Here is another article from guest writer, Carol Bremner who has a great site at Creative Home Computing. She shares her experiences participating in computer clubs. And what benefits we can expect in membership or leadership of one. Check out her site when you get a chance.
These days, computer clubs are popping up in community centers and libraries all over the country. Older people are embracing technology like never before. Have you had a chance to experience a session at one of these clubs yet? Are you wondering if you would benefit from such a place?
My experience with computer clubs started about five years ago. I had seen firsthand how enjoyable computers could be and yet how intimidated many people felt about them. So I approached one of the community centers in the large city where I lived and asked if I could start a weekly club there for the members, most of whom were in the 50 plus age group. These centers are always looking for new programs so I started the next week.
We did have one little problem though. The center didn’t own any computers nor could they get them, and there was no Internet access. Not to be deterred, my mother and I both brought laptops for everyone to share. We had no idea what the response might be, but from the first session, there were always at least five or six people. Soon others brought their new laptops too. Then we all crowded around and learned to use Windows programs and any other software already installed.
Over time, the group learned together, friendships grew, and fear of computers became a thing of the past. We enjoyed creating houses in the paint program, discussed our problems, and talked about the latest software and gadgets. At one point I even created a board game that asked multiple choice computer questions of each of the players. A highlight for me was when an older gentleman mentioned how he had explained a computer concept to his amazed son. Then he told me it was because he remembered the question from when we had played the board game.
I’ve since moved to a smaller city, but one of the first things I did was contact the local community center and get a computer club going. If you are already computer savvy, there are people who would be so appreciative of your expertise. And if you don’t know your way around a computer at all, seek out one of these clubs and learn to use your machine. My current group has people who can barely move the mouse around and are just learning their way around the Internet. I also have members who are blogging away, adding photos, and having a great old time. And yes, we have computers.
You are never too old, too slow a learner or typist, or too anything to learn to master technology. Like I told everyone yesterday, “A computer is like a dog. It wants to know who is the master. So don’t allow it to intimidate you.” Dogs are much cuter and cuddlier, but you know what I mean. Now get out there and start showing that thing who’s boss. Then be sure and tell us your success stories.
Please comment on this article; we all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared. Carol and I would love to hear your interests and/or experiences with computer clubs.
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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.