All of us at Little House’s Tech Center were excited when we recently received a generous donation of ten iPads. They were provided by an organization run by high school students in the San Francisco area. They fix up iPads and give them to nonprofits, like Little House. It’s a great opportunity to help introduce seniors to new kinds of technology.
Noviaris, the organization that has provided Little House with iPads, has donated over two hundred iPads to different nonprofits since they were formed last year. They believe that digital inclusion is a right, and they are working to ensure that everyone has access to technology. Providing iPads to Little House is part of their goal to reduce the digital divide. They also hope to help seniors feel less isolated by connecting them with friends and family across the country and around the world. Noviaris founder and student Maya Claire Villasenor is excited to be working with Little House. “I’m thrilled that Noviaris is providing devices to seniors at Little House. Mobile technology has been instrumental in helping me stay in touch with my grandparents, who live almost 400 miles away. Every day we exchange interesting articles, send words of encouragement, or catch up using FaceTime. I hope seniors at Little House can use technology to make similar connections to their families.” Their generous donation has become an essential part of our tech program here at Little House.
The iPads are already making a difference in the classroom. Some of the students enrolled in the iPad class are taking them home and learning how to use them. Others are using iPads here at Little House. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the technology and decide whether to purchase one. iPads are an ideal device for seniors. Because of their touch screen some people find them easier to use than traditional computers. Those who are already familiar with iPhones find the switch to iPads an easy transition. It’s a great way to stay in touch with family and friends.
Student Lennis Hansen has found the class very helpful. “I’ve been reluctant to tell other people that I didn’t know how to use my iPad. I was afraid to get help. But by being patient and treating everyone like adults, going to the class made things simple and easy to understand for me and everyone else.” Now she can use Facebook, check her email, and communicate with family using her iPad.
Social isolation is an important reason for improving tech skills. According to AARP, almost 40 percent of adults 65 and over say they experience significant loneliness. This problem is compounded when younger family members use social media and smart phones as their primary method of communication. By learning to use iPads or taking a Social Media class at Little House, older family members can see photos of grand kids and join the conversation. At Little House, we are proud to provide new ways to help out all members and guests connect with friends and family by using technology. Tech tutors can help anyone learn how to use these new tools and become more comfortable with technology. If you or someone you love has questions about iPads or any other kind of technology, stop by the tech lab space. We offer classes every week; come in to Little House and sign up today. Please call 650-326-2025 for more information.