In todayís world, the computer is an essential resource that connects its user to the world. Itís especially important for senior citizens and individuals with special needs to understand how to properly use this tool. It helps them to communicate with the outside world, family and friends; keeps their minds working and challenged day by day; and allows users to research medications and get answers to medical questions. The nonprofit Computer Generations agrees that it is critical for this particular demographic to feel part of society and to be able to reach out to families and friends around the world via the Internet.
As the importance of computer literacy grows more vital with the growth of technology, Computer Generations aims to provide all people with computer education through a variety of classes and programs. Seminars are also available for senior citizens and those with special needs. Computer Generationsí goal is to equip patrons with the computer and telecommunication skills necessary to succeed in our society.
Courses offered by the organization help people of all abilities. Two examples of classes include Computer 101: Introduction and Internet 301: Introduction. Computer 101 gets students comfortable with the computer and teaches them to type, save, edit and print documents using Microsoft Word. Intermediate and advanced classes are available, as well.
Internet 301 informs students what the information highway is all about. Users become familiar with Internet terminology and the tools used to surf the web. Additional courses are available on using scanners, digital cameras and scrapbooking.
Taking courses at Computer Generations leads to success for many. Former student Charlotte Johnson was awarded first prize in the Nonprofessional Computer Art Category in the 2003 New Jersey Senior Citizen Juried Art Center and Competition in Flemington. Johnson created her computer art entry with the skills learned in Computer 101. Diane OíConner, another former student who struggled to be included in her high school classes in Haddonfield, learned how to use assistive technology to help her become a part of her school classes. OíConner created her first web design and now runs her own company creating personalized cards online.
These low-cost courses are made available to senior citizens through donations. Over the years, companies such as CTB Systems, Collingswood Municipal Alliance, Comcast, Microsoft, Haddonfield Civic Association and Haddonfield Social League, Haddonfield Foundation, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Raphael Webscapes, Intellitools and Holman Automotives have shown their support.
Computer Generations is always in need of donations to continue these programs. For more information on classes and ways to donate, visit www.computergenerations.org.
- Services for Schools: Staff training helps teachers learn computer skills that will enhance their performance in the classroom. Student courses enable kids to integrate technology into their academic learning and enhance their projects.
- Services for Students with Special Needs: If a studentís IEP recommends assistive computer technology, Computer Generations instructors can provide the essential computer training for the individual student and the knowledge of how to integrate these skills into the classroom.
- Services for Senior Citizens: Courses progress in a logical sequence, incorporating relevant computer exercises that build confidence.