by Nick Radesca
Seniors, listen up! Do you want to join the tech revolution? Perhaps you already own a computer, a digital camera or an IPod and want to learn more? Well then SeniorNet is your answer because only it employs a training model developed specifically for you – SeniorNetics.
SeniorNet is an international not-for-profit organization founded over twenty years ago in San Francisco. Since its inception nine years ago, our award-winning center in Huntington has taught nearly 4,900 students at its modern facility located in the Family Service League Building at 790 Park Avenue. The Huntington center’s success is certainly attributable to the wonderful volunteers who give the program life, but for prospective students we need to look at the special way SeniorNet approaches training which I call “SeniorNetics.”
1. Students, instructors and coaches must be at least 50 years old. (Finally, a youngster-free zone!)
2. All classes are small in size with no more than 13 students and are slow-taught by a caring team of volunteers – one instructor plus one or more coaches. While the instructor teaches, the coaches provide students with personalized guidance during the lesson. (Nice idea - seniors helping seniors. Right?)
3. The classroom is equipped so that each student has use of a modern computer during the entire lesson. (No Sharing – I hate sharing!)
4. Each student is provided an easy to follow step-by-step tutorial manual for further lesson practice at home. (School and homework, you know, as the song says they go together like …)
5. Classes are only given on weekdays during the daytime (my alert time) and are usually 2½ hours long.
6. It’s practically a university! There are four semesters a year in which students can register for a wide-range of basic and advanced courses or workshops in the use of computers, digital cameras/photography and even the IPod. Courses usually consist of four or eight weekly classroom sessions while workshops have only one or two sessions.
7. The cost is nominal because everyone involved is a volunteer. (That’s right we work for free. Crazy? Not really, my fellow volunteers will tell you that our service earns us far more than money and we’re always looking for more volunteers. Interested?) That said, there are other costs and to cover them there is an annual membership fee of $ 40 and per course/workshop fees ranging from $25 to $60.
8. Membership has its privileges. Once a member of the SeniorNet family, you can attend special monthly meetings at no additional cost where members are helped with computer issues. In addition members obtain software discounts and upgrades from National SeniorNet Headquarters.
You do have choices. You can try evening classes at your library or those training CDs you see advertised on TV, but now that you understand SeniorNetics, you’ll have to agree that it’s the best ticket to the present. So what are you waiting for? SeniorNet @ FSL Huntington can be reached at (631) 427-3700 Ext. 268 or 235. Watch for our flyers and announcements. You can, however, meet us earlier than that and even get a tour by calling the above number.