Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sign Up Now For Cornell Tech Adult 60 Years Old And Over Tech Literacy Course Beginning In March With Information Session February 28 - Prior Class Got Great Review

Cornell Tech will be hosting an 8 week Tech Literacy Course for Roosevelt Island adults 60 years of age and older at the Carter Burden Network Roosevelt Island Senior Center in March and beginning with an Information Session Friday February 28.

Cornell Tech Image From 2018 Roosevelt Island Seniors Tech Literacy Class

According to Cornell Tech Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations Jane Swanson:

A Tech Literacy Course for adults 60+

Is it right for you? Come and Find Out!

What: Information Session

When: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 Time: 2:00PM – 3:00PM


You already know how to use a computer and get on the internet. Wish you knew more? Learn how technology influences your daily life and how you can become a better digital citizen.

To Sign up for the Information Session Contact:
Jane Swanson 646-220-1505

Or Lisa Fernandez 212-980-1888

(The formal Tech Literacy classes will begin in MARCH and will be held twice a week for 8 weeks at the Senior Center, facilitated by a Graduate student from Cornell Tech.)

Roosevelt Island resident Jay Jacobson reported on the 2018 Cornell Tech Web Literacy course he took:
... about the Web Literacies course. It's been one of those serendipitous happenstances between the Island and Cornell Tech that reminds me of the reason for the interest of older folks in retiring to towns where educational institutions are located. The informal connections that residents get to have with activities at or around the institution provide opportunities to do or to learn things that are quite out of the ordinary.

Our young instructor, Vibhore Vardan,

Cornell Tech Image From 2018 Roosevelt Island Seniors Tech Literacy Class

first met a bunch of seniors in November of last year. While it was not clear at that session what we would be doing in a program entitled "Web Literacies", it was clear that those of us at that first session had computer skills ranging from adequate to absolute rookies. When the twice weekly meetings got under way in December, instructor Vibhore quickly helped us rookies by explaining, "This is a computer, and this is how you turn it on." I, for one, felt very empowered. And I decided that this was a program with which I wanted to continue.

While apprehensive at first at teaching a class of people who might qualify chronologically as his grandparents, Vibhore (who asked us to call him by his first name) showed us the elements of internet access. He helped us understand that a "browser" was not someone hanging out in a library trying to get a date with the librarian; that a "program" was something we could learn to use to get to do the things that we wanted to do on the computer; and that a "website" was something other than a place where Spiderman had frolicked.

Our group settled in at about eighteen consistent attendees. Vibhore began to learn some pedagogical techniques. He asked us --courteously and deferentially-- if we would make it a point to get to the instruction sessions on time. He accepted (but soon overcame) questions that we asked that were interesting to us but that were inconsistent with the syllabus that Vibhore had created. He started each session off with a review of the prior session. He gave us homework. He showed us techniques for finding information efficiently by making search engines work for us. We learned about protecting ourselves as we wandered about the internet, and the difference between secure and insecure sites.

And as the weeks passed, our one hour sessions began to expand. We couldn't cover all that we wanted to in 60 minutes. Nobody left. More questions were asked. Ten, then twenty, then thirty (!) minutes were being added to each session.

As we ended, we realized what a very effective teacher Vibhore had become. He is patient. He is knowledgeable. He recognizes that the terms that persons fluent in computer knowledge use are not useful to a bunch of senior neophytes. He invites questions and comments.

Each of Carter Burden, the Senior Association, and Vibhore has done a splendid job in giving a bunch of RI seniors the chance to learn a little more about 21st century communication technology. And to recognize that savior to people who have enjoyed writing, the magic of "spell-check".