Virtual iPad Essentials Course will empower older adults to understand the basics of using an iPad;
Course instruction and materials will be presented in Mandarin, the third most commonly spoken language in Montgomery County.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Senior Planet Montgomery from AARP, Montgomery County, and the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center (CCACC) are kicking off a five-week Virtual iPad Essentials Course for older adults to learn the basics of how to use an iPad. The course instruction and materials will be presented in Mandarin, using Zoom.
Older adults in Montgomery County are meeting each other online to learn more than ever before. Since in-person activities closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 11,000 older adults have joined Senior Planet Montgomery’s over four hundred, multilingual virtual programs.
Senior Planet’s website seniorplanet.org hosts 75+ virtual classes every week, connecting 100,000+ older adults with free social opportunities and essential information. This is the first time that Senior Planet will offer an online five-week course, allowing participants to develop greater familiarity and build friendships as they learn together while staying safe and socially distanced over Zoom.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center in Montgomery County to bring an even more inclusive Senior Planet Montgomery experience to members of the Mandarin-speaking community,” said Senior Planet Executive Director Tom Kamber. “Our goal is to reach as many older adults as possible and we are particularly excited for this opportunity to bring the unique qualities and contributions of the Chinese community into Senior Planet programming. During these challenging times, this five-week course creates an opportunity for Senior Planet Montgomery participants to learn, socialize and build meaningful relationships over Zoom.”
“I felt very depressed and hopeless since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year. I immediately called CCACC to show my interest in joining the computer class,” said 76-year-old class participant and Silver Spring, Maryland resident Nancy Peng. “I learned the latest technologies and felt excited that I could still learn at this age. I would like to express my appreciation to my teachers and give special thanks to Liwen and Colin who patiently taught me to set up and use Gmail, and the meaning of the symbols in the computer.”
Senior Planet from AARP is a technology training program designed for learners 60 and older who are “aging with attitude.” This course furthers Senior Planet Montgomery’s and the County’s partnership with CCACC, hosting technology lectures once a week. Outside of English and Spanish, Chinese, including Mandarin, is the third most commonly language spoken in Montgomery County. Furthermore, in a study by NSHAP “Inequalities in Home Internet Access among Community-Residing Older Adults”, Asian-Americans of the foreign-born population are the most likely to be offline.
Senior Planet Montgomery plans to offer this five-week virtual course in English and Spanish in subsequent quarters later this year. In addition to the virtual course, participants can take advantage of office hours and a specific live hotline number created just for their course. These courses are possible in part from the Montgomery County Department of Technology Services and Office of Broadband Programs, as well as Senior Planet Montgomery staff and volunteers.
About Senior Planet from AARP
Senior Planet from AARP is a community of people 60 and older who are aging with attitude. Senior Planet’s free programs online and in six states across the country help older adults build technology skills to improve their health, make new friendships, save money, advocate in their communities, and thrive in the digital world. Senior Planet curriculum includes nearly 100 multi-week courses, lectures, and workshops. To learn more, visit www.seniorplanet.org or follow @SeniorPlanet on social media.
Photo caption: Older adult learners join the first session of the five-week course offered by Senior Planet Montgomery.