“Most of the comments I hear from seniors is they want to learn what a computer is about so they don’t have to ask their husbands, wives or kids,” said Frank Padula, the center’s vice president and one of the instructors.
“They want to communicate. They want to get email. They want to connect with their kids. They want to get on Facebook. Most just want to be kept up-to-date a little bit.”
Classes and workshops range in skill level and subject matter. Beginner courses such as Computer Fundamentals and Basic 102 are popular classes, Padula said. Seniors can also learn photo editing programs, financial management programs or an introduction to popular websites such as eBay, Facebook and Ancestry.com.
“We do get some people who are looking for work and they want to know more about Word and Excel,” he said.
The sessions are all taught by volunteers. There is a nominal fee for students, which goes to cover software and hardware costs and other operating fees, Padula said. Classes this fall range from $15 to $65.
“The prices are extremely reasonable,” said student Sharyl Dawes.
Before beginning her first computer class at the center two years ago, she looked into another computer program where the costs ran about $400.
Dawes started out taking a genealogy class at the center.
When she got a new home computer after her old one crashed, she enrolled in classes to help her learn the new versions of Windows and Microsoft Office Suite. She is now enrolled in an Introduction to Picasa class where she is learning how to organize and edit photos.
“We’re at a stage where we’ve gathered a lot of photos but they’re not organized on our computers,” she said. “I had over 4,000 photos and those are only the digital ones.”
Dawes said taking the computer classes has been helpful for her to connect with family and create spreadsheets for organizations for which she volunteers.
Winter classes at the Roswell Adult Learning Center will begin in January. Registration is open.
A closer look:
For more information, call (770) 641-3950, visit the Adult Recreation Center at 830 Grimes Bridge Road in Roswell, or go online to www.roswellalc.org.