Seniors can learn how to use more features on their smartphones and tablets thanks to Tech Smart Seniors 3.0, a series of free, live online classes organized by the19th Ward office and BAPA to help seniors better use technology so they can enjoy more fulfilling connections with family, friends and neighbors while staying safe at home.
Now in its third year, the series will feature local experts Melody Camp and Claire DiCola for two concurrent training sessions, one for people with Apple devices and the other for people with Android devices.
“We created these classes specifically for the needs of seniors,” said 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea. “Our trainers will make it fun and easy for participants to use more features on the phones and tablets. We want to help people to connect safely even as social distancing limits our in-person connections with families, friends and neighbors.”
When registering for classes, participants will be asked to check a box indicating
whether they use Apple products including iPhone, iPad and iPodTouch or one of many different brands of Android devices including Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. This approach makes it possible for instructors to be more specific about how to use the features on certain devices.
“Smartphones and tablets have so many features, yet even experienced users only use a few instead of leveraging the power of what we hold in our hands,” said BAPA Executive Director Mary Jo Viero. “These classes can help participants use their devices more effectively.”
Participants may choose as many of the following classes as they like:
Connecting During 12 days Before Christmas, Thurs., Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m., covers how to set-up groups for emails and online group visits as well as how to take, save, share and print photos with a device, and how to look for and join Facebook groups.
Getting to Know Alexa or Echo Dot, Thurs., Jan, 7, 10:30 a.m., helps seniors explore how to set-up and use voice-activated devices to enjoy music, prompt reminders, create a shopping list, order on Amazon, or ask any kind of question from finding a quote from Shakespeare to getting a weather forecast.
Downloading Apps to Make Life Easier, Thurs., Jan. 28, 10:30 a.m., enables participants to discover how to easily access 19th Ward, City of Chicago and BAPA resources as well as how to set up and manage telehealth visits. The class will also cover how to set-up and manage accounts with DoorDash, Grub Hub, InstaCart and Uber Eats for food delivery.
Taking Safety and Security Measures, Thurs., Feb. 11, 10:30 a.m., covers how to stay safe online. Learn how to respond when someone offers to take your device to fix a problem; how to identify scam emails; how to delete and unsubscribe from unwanted emails; what to do if you make a mistake; and how to install Ring and other doorbells with security cameras.
Each 30-minute class is followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. Prior to each class, participants can send questions for the trainer. Class recordings, copies of instructions and helpful hints sheets that can be printed will be available at the 19th Ward and BAPA websites, making it easy for participants to review information, or for people not able to attend to review the presentation.
Register for classes at www.the19thward.com or www.bapa.org; click on the Tech Smart Seniors 3.0 section and fill in the form. All registered participants will receive an email with a link. Joining the class just takes one click. For help registering or for more details, call 773-238-8766.
Tech Smart Seniors 3.0 virtual classes are sponsored by State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, State Rep. Kelly Burke, State Rep. Justin Slaughter, Mercy Circle and Smith Village.