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Tech-savvy seniors

iPad club shares tips and tricks

Created date

February 21st, 2012

Keeping up to date with the latest technology can be difficult if you didn t grow up using computers, cell phones, and other electronic gadgets. But that s not stopping those living at Fox Run from embracing new technology that can make their lives easier and more entertaining. A group of residents at the Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., recently formed an iPad club to exchange tips, share applications (known simply as apps ), and help one another troubleshoot technology issues. Gloria Maire, who lives at the community, came up with the idea for the club, and she asked her friend and neighbor Hilda Edwards to help organize it. About 20 people showed up for the first meeting, and Hilda says she expects others to join as more residents continue to purchase iPads.

Retired teacher leads way

Hilda, a former school teacher, who moved to Fox Run from Bloomfield, Mich., says she has been using computers for more than 30 years and describes herself as a techie. In fact, she used a computer to help her students learn to read in the 1980s. She has stayed current with technology since then, and when Apple introduced the iPad, she knew she wanted one of her own. I already had an e-reader, so I really didn t need it, she says. But I saw a lot of my friends using it and thought, This looks like fun. Hilda purchased an iPad 2 last fall, and she uses it on a regular basis. She checks her email on it, plays games, and periodically watches TV shows. She even recently discovered an app that allows users to download electronic copies of the Bible. I have over 20 apps, Hilda says. What is so cool about the iPad is whatever you feel like doing, you can do. Jack Beggs, another Fox Run resident, who moved from Troy, Mich., received an iPad as a gift last Christmas. He and his wife, Rosemary, use it to check email and read newspapers like theNew York Times. It s a very portable device; you can take it anywhere, Jack says. Jack says he s found the Skype application most useful. It enables users to make video telephone calls over the Internet. Some of Jack and Rosemary s friends from Fox Run were spending the winter in Barbados but wanted to stay in touch with their neighbors back in Novi. Jack s iPad was the perfect solution. Now we can go into the living room [in Fox Run s clubhouse], which has wireless Internet, so we can show our friends in Barbados what is going on [there] using Skype, Jack says. Prior to receiving his iPad, Jack had primarily used PCs, so he s just getting familiar with Apple s operating system. Fox Run s iPad club, he says, is a good opportunity for him to trade tips with other users. A couple of people have had iPads for a while, so we can use their experience, Jack says. At their second meeting, the group planned to each introduce their favorite new app to the other club members. [The iPad club] is valuable because, hey, we re older people, Jack says. We will exchange some ideas and get to a good point with our iPads.