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Tech-savvy seniors stay connected

iPad class at Cedar Crest helps hone their skills

Created date

January 22nd, 2013

One of the most popular Christmas gifts for grandparents, the iPad, has found its way into the hands of many men and women at Cedar Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J. But while most people poke around on it themselves, leaving much to be discovered, the iPad owners at Cedar Crest have some help. Monthly classes at the community help iPad owners get comfortable with their portable tablet computer and stay technologically savvy and connected.

Savvy seniors

We cover everything from purchasing the iPad and taking it out of the box to security, apps, and email, says Ray Guarino, course instructor and Cedar Crest sales director. More specifically, the hands-on course covers iPad anatomy, navigation, battery life, settings, WiFi and hot spots, apps, social networking, pictures, email, accessories, and tips and shortcuts. Guarino uses an Apple TV and his own iPad to lead students through each class. We have about 20 to 30 people in class, and probably double that own iPads in the community, Guarino says. People use it to read news, play games, check the weather, take and share photos, and communicate with their kids and grandkids. Some even use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Facetime, he says. The class composition includes beginners, intermediates, and those more advanced. It also includes people looking to purchase an iPad but who want to learn more about it first, says Kelli Bollen, Cedar Crest s community resources coordinator, who helps coordinate the classes and keeps residents informed of any schedule changes. The community itself is wired for those itching to get connected with free WiFi throughout the two clubhouses and Internet available in every apartment home.

Endless possibilities

Joyce Potts, who moved to Cedar Crest in July 2010 from North Caldwell, had purchased two defective tablet computers before discovering the iPad. Ray suggested I get an iPad and offered to set it up for me so I at least had the basics, Joyce says. She purchased the iPad in October 2012 and joined Guarino s class soon after. There s just no end to what you can do [on the iPad], Joyce says. Since taking Guarino s class, she reads books, plays games, watches movies and buys movie tickets, and orders clothes, all using her iPad. And she does all of those things almost anywhere she wants in her apartment home, in any of Cedar Crest s three clubhouses, in the doctor s office, or on the train to visit her children. I travel to see my children, and I would use their computers. Now I can use my iPad at their house or on the train, anywhere, she says. In fact, I had a guest here who has a laptop, and we took [our portable computers] down to the Oak Room Restaurant. Joyce says she uses several applications suggested by Guarino, and she looks forward to discovering more at his next class. He suggests and shows us apps he thinks we ll be interested in, she says. He s just so thorough. I don t think any of us would get very far without Ray.

Staying connected

Contrary to Joyce, Curtis Freed, who moved to Cedar Crest about ten years ago from Long Island, N.Y., purchased his iPad about nine months before taking his first class. My main purpose for taking the class was to get more familiar with the iPad .It seems relatively simplistic at first, but in fact it has many capabilities, Curtis says. He uses it mainly for email, photos, books, and browsing the Internet, but he s open to its many possibilities. We haven t really used it to get news or recipes yet, but that s something we can explore, he says. Curtis claims the iPad course has lived up to his expectations. Ray [Guarino] was instrumental in helping me navigate through the iPad to a better extent than I was able to do previously, Curtis says. Ray is not only a very good instructor, but he is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the iPad. He s never too busy to explain something or to make time outside of class to help an individual who doesn t understand something.

Ray s picks

iPad and iPhone apps you ll love Flipboard Personalized magazine with news from your social sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Words With Friends Scrabble-type word game to play against other online friends. Hanging With Friends Hangman-type word game to play against other online friends. Flickster Game. Use your finger to flick discs at falling jewels to collect them. Unblock Me Puzzle game with four difficulty levels and 4,200 puzzles to try. Pandora Radio Personalized radio. Create your own custom station that plays similar music to your favorite songs, artists, or composers. Photos Take, store, and share your photos. The Weather Channel Up-to-the-minute, hourly, 36-hour, and ten-day weather forcasts for any location you choose. Grocery List Shopping list. Create a list as you think of items, bring it with you to the store, and check off items as you put them in your cart.