senior technologySeniors learn technology with volunteer

Volunteer Derrick Copeland believes three words stop many seniors from learning about modern technology – “give it here.”

Too often, he said, family members don’t have the patience to teach seniors how to use their smart phones or computers and they miss out on all the possible benefits. So he is using his skills as an adult educator to teach the seniors at the Adult Day Health Center.

“I have a passion for teaching,” Copeland said. “I want to introduce techonology to them.”

Each Friday he gathers with a group of seniors to explain how the technology works and how it can work for them. A recent session had him with a white board and a complex diagram of how the cellular network works.

His students piped up with questions about billing and led to a discussion of satellites and GPS. After the formal discussion, Copeland huddled with a man and show him how to adjust the voice settings on his phone so it would be easier for him to use.

“Classes like this are very helpful,” said Michael, a client. “Technology is out of this world and old folks have a hard time catching up.”

But Copeland thinks any gap is the fault of younger generations who don’t have the patience to teach.

“(Seniors) need to start saying ‘show me how,’” Copeland said. “They’re not incapable of learning. I want to bridge that gap.”

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