San Antonio senior citizens learn to use smartphones, tablets

1:59 PM, Feb 22, 2013   |    comments
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By Eric Gozales

SAN ANTONIO (KENS/CNN) - It's hard to imagine for some of the younger people who may be watching, but some of us were born before cell phones and computers.

In San Antonio, Texas, some older folks are learning how to use the devices their grandkids have grown up with.

It was a full house at the senior tech rally class that was held for seniors to learn all the ins and outs of the information age.

"I'm 95 and just starting out with the iPad," said Harris Shinn.

"We help older adults discover how to stay connected using text messaging, photo sharing, e-books, video calling," said Phillip Jordan of the Senior Tech Rally.

The classes were free to seniors and are sponsored by AARP and AT&T..

Nowadays, kids seem to pick up any device at any age and can master it, but seniors never grew up with these devices and now want to catch up.

"You literally just have to put the devices in their hands and just walk them through the basic features and from there they begin to have simple pleasures and small rewards along the way," said Jordan.

"I was a little leery about it at first and I really wasn't too thrilled, but now I am," said Dorothy Fitzsimon.

These guys catch on quick. At the beginning of the class two or three knew how to text. By noon everyone was.

Then it was on to navigating with the GPS on the smartphones.

"This little sucker showed us how to get from our house to here. I mean, dude, I like it," said Don Castellano.

Many of these folks just are happy to have the tools to connect with grandkids half way across the country.

"If they just remember one or two things from the whole day and they get over that fear factor, then we've accomplished our goal," said Jordan.

They now know the difference between a tablet and a smartphone and how to use them.

"I remember when the telephone was a party line," said Shinn.

These classes are being held across the country.



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