Sunday, August 22, 2010

Computer Idea sharing

r. thomas

For a long time I have been helping folks understand their computers and advocating the change that comes with that knowledge. Mostly, I am concerned with those that were not caught by the computer revolution in their preretirement employment. These folks have slipped through the cracks and have become information starved and remain so because it seems so overwhelming a task to learn how to use one of these new fangled machines.

I tried teaching classes at the clubhouse but that was not the formula that was needed. Probably, because folks start out by wanting to do one thing on the machine and didn't want to use up precious retirement time having to learn all the basics.

So, we had an informal group that met to talk about (show and tell) what we had learned.. That was interesting from a hobbyist point of view. But it only attracted a few people that had laptop computers that they could bring with them to the clubhouse for "show and tell" sessions. That was fun for me and I learned a thing or three too. Wayne Hill (resident) has asked if we could start up such a group again. Sounds like fun but only for some.

Once a lady came to the meeting without a laptop and she wanted to learn how to just do one thing on her home computer... collect and organize recipes. We all spent a lot of time showing her the ropes and I'm not sure we did not confuse the heck out of her in the process. But, she left with the knowledge that what she wanted could be done. Later, much later, the lady asked if I could come to her house and show her how to do something on the computer... I did and apparently, she got it and I haven't heard from her again.

Time marched on and to date I find myself going to neighbors throughout the community and helping them understand the one thing they want to know about their computer. Others have computer glitzes and we try and help get them out of trouble and back on track. Sometimes we offer advice over the phone.

The thing is there seems to me to be 3 kinds of learning about computers here epitomized by the following statements:
  • I just want to know how to do....
  • Hey, let's meet and find out new things to do on the computer.
  • Can you come and fix.....?
I am thinking right now about the long rainy season ahead and wonder if there is interest in having an informal group of laptop people meet at the clubhouse to drink coffee and help each other understand new stuff and folks that just want to know how to do one thing?

On the right side of this page is a poll... Please mark it up to show your interest. The questions are in black and hard to read so I want to know how to fix that.. :)

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