Seniors learn basics of using a computer

For Charmaine Harris, not knowing how to use the computer doesn't mean she can't learn.

That's why Harris and other seniors at the Jacksonville Senior Center are taking their time and starting with the basics.

"How to turn it on, how to turn it off, how to get the internet up, how to get the internet to turn off and what a computer does and how it can help them connect with their family," senior adult program director Wendy Bussey explains.Bussey says in this highly technical age, seniors are wanting to be connected to their families.

Especially to their grandchildren. "They hear about Facebook, they see Facebook, they see all these symbols and icons and they want to know, what does it mean?" says Bussey.While staying connected has served as motivation for many seniors, there's still a degree of uncertainty. "I had some seniors that were excited about them and some seniors that say I want to do them, but I'm scared," Bussey says.Bussey uses simple methods to explain how a computer works and how to go online. She explains it as, "This is a book, every time you click, you've opened up a page, if you want to go back, you turn the page back."The seniors are taught in groups of three.

One is on the computer, another takes notes, the third observes and offers support.

Bussey says like any class, note taking is a key part of learning."What they can do is they can sit back down at their table or wherever they are and they can say 'when I was on the computer, how did I do this?' and they can flip back through their notes," she says.To make the learning process easier, a checklist of tasks sits next to the computer, allowing the user to make sure each task is done to properly operate the computer.

As with any class there are rules. Also, a reminder that 'there are no dumb questions'.Bussey says, "That's the one rule we have, we will not do it for you, you have to figure it out."

If you are interested in connecting your loved one with a computer training course, several are offered nearby.

Hoover Public Library: (205)-444-780

Pelham Public Library (205)-620-6418{}

Birmingham Public Library: (205)-933-8698

Anniston Public Library: (256) 237-8501

Hoover Senior Center: (205)-739-6700

Homewood Senior Center: (205)-332-6500{}

Jacksonville Senior Center: (256) 435-8115