Computer Skills Keeps Boomers Connected

Way back in the day when your kids were in school, “computer science” class became part of the regular curriculum, which meant an entire generation studied code and how it could be used to program a computer (a big old thing with a green or orange flashing cursor on a gray or black screen) to perform simple tasks, like balance a checkbook or play “Pong”.

Today, it seems like children are born with the ability to use technology without fear. (If you’ve bought a new phone, television or tablet recently, you’ve likely enlisted the help of a pre-teen family member to set up your device). Meanwhile, those of us who were raised in the age of analog may have seriously considered installing rabbit-ear antennae and settling down with a good, old-fashioned paper book.

Since 1987, schools have recognized October as “Computer Learning Month,” which began as a way to focus on the growing role technology plays in students’ lives. But Active Adults can benefit from learning more than just the basics as well.

Research indicate that 80% of senior adult Americans own a personal computer, and approximately 60% of those use the Internet regularly, including about 36% who use social media. The majority of active adults report using their computers for email (91%) and sharing/storing photos (46%). (Source: Keyed Marketer Study, Feb-March 2013).

A growing number of Active Adults, however, enjoy shopping online, and find that doing so affords them more time to pursue leisure activities they enjoy. Also, in this highly mobile society, email and social media provide an easier way for Baby Boomers to stay in touch with family and friends, and to plan events such as school or family reunions or group vacations.

Community centers, senior centers and libraries offer free or low-cost classes for individuals over age 55 to learn basic or more advanced computer skills. In Cobb County, for example, a program called Computers4Seniors.org offers a seven-week PC Introduction Course that will introduce keyboard-shy Baby Boomers to the “fundamental terms, concepts, and skills needed to be confident PC users.”

The program also offers more advanced courses in word processing, “image processing”, the Internet, and software maintenance techniques.

Kennesaw State University’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, for individuals over age 50) program offers classes from purchasing a computer to basic introduction, through more advanced classes such as selling on Amazon and Ebay, and navigating social media. (http://ccpe.kennesaw.edu/olli)

Although personal computers and technology devices take up significantly less space than they once did (and are much more attractive than their predecessors), it’s still nice to have a space designated to working on the computer.

Homes in each Windsong community feature rooms designed with multiple uses in mind, such as a guest room that does double-duty as a home office, and a casita that makes a great media or hobby room. But be warned, the luxury features in your Windsong home might inspire you to take your computer savvy one step further and blog about your carefree lifestyle!

Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!

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