Everyone knows you’re never too old to LOL.
And after a six-week iPad training course that included lots of laughing out loud, a group of senior citizens in London is G2G — that’s “good to go,” according to a Bristol board on the classroom wall — when it comes to tablet technology.
Or at least they’re on their way. During the course at Hutton House Learning Centre, students over 55 — the oldest was 86 — learned how to use face time and Facebook, text message their kids and grandkids, do online searches, take pictures and videos with tablets and, of course, they Googled themselves.
“Look, there I am right there,” said the graduating class’s oldest student, 86-year-old Dinah Morrison, pointing to a link that popped up on the screen after she typed her name into Google.
Morrison, who retired from retail more than 30 years ago, had her first book published at 80. Since then she’s written others, including works of poetry. It’s no surprise her name pops up in a Google search or that she’d be among the first group of seniors to sign up for iPad training.
“It’s something for me to do, better than sitting around,” said Morrison, adding she loves downloading games. “I like solitaire.”
A few seats down from Morrison, Izabel Phillips said she wanted to communicate more with family back home in Brazil. “Now I can talk to them on Facebook,” she said.
Organizers hoped seniors would take the chance to become more tech-savvy, but were surprised by the course’s popularity.
Three spots for the first session filled up immediately — 33 people are to graduate next week — the next session is full and Hutton House is registering people for October.
“I was surprised at how many seniors wanted to learn about the iPad,” said employment specialist Lindsey Runhart, an iPad trainer.
During the free six-week program, students are taught basics — what buttons mean, tapping versus swiping — how to access WiFi and download apps, use cameras and social media.
“It’s a nice way to stay in touch with friends and family,” Runhart said.
Karen Steinmann, manager of employment and training, got the idea after seeing a tablet change her parents’ lives. She got funding from Westminster College and Employment Ontario.
She says her parents use the tablet to watch movies and keep up with grandchildren.