Seniors tackle tablets
BY STEVEN WARBURTON
Staff When Maxville senior Cecilia Cassibo learned about a new tablet course being put on by the Tri-County Literacy Council, she jumped at the chance to take it.
“I took it because I wanted more information,” Ms. Cassibo explains. “I own an old Acer tablet but I would like to get a new one. I am thinking about an iPad.”
As such, Ms. Cassibo was one seven seniors attending the tablet literacy course at Maxville Manor on July 3. The literacy council says that the course runs over four weeks and, by the time it’s done, students should have a basic understanding of how to operate their tablets.
To young people who have been around such technology their entire lives, the lessons given by literacy instructor Eric Heward might seem fairly elementary. On this particular day, he is showing seniors how to use the tablet’s camera, how to access weather information and how to operate Google maps.
Mr. Heward’s instruction was both practical and ethical. He warned his students about taking pictures of other people, especially when hooked up to the internet.
“That picture can wind up on the cloud,” he said. “It will be harder to remove than from your tablet.”
Although the seniors enjoyed the camera function, it was Google Maps that excited them the most. Mr. Heward pointed out that they can use the app to find nearby restaurants, gas stations, and other points of interest. As an example, he had the students look up the nearby Kilted Canuck pub and discovered it was only a nine-minute walk from the manor.
The Tri-County Literacy Council received a grant from New Horizons for Seniors that enabled it to start the course as a pilot project in November. Mr. Heward says that tablets are the easiest way to introduce seniors to digital technology.
Today, Tri-County owns 10 Samsung tablets, which it uses for the course. Samsung was picked due its affordability and its user-friendly model.
For her part, Maxville resident Christina Jans is looking forward to growing more proficient with her tablet. She hopes to use its communications functions, like video chatting, to stay in touch with her family in Holland.
TABLET TALK: Maxville’s Christina Jans and Apple Hill’s Janice McIntosh took part in a tablet course put on by the Tri-County Literacy Council at Maxville Manor last week.