The nonprofit ‘Senior Computer School’, formerly SeniorNet Sacramento Northeast, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of helping older adults in Sacramento navigate the world of computers. Representing the fact that aging baby boomers resent the cliché that older adults can’t handle anything digital.
Many seniors still need computer instruction even after a quarter-century of living in the digital age. Most of them using computers their grown kids handed down to them or their grandkids insisted they buy. Sitting at one of the banks of monitors some still ask instructors how to turn the machines on. “They want to learn, but many know next to nothing,” said Dan Cordoba, 76, a retired state employee that has volunteered with the Carmichael-based program since 2004.
Several hundred students attend classes each year, thousands have used its programs since doors opened in 1990. Back then computers were still a rarity among many businesses and most households, but that’s when some forward-thinking educators decided older people should learn to use technology.
Joe D’Alexander, 84, Senior Computer School’s longtime executive director said, “People weren’t accustomed to using computers then like they are now.” Staffed by volunteers, the program has recently lost instructors to illness and death, as a result they have cut back on class offerings.
“As with any other activity, seniors should be involved with computers to the fullest extent they can be,” said Cordoba. “We want seniors to be active and know what’s going on in the world. We feel it’s important for them to use the computer and keep up with what’s going on.” Some go online to find out what’s up with grandchildren through email, and on Facebook. Some want to learn about spreadsheets so they can keep track of bowling league scores.
D’Alexander said, “They’re learning they can’t exist in today’s environment without understanding computers.”
Read Article (Anita Creamer | sacbee.com | 01/19/2015)
Towards the end of this article it says, “Over time, as the computer-literate population slowly grows older, the need for computer classes geared toward seniors stands to diminish.” This was also the belief in 1990, and spawned “We will age out of the digital divide.”
This belief is not true, since 1990 the number of seniors needing tech assistance has actually doubled because of a continuing number of middle aged individuals that are also non-techie. Which is why, since 1990 the population of non-techie older adults has grown, not diminished. This is also a major reason for this campaign.
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