Los Angeles Times: Program Teaches Computer Skills to Older Generation

The Los Angeles Times featured Pace’s “gerontechnology” program headed by computer science professor Jean Coppola on the same day that she was honored by Cerebral Palsy of Westchester which declared today “Jean Coppola Day” for the work she does teaching technology to older adults. Coppola was also recently named one of Computerworld’s 2012 laureates.

The Los Angeles Times featured Pace’s “gerontechnology” program headed by computer science professor Jean Coppola on the same day that she was honored by Cerebral Palsy of Westchester which declared “Jean Coppola Day” for the work she does teaching technology to older adults. Coppola was also recently named one of Computerworld’s 2012 laureates.

The Los Angeles Times featured two versions of the story – one on the front page of the print edition and one in the technology section. The stories have been picked up by web sites and TV stations nationwide.

From the LA Times:

Thirty senior citizens squeezed around a long table designed for about 20, the crush made tighter by canes, walkers and wheelchairs. As late arrivals wriggled between others in search of a seat, snippets of conversation floated from the chatty crowd.

“I don’t have a computer. I don’t have any of that Google stuff,” one exasperated woman said. “Facebook? What’s that?” another asked loudly, to no one in particular. “It’s a program. It’s a computer program,” a man responded knowingly, displaying a confidence rarely seen in the 75-and-over age group when talk turns to laptops, PCs, iPads, smartphones and all that comes with them.

That’s why these seniors had gathered at the Hallmark, their assisted-living facility in Lower Manhattan. They wanted to begin the task of catching up with a technical world whose rapid-fire evolution has left much of America’s oldest generation isolated from its children, grandchildren and tech-savvy friends.

“It’s so hard to do. But at least I’ve stopped crying,” said Roz Carlin, 92, speaking for many as she described breaking down in tears when she first tried using a computer. Like most of the students, Carlin initially resisted the technology until her daughter forced the issue by giving her an iPad.

Now, after mastering email, she was back to learn more.

Their teachers were students from New York’s Pace University who earn credits participating in a program to bridge the gap created by the computer age.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.

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