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Retired seniors get tech-savvy in NEISD class

The computer lab was packed at NEISD’s Academy of Learning in Retirement (ALIR) led by instructor Sylvia Braye.

Braye teaches a Beginning Computer class to seniors between the age of 50 and 90 years old.

“I started off with the mouse because sometimes they don’t even know what a mouse is,” she said.

ALIR Students like 89-year-old Gus Hahn and 79-year-old David Stolp learned computer basics like how to use a keyboard, a mouse and how to copy and paste.

“It’s starting at ground zero,” Stolp joked.  

Braye said she tries to put the students at ease.

“If they learned how to drive, they can learn the computer. The computer is not going to move like the car,” Braye said.

“It’s easy to do once you learn the steps, but I was trying to apply it to what I need at home,” Hahn said.  

Ms. Braye said that new technology can sometimes be intimidating for many of the older adults.

“I just tell them that if you want to keep up with your kids you better do it,” she said.

The seniors choose to move forward with technology instead of being left behind.

72-year-old Juliana Strain-Davis taught math at Roosevelt High School for 31 years.

The former North East educator is still learning every day, thanks to ALIR.

She said a lot has changed since her days in school.

“When I grew up, we didn’t have calculators at all. I went through college and majored in math without a calculator,” Strain-Davis added.

She plans to use what she is learning in practical ways.

“I want to be able to use the computer efficiently and not give away all of my personal information accidentally,” she laughs.

From typewriters to computers to smartphones, these seniors said they’re ready to take on technology.

“Don’t give up; don’t give up,” Braye said.

To learn more about the Academy of Learning in Retirement (ALIR), click here:

Discover the NEISD way, where our educators provide students with one-on-one learning opportunities at every age.

Ashley Speller