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Mastering technology

iPad classes a hit with Ashby Ponds residents

Created date

June 30th, 2016
Last year, Nan Krueger and her fellow technological gurus at Ashby Ponds aimed to take the largest senior selfie to date.

Last year, Nan Krueger and her fellow technological gurus at Ashby Ponds aimed to take the largest senior selfie to date. Plans are currently under way for an even bigger selfie this summer.

According to a recent report by eMarketer, “more than 1 billion people worldwide, representing nearly 15% of the global population, use a tablet.” eMarketer anticipates that this total will reach 1.43 billion by 2018. 

Recognizing the growth in the number of iPad users at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va., Nan Krueger decided to help her fellow community members use their new devices with a series of iPad classes. 

“At first, the purpose of the class was to teach residents how to download books from the public library system onto their tablets,” she says. “However, that quickly became a secondary focus as the real need was to teach residents how to use the iPad from the perspective of a new user.”

Growing trend

Recently, as demand for Nan’s services increased, she began coordinating with Jason Margolies, head of adult services at Ashburn Library, to host a training program at Ashby Ponds. The two now host a one-hour class, three times a month, serving 24 residents per session.

“Thanks to the Ashby Ponds iPad classes, I have learned how versatile an iPad can be,” says community member Phyllis VanCamp. “It’s a quick way to check email, get the best price information, locate a business, keep up to date on current news and stock market activity, and read the latest books and reviews. Communication with family and friends is the most rewarding part, and it’s so easy to do with an iPad. Unlike a computer, it doesn’t need rebooting or updating to use.” 

According to Margolies, graduates of the class should leave feeling comfortable with day-to-day iPad operations, including navigating the device, learning what Siri does, how to connect to Wi-Fi, relocating and closing apps, changing settings for accessibility, and learning how to use Loudoun County Public Library online services.

Since iPad training classes began in December 2014, more than 100 residents have graduated from the program.

“Nan and Jason opened up a whole new world by teaching us how to use an iPad,” says Mary Alice Babka. “I learned how to use Siri, create folders, the fun of jiggling and wiggling the apps, dragging, flicking, and rotating. We had so much fun in class, and we are very lucky to have a neighbor like Nan who is an expert in explaining all the intricacies of using an iPad.”  

One on one

For those who prefer one-on-one learning, Nan visits her neighbors in their homes to answer questions and solve problems. 

“It keeps me busy, but I consider it time well spent,” she says. “Each person processes information at their own rate. Most visits are an hour, and I may go several times. I also visit class participants who need some time to reinforce what they’ve learned.”

“I like to read but have a problem with low vision,” says Philip Marshall. “I took the class to better navigate the system. I learned how to adjust the size of the print. I now use it for reading and sending and receiving photos from my family. If I have any questions, Nan always gets back to me.”

“Each person has his or her own reason for getting started with an iPad,” says Nan. “But no matter what the initial motivation, discovering all the things that become available to a user and learning the skills to use those applications makes the iPad worth every penny.”