PHOTO | Montgomery County Dept. of Recreation

Wheaton High School Students Spend Spring Break Teaching Seniors About Technology (PHOTOS)

Students from Wheaton High School spent spring break teaching seniors about technology. Thirteen students, who are members of the Wheaton High School IT Magnet Program, coached seniors on how to use computers, phones and social media.

The Jewish Council on Aging’s Heyman Interages Center along with the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, conducted classes on aging and communication with seniors for 22 Wheaton High School students before this week’s technology courses. The students then came up with a curriculum for two technology courses for seniors to be taught over three days during spring break at the Schweinhaut Senior Center in Silver Spring.

PHOTO | Montgomery County Recreation

PHOTO | Montgomery County Recreation

Thirteen students out of the original group of 22, volunteered to teach the courses which included lessons on computer basics for those in the entry level course as well as social media, internet use, video calling and smartphone tutorials for seniors in the advanced course.

Amanda DeFelippo is the director of the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center.

“The purpose of the Tech Connect Program is to connect the older adults and teens together through technology. Hopefully the seniors walk away with knowledge of their computers and phones,” DeFelippo said. “It will help reduce isolation and allow them to do things they need to to such as ordering groceries online or connecting with family and friends through email and Facebook.”

The students earned student service learning (SSL) credits for their participation but, not everyone wanted to participate to earn credits. Wilmer Flores, a tenth grader at Wheaton High School was excited to participate in the program. Flores said that he had already achieved the required amount of SSL credits for this year and wanted to make a difference.

PHOTO | Montgomery County Recreation

PHOTO | Montgomery County Recreation

“I wanted to be able to help the community and be part of something that I believe in. I liked how this program connected two different generations,” Flores said. It gives me the opportunity to learn from the elderly and share everything that I’ve learned about technology in school.”

Betty Kramer, a resident of Rockville, was one of 30 seniors who signed up for the classes.

“I brought out my old fashion flip phone. I didn’t know what the symbols on the top meant and I also learned how to use the camera,” Kramer said. “I’m going out west next month and I look forward to taking pictures of the Grand Canyon. I’m very happy and it was a pleasure to meet kids who have known all this [since] when they were young.”

Willie James Inman

About Willie James Inman

Willie James Inman is a Community Engagement Specialist and Multimedia Journalist at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at winman@mymcmedia.org or reach him on Twitter @imwilljames.

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