The ABCD North End West End/Neighborhood Service Center (NE/WE NSC) was pleased to partner with the Tech Goes Home program to provide computer training, a Chromebook for $50, and access to monthly low-cost internet.
Xiaoe Ma, West End Coordinator, ran the NE/WE NSC’s first cycle at the Amy Lowell Apartments from January to March on Tuesdays. There were seven graduates ranging in ages from 57-85, including a student from Algeria, one from Puerto Rico, and the rest from the Boston area. Some students had never used a computer before!
Thanks to completing the course, they were able to use a computer mouse; turn on the computer; check and send emails; use Google search to get information; use Google map to find directions; and listen to music and watch television programs on YouTube. In addition, students developed practical skills including bookmarking their favorite websites; using Boston 311 to report non-emergency issues; downloading and upload pictures; and using Google Docs to write a story and share it with friends.
The center very gratefully acknowledges the partnership and support of the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library as well as the Amy Lowell Apartments. Helen Bender, Head Librarian, and Lauren Lepanto were a constant support throughout the course. Lauren was an assistant instructor while Xiaoe Ma, West End Project Coordinator, taught technology topics and, moreover, Lauren taught the class how to use and navigate the Boston Public Library website. It was a tremendous help to have a second instructor in the class to implement the curriculum and field the students’ questions.
The West End Branch of the Boston Public Library will be offering its own classes now and in the future-please contact 617-523-3957 for the schedule. The NE/WE NSC also thanks Patricia Lane, Property Manager of the Amy Lowell Apartments for making a large, cheerful space available to host the classes.
Many personal success stories abounded that we wanted to share! One student was eager to learn about computers before the class started, but he would be taken aback by the pop-ups, which would send him into a panic. As the classes went by, he became a pro at using a computer mouse to control the computer and using the computer to log-in, get on the internet, and use Google Docs. Another student enjoyed listening to opera. One loved to view his childhood home and country of origin using Google Earth.
Xiaoe Ma, West End Project Coordinator, enthused, “I am so proud of the students for completing the course and finishing and presenting their final projects about their interests or newly acquired computer skills using Google Docs. It is not easy for this age group, but they did it with such determination and enthusiasm. I encourage anyone who wishes to develop or enhance their computer skills to seek out a Tech Goes Home computer course with us. We will all have so much fun as we learn new things, and we will do it together!”
So, on that note, what’s next for the NE/WE NSC’s Tech Goes Home partnership? Stay tuned –there may be another session in October at the Amy Lowell Apartments. Xiaoe will teach the class in Chinese at the Blackstone Apartments with a maximum of five Chinese-speaking participants. She anticipates that the Chinese-language course will run Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. April 23 through June 11t. For more information, please call 617-523-8125 to speak with Xiaoe.