8 and Basic Internet Searching on Jan. 22, with each lesson running from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Program services supervisor Tara McKay, who teaches the senior computer classes each month at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, said the lessons have struck a chord since they began last year.

“We found that they were a great hit with seniors … Their grandkids are using all these devices and they want to take the time to be able to connect with them,” McKay said.

“Social media is a big thing,” she added. “Their families are far away, so they want to know, ‘How do I get on Facebook? How do I get on just different sites? How do I send an email? How do I send pictures?’”

Registration starts on Wednesday for next month’s class, which is divided into two sessions that each run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Basic Mousing takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 8, while Basic Internet Searching follows two weeks later on Jan. 22.

“When you register, you sign up for both,” McKay said.

“If they already know how to use a mouse and they don’t want to come to that class, that’s fine as well. But it’s meant for just like a basic introduction for seniors.”

The first class, Basic Mousing, teaches students what a mouse is and how it works, including the different parts of the mouse.

A mouse tutorial helps seniors learn how to perform actions such as double-clicking, copying and pasting, and dropping and dragging onscreen items.

“It takes about 20 minutes when we go through the basic parts of a mouse and how to move it around, getting them to not lift it up,” McKay said. “The double-clicking takes a few minutes to get the hang of how to quickly double-click, and then the tutorial runs about 45 minutes.

Their grandkids are using all these devices and they want to take the time to be able to connect with them. Tara McKay

“Some are faster than others,” she noted. “So some may be done within an hour and some may need a little bit longer time.”

The second class, Basic Internet Searching, focuses on teaching students how to navigate the Web.

“We do basic Internet searches and teach them how to use Google or Bing and get onto things like different news sites, how to get onto Facebook,” McKay said.

“At that point I can take time to teach them how to use an email, and then if they have extra questions after, they need some more help, then we set aside time for a little bit of one-on-one.”

While classes so far have concentrated on the fundamental aspects of computer use, McKay has also taught more advanced classes, which tend to be based on demand.

“We have done things such as the eReader class and we have done things as basic iPad,” McKay said. “We’ve also done Facebook.”

The senior computer class runs on a monthly basis and continues until June. A limit of 10 people may attend the class each month.

Anyone interested in registering should contact the library at (306) 763-8496.

Organizations: John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, Google

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