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Seniors to get technology questions answered at event

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13th, 2013

WATSONVILLE From explaining the difference between an iPad and iPhone, to describing what a "tweet" is, seniors will have the chance to get all their technology questions answered Saturday during Senior Tech Day at the Watsonville Community Hospital Senior Circle Room.

The free event is hosted by Youthserve, a youth program of the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., seniors can drop in with their personal devices and be shown how to effectively use them by those who have grown up with the technology: kids aged 11 to 17 years old.

"The kids automatically know just because of the generation they were born in," said Rosa DeWaard, Youthserve coordinator. "It's really second nature to them."

The program got its start at the Louden Nelson Senior Computing Center in Santa Cruz a few years ago, but due to popularity, it expanded in October to Watsonville with monthly workshops, DeWaard said.

The workshops are led by local students with an adult volunteer leader on hand to facilitate the process and answer any advanced questions seniors may have.

By volunteering, students can earn community service hours, DeWaard said.

"It's great to have them take the time and teach them how to use these things that connect them to the larger community," she said.

The program is beneficial to both the seniors and teenagers, DeWaard said, as both sides are able to interact with each other.

She described one woman who attended a workshop, who has family members in Germany, but was unable to get in contact with them.

Through the workshop, the woman was introduced to Skype, an online video chat service, and by using the program was able to stay in touch with her family.

"It really gives seniors a way to connect to family members," DeWaard said.

Senior Tech Day will take place at the Watsonville Community Hospital Senior Circle Room, 75 Nielson Road, on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teens interested in volunteering their time with the project can contact DeWaard at ys@scvolunteercenter.org.

The next Senior Tech Day in Watsonville will take place April 13.

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