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Classes inspire the inner techie

73-year-old student uses iPad to make life easier, chat with grandchildren
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Technology is changing by the second, and a local school wants to help adult residents keep up. The Placer School For Adults is offering a number of computer and technology classes during its spring session. Some of the classes include: Design & Build Your Own Website, Battle of the Smartphones, Introducing the Revolutionary New iPad, Marketing with Social Media Networking, Facebook, Twitter & Foursquare for You & Your Business, Search for Jobs on LinkedIn & Connect with Business Professionals and more. The school is also offering several technology classes for students who are 55 years old and older. “People can get that knowledge, get that background and then decide from that point how they want to proceed,” said Principal Judy McCoy. McCoy said all types of people seem to be interested in technology, because it is so essential in today’s world. “It was really interesting to see even students who were taking wilderness classes and hiking classes last semester, they are taking iPad and Smartphone classes this semester,” she said. “(They are) trying to access all the applications that are possible … really the end result is to make life easier, help them succeed and to give that that relevancy that they might not have if they don’t keep up with technology.” Arij Mousa, Placer School For Adults computer director, teaches a number of technology classes, and said that it is an important factor in job searching. “Most businesses, when they hire they look for people who have knowledge with the cutting edge of technology,” Mousa said. “Social networking has become really important in businesses these days. It is important for them to be up to speed in social media business.” Mousa said it’s very common for businesses to start their own Facebook pages and offer updates and deals for their fans on those pages. Mousa said LinkedIn is a site that allows you to build a business profile and network with other business officials, which can result in new jobs. “It’s a website that is specifically for businesses,” she said. Meadow Vista resident George Lay, 73, said he is enrolled in the iPad class, an intermediate iTunes class and an intermediate Mac class. “(I’m taking these classes) to be able to communicate and to be able to function much better,” Lay said. “I’m trying to keep up with my young grandchildren who are 14 and 11. One of them lives over in Manila in the Philippines and so it really makes it nice. They communicate all the time. The other day we were with the 14-year-old, he lives in Grass Valley, and he was showing us some new things on the iPad, and they are always do things like that. It’s easy for the kids. When you are older you are afraid you are going to make a mistake.” Lay said he and his wife have iPads and he uses the applications on his to play games with his grandchildren, avoid traffic jams, find restaurants and read the Auburn Journal. “When I was over in Manila I used it all the time for the Auburn Journal,” he said. “It was amazing I could get the Auburn Journal.” Meadow Vista resident Susan Rushton, 61, said she is enrolled in the free half-hour Marketing with Social Media Networking class. “I run a classic movie series once a month at the Auburn Library: Silver Screen,” Rushton said. “I have a website, but I would also like to explore all the avenues in publicizing Silver Screen. I have lots of regulars and lots of newcomers, but I’d like to see more young people come to Silver Screen, and I think Facebook is a way to attract their attention. I don’t want to explore Facebook by myself, I want help doing that.” Rushton said she thinks people of all age groups should be keeping up to date on technology. “I think it’s part of the world,” she said. “It’s a way to keep abreast of things. This is what people are doing, and this is how to keep in touch with people, regardless of whether one wants to or not. This is how things are going, and I want to (be involved).” Auburn resident Dennis Williams said he is enrolled in the Smartphones and iPad classes. Williams hopes to learn about the economics of buying one item over another and then use that item to communicate with his family and to follow investments. “It’s so difficult with the presentations that are available to us,” Williams said. “Whether it’s magazine advertisements, TV advertisements or online advertisements, they’re very confusing until somebody like Consumer Reports does a study on it. So unless someone’s done a study and gives you some input, you don’t have anywhere to go (to get information on technology).” Mousa said she advises everyone to learn as much as they can. “I encourage people not to be afraid of technology and try it,” she said. “It’s fun, and it enhances their life and it makes life easier.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------- Placer School For Adults technology classes School website: placeronline.org Information: (530) 885-8585 Fax: (530) 823-1406 To enroll: Visit the website or the school office at 390 Finley Street, Auburn. Registrations are also accepted through fax and mail.