Technology brings generations together

May 03, 2019
Students working with seniors

A Smartphone is not something Ray Dombrowe ever wanted. But when it was given to him as a gift, and his grandkids insisted he use it, he figured it was time to get some help to figure out just how it worked. That’s when he got connected with students from Stillwater Area High School.

“I didn’t know how to ask Siri questions,” Dombrowe said. “I didn’t know how to send text messages. I needed the very basics. It’s like preschool learning for me.”

Dombrowe was one of about a dozen senior citizens from the community who attended a recent technology support session put on by student volunteers from the high school. The Advanced Placement Computer Science students visited the senior center at Community Thread in Stillwater several times this year to provide assistance on a variety of topics - from downloading apps to a cell phone to setting up an online Kindle account. The students offered support for Smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and even shared a few laughs as they worked with the seniors to resolve technology issues. In the midst of troubleshooting and coaching, the participants also had the opportunity to talk, connect and build relationships across generations.

“It’s absolutely fabulous to have someone talk to that understands what I need,” said Pat Simonet, who attended for the second time. “The students listen to you and know how to fix things and answer questions. It’s a resource that is pure gold.”