Joe N. is no stranger to technology. He worked as a trainer for Radio Shack in the early 1980s. He also spent 25 years as an adjunct professor at Columbia College in Chicago teaching introduction to the computer.
“I can really resonate with Wade as he’s teaching technology. I pick up tips from Wade and Scott to incorporate into my computer club. I know I start in the middle of tech explanations and the folks at GetSetUp assume there is no knowledge base. That’s a good thing because usually there are folks who need help to get to the right point.”
Joe has worked training adults on basic computer concepts for over 30 years. He's been semi-retired since 2012, but he stays busy. Now at 72, he is a member of the computer club, teaches Tai Chi to private students in the park, and even tried a GetSetUp class Tai Chi class in Mandarine. Joe averages about 2 GetSetUp classes a day. Plus he’s taking on a new role as an interest group leader on the topic of Netspeak - Tricks for Using the Internet. As an active social media user on platforms like Facebook, Joe knows the importance of separating truths from fiction.
“When someone says something I don’t just accept it. If I see something that’s really strange I’ll go out and research.”
Joe credits his inquisitive nature and the need to fact-check to one of his teachers who used to fact-check all the students’ research paper references at the library back before there were computers. Joe plans to help teach people how to differentiate between what’s real or not to facilitate their use of the internet. He thinks that being able to tell real news from fake news is essential. He believes learning to fact check is an essential skill that should be taught in school especially since not everything on the internet is trustworthy. With his tips for navigating the internet not only will learners understand how to source quality information, but they will also learn the latest internet resources and uses.
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Joe first got connected with GetSetUp through AgeGuide his local area on aging agency.
“AgeGuide has been really good to me. They have a senior expo in August where I got on their mailing list. That same month I got a letter that they had a pilot program that provided a free tablet with free internet service. They are doing a study to see if seniors would get involved.”
Joe knew AgeGuide was a trusted resource in his local area. He merely filled out the application and got a free tablet. The only thing he had to do was answer a basic questionnaire and take three training classes via Zoom. These classes introduced him to using his tablet and to GetSetUp for ongoing training, practice, and learning opportunities. He took his first class on Brain Games in February and has taken over 165 classes since.
“GetSetUp has really expanded my horizons so much. I’m very impressed with the teachers and their knowledge base.”
He enjoyed classes on Google Maps versus Waze, Excel, and photography. He attends regular classes like the mystery book club and Scott’s photography classes. Scott has a regular following of learners who all know each other and enjoy interacting. Plus even though the learners are all over the world, including some from England and Germany, they have enjoyed connecting over their shared love of photography.
“I think the greatest benefit is the diversity of the classes GetSetUp offers. It’s not just learning technology it is the whole social aspect of the platform that makes it unique.”
Joe knows it is important to keep your brain engaged for healthy aging. Like many older adults, he tries to stay active both mentally and physically.
“It’s real easy to find yourself isolated. Classes give you a chance to keep your brain alive and active. Plus the social aspect of interacting with people is important as well.”
Joe has found that each Guide has a different persona and way to approach a topic. Though he feels all of them cover the material really well in an hour.
“Instructors are so supportive and non-judgmental. When people have questions that are very fundamental, they are very patient. They do a really good job!”
So take the next step to see what you can learn on a variety of topics and in a variety of languages.
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