The Computer Learning Center of Ewing is marking its 20th anniversary with an afternoon of free computer tips and tricks programs.
The event will be held on Tuesday, April 2, in the Ewing Senior and Community Center at 999 Lower Ferry Road from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Registration opens at 12:30 p.m. For more information about the program, courses, or directions, call 609-882-5086, 609-883-1776, ext. 6205, or go to www.clcewing.org.
The CLC is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization devoted to teaching hands-on computer skills to older adults. A complete outline of the afternoon’s schedule is available at www.clcewing.org. The center offers a full curriculum of computer-related courses, as well as special programs such as the monthly “Computer Tips and Tricks” series, designed for and taught by mature adults.
“People will have an opportunity to meet some of our faculty and students, as well as see our classroom facilities,” says Milt Koosman, who was instrumental in opening the center in 1993. “That was a time when computers were new, especially to older adults who were eager to learn this new technology. I thought the appeal of our hands-on courses might last two or three years, not 20.”
“Right now our classes, especially for the iPad, have waiting lists,” he adds. “Not bad for an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization after two decades. Over that time we have offered as many as 42 different courses with the support of more than 35 dedicated volunteer teachers and staff.”
Instructor Steve Kieley will lead off the afternoon with “Free Programs You Should Have on Your Computer.” Says Kieley: “There are many programs advertised on TV, in magazines and newspapers, and especially in on-screen pop-ups offering free programs for your computer. But which ones are safe, secure, reliable, and worthwhile?” Kieley, who teaches several courses, joined the CLC in 2003 after retiring as director of asset management with PSE&G.
During his presentation, Kieley says he plans to review and explain the programs recommended by the CLC faculty and show how computer users can benefit from installing them on their computers.
“We all know the iPad, but what about androids?” asks CLC instructor and webmaster David Shinkfield, who will offer “A Look at Android Tablets.” He notes that many of the smart phones we use are based on the android operating system. “I plan to discuss the major types of tablets available today — iPad, Android, and Surface — and describe how one can use an Android tablet, the apps one can install, and those I use most frequently.”
A retired managing partner with the international PA Consulting Group, Shinkfield worked during his career in the UK, France, Germany, and the United States, where he has spent the last 20 years.
CLC instructor Clarke Walker will offer “Tips on Using Windows 8.” “Because Microsoft’s newest Windows 8 platform is based on applications or ‘apps,’ it looks and works very differently from the more familiar Windows XP and Windows 7 that so many of us use,” he says. “I hope to share a brief overview of the Windows 8 platform and to offer some advice on navigating in this new environment.”
An independent technology consultant and current president of the Princeton PC Users Group, Walker brings broad experience with computers to the CLC. He served as a technology consultant for both Compaq Computer Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation, where he specialized in large clustered computers and networks.
Mary Kay Podlecki, who currently conducts four hands-on courses for iPad, will help to acquaint the audience with Siri, the intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator built into newer generation iPhones and iPads.
“Siri allows you to communicate with your mobile device by speaking to her,” says Podlecki. “We’ll look and hear what fun you can have with Siri and get a glimpse into what the future of computer interaction may be.”
Podlecki, who helps maintain the nonprofit’s computers and networks, retired from Bell Systems, where she worked in software development, including manufacturing, user interface design, and early computer graphics. Today she writes applications for the iPhone and iPad to show “how useful and fun mobile devices and tablets can be for everyone, including non-techies.”