By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Through a 2011 grant Vision Randall received from the Initiative Foundation, it has begun offering classes to teach people how to use their electronic devices. The classes are held Tuesdays from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary School and are coordinated through Community Services.
The classes are free and are taught by those who have grown up with computers: high school students.
“This one on one class is so much better than listening to someone lecture,” said Vern Schwinghammer of Little Falls.
The classes, and they are not just for seniors, were first offered for seven weeks in January and February. It was such a success (30 people were helped) that it was again offered again in April and May.
In April, the classes have helped about 40 people run their electronic devices.
“We plan to do it again in the fall,” said Maxine Strege, a member of Vision Randall.
There is no appointment necessary, but Community Services would like to know how many people plan to show up so they schedule enough students to be on hand.
The students, currently Averi Hutton, Tylor Barker, Ethan Wester and Eric Schmidt, volunteer their time. They are well-versed in all manner of electronic devices which include iPads and iPhones, cameras, printers, computers and more.
Media Specialist at both Dr. S.G. Knight and Lincoln Elementary schools, Emily Stenberg, said every person who has come for help has left with their problems solved.
The student teachers don’t talk in technological terms, but in a language anyone can understand. They are nothing if not patient, explaining how to do whatever task is needed, showing the person how to do it and finally letting the student do it themselves. Sometimes, the process has to be gone over two or three times, but the adult students leave happy.
“It’s like having your own mentor,” said Strege.
For more information, contact Community Services in Little Falls at (320) 632-7938.