Journal News and Patch.com: Pace University Students Aid Others by Integrating Technology Into Daily Life

Three computer science students in Professor Jean Coppola’s class were featured in articles in The Journal News and on White Plains and Rye Patch.com. (Left: A Kensington Assisted Living resident using an iPad, one of the devices Nicole Morandi and Janelle Wallace teach those living at the home how to navigate. / Nicole Morandi)

Three computer science students in Professor Jean Coppola’s class were featured in articles, about their work helping older adults, in The Journal News and on White Plains and Rye Patch.com.

From The Journal News:

“Through a combination of volunteerism and invention, three students from Pace University have created a way for those with disabilities to comfortably approach technology.

A project for Nicole Morandi, Jennifer Simon and Janelle Wallace’s class, “Computers, Hardware and Troubleshooting” inspired them to give back to people in need.

These women wanted to help those who are physically impaired and decided to do this by making tablet and electronic reading devices more accessible. They replaced the usual metal or plastic stylus pen cover with a soft exterior. The pointers, called “Smile Gear” comes in multiple colors, are flexible and accessible for people with limited hand mobility.

“Not only are they an aid to these individuals, but it will also boost their confidence by putting a smile on their faces and making them feel ‘cool’ about using it,” Simon and Wallace said in a joint statement.

Morandi and Wallace have also been visiting the Kensington Assisted Living in White Plains. Each week they meet with four residents with early to moderate stages of dementia for one-on-one computer lessons. The students have been teaching these elderly individuals how to use their iPads and send emails to relatives.

Another group member, Simon volunteered with Cerebral Palsy of Westchester, N.Y., where she helped to resolve hardware problems for an attendee having troubling using his wheelchair-adapted iPad. Previously, the iPad would easily fall off the chair, but Simon and CPW staff secured the device by adding an additional part. Simon then found and donated the piece so that the problem would be resolved permanently.

Visit their websites to learn more.”

Read the full articles in The Journal News and on Patch.com.

Pace University Students Aid Others by Integrating Technology Into Daily Life – White Plains, NY Patch.

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.

Market Watch/The Wall Street Journal: Annual Computerworld Honors Program Names 2012 Laureates

Market Watch, part of the Wall Street Journal’s digital network, ran a press release from Computerworld on the Global Information Technology Awards for individuals and organizations that use information technology to benefit society. Pace Professor Jean Coppola, from the Seidenberg School for Computer Science and Information Systems, was honored for her work teaching technology to older adults.

Market Watch, part of the Wall Street Journal’s digital network, ran a press release from Computerworld on the Global Information Technology Awards for individuals and organizations that use information technology to benefit society. Pace Professor Jean Coppola, from the Seidenberg School for Computer Science and Information Systems, was honored for her work teaching technology to older adults.

From the press release:

Computerworld Honors Program, honoring visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change, has selected 200 Laureates for 2012. These individuals will be commemorated during the Annual Laureates Medal Ceremony & Gala Awards Evening on June 4, 2012 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

For over two decades, The Computerworld Honors Program has recognized individuals and organizations who create and use information technology to promote and advance public welfare, contribute to the greater good of society and change the world for the better. The 2012 award categories are:
—  Collaboration
—  Digital Access
—  Economic Development
—  Emerging Technology
—  Environment
—  Health
—  Human Services
—  Innovation
—  Safety & Security
—  Training/Education

Read the rest of the article at Market Watch.

MarketWatch

 

NPR: Tutors Teach Seniors New High-Tech Tricks

Pace students who tutor seniors in local retirement homes and are prepped with sensitivity training were featured on NPR. (Left: Brittany Beckett, a Pace student, and Muriel Cohen work together at United Hebrew of New Rochelle.)

Seidenberg professor Jean Coppola’s gerontechnology program was featured on NPR among a number of programs across the country with experts to help “usher older adults into the digital age.”

From NPR:

At Pace University in New York, college students who tutor seniors in local retirement homes are prepped with sensitivity training.

“They get to feel what it’s like to be 70, 80, 90 years old,” says associate professor Jean Coppola, who directs the program. “They wear specially prepared glasses that give them different visual impairments.”

Coppola also has students do things like tape two fingers together — to simulate the effects of arthritis or a stroke — then try to navigate a mouse. By the time they’re at the computer with an elder, she says, they’re not frustrated at all.

“They’ll say something a hundred times because they’ve worn cotton balls or earplugs in their ear,” she says. “They understand that they have to speak up, articulate their words.”

Coppola says the whole thing is a bonding experience for both generations. Applause often breaks out the first time a senior receives an email. Some have been able to see new grandchildren for the first time through emailed photos.

Pamela Norr, in Oregon, says young trainers also gain new confidence. They see that the seniors are “not criticizing me for the way I dress,” she says, “or clucking their tongue. They’re actually respecting me for the knowledge base that I have.”

Perhaps most unexpected, some teen trainers and seniors have even become friends. They keep in touch long after class ends — through Facebook, of course.

via Tutors Teach Seniors New High-Tech Tricks : NPR.

The Tribeca Trib: College Students Take Octogenarians Into the Internet Age

Jean Coppola’s gerontechnology class and their elder students’ graduation were featured in an article in the Tribeca Trib. (Left: Roz Carlin, with her iPad, in her Hallmark apartment. Carl Glassman/Tribec Trib).

Jean Coppola’s gerontechnology class and their elder students were featured in an article in the Tribeca Trib.

An excerpt from the Tribeca Trib:

One after another, the graduates and their teachers came forward to accept their certificates and testify to the joys of entering the Internet age.

Gleefully, they spoke of going on Facebook, Skyping and connecting with family members who are too busy to talk on the phone but find time for email.

“Thank you, my little Josh!” said Blossom Licht, looking up at her teach­er, Josh Dansky. “I got my own email address. I?learned to shop online!”

“I’m shocked that I made it,” ex-claimed Dorothy Campbell, standing beside her grinning instructor, Evelyn Shaw. “My last experience with anything mechanical was the electric typewriter. I really didn’t want to learn the computer.”

Then again, Campbell insisted that her MacBook Air was not a true computer. “Because a computer can understand if you hate it!” she said.

Campbell thanked her teacher for bearing with her, but Shaw replied that it was all fun. “By the end of the lessons I?didn’t have to teach her anything,” she told the audience. “So we would just hang out and go on the Internet.”

Edith Barth was another of Josh Dansky’s students, and she put her arm around him as she spoke.

“I enjoyed this class no end. I was sad when he left. But he said if I have any problems, ‘Call me.’ I have his name and number on my refrigerator.”

Dansky smiled.

“She’s a great student,” he said. “She learns fast. Her greatest problem is that she doubts herself.”

“I’m going to miss him,” Barth said.

“I’m going to miss her,” he said.

From the back of the room, the Pace students’ professor and the co-founder of the program, Jean Coppola, of the university’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, couldn’t stop smiling. She had heard it all many times before.

The school’s gerontechnology program, begun in 2005, is the prototype for many schools around the country.

“We keep track of the older adults’ cognitive functions, self-image, depression,” Coppola said, adding that studies show that as seniors become more techno­logically savvy, they have an in­creased sense of well-being and stay more alert.

The studies also track the college students’ changing attitudes toward older people. Before the course started, Cop­­pola said, “some of them blogged that ‘Old people are mean and smelly.’” Those prejudices disappear too, she said.

To prove it, there were lots of hugs and kisses and promises to meet again.

“The class was on­ly one semester,” Dan­sky told Licht. “You have my email if you need anything.”

After receiving her certificate, Fran­ces Berrick turned to her teacher, Sam Eaton. “Thank you so much, Sam,” she said. “I finally know what I’m doing. I have the confidence to use a computer without the teacher.”

“I definitely made a new friend,” Eaton announced.

Read the full article:

The Tribeca Trib – College Students Take Octogenarians Into the Internet Age.

Patch.com: United Hebrew Seniors Completed Computers Classes

Students from Professor Jean Coppola’s inter-generational computing classes helped another class of senior citizens learn computer skills.

Patch.com captured the excitement of the residents of United Hebrew nursing home of New Rochelle when they donned mortarboards and received diplomas Monday to celebrate the completion of the fall 2011 Gerontechnology Computer Class.

From New Rochelle Patch.com:

Earlier in the year, residents from United Hebrew’s nursing home, assisted living facility and senior housing were paired with Pace University students to learn computer skills, said Linda Forman, vice president of community relations at United Hebrew.

“This helps residents feel they are not left behind,” she said, “that they can learn a new skill at their age.”

Forman said the students working with the seniors form close friendships “that last beyond the class.”

Soundview Senior Apartments resident James Flynn completed the classes.

“It was just interesting,” he said. “I thought it would be helpful to learn something new—expanding my horizons.”

Flynn said he plans on using the computer to keep better informed about his financial investments.

The program is done in cooperation with Pace University.

Jean Coppola, assistant professor in the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, said the seniors and the students benefit from the program.

She said that data from the program found both made significant changes.

“On the senior end, there’s an increase in cognitive function and a decrease in depression,” Coppola said.

Nick Staropoli, 21, is a Pace University junior studying finance. He said he’d been helping his grandfather learn the computer so it wasn’t too difficult transitioning his teaching ability to United Hebrew’s residents.

Staropoli said the experience has given him more patience and a better ability to develop relationships.

“I also have a better understanding of the ways the elderly think and take in information,” he said.

Working with the seniors also helped him to think on his feet and figure out different ways to present what he’s trying to teach.

All in all, Staropoli enjoyed the classes.

“It was fun,” he said.

Read the original article here:

United Hebrew Seniors Completed Computers Classes – New Rochelle, NY Patch.

Wall Street Journal, Business Wire, and Patch:”Teens Helping Seniors Learn Tech Skills”

In an aging society, Professor Jean Coppola’s work training students to help older people learn computing struck with various news media. In the last 2 months she has been covered in the Wall Street Journal, Business Wire, Phillyburbs.com and the New Rochelle Patch.

In an aging society, Professor Jean Coppola’s work training students to help older people learn computing struck with various news media.
Coppola has most recently been interviewed in a Wall Street Journal article, but in the last 2 months she has also been covered in Business Wire, Phillyburbs.com and the New Rochelle Patch.

Read the most recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Take a look at Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science here.