Students pass tech knowledge to older crowd

By Kyle Daly

July 20, 2013 - 6:00 am
Sequoia Pathway Academy student Hannah Reynolds, 15, answers tech questions from Province resident Dennis Schneible, 73. Kyle Daly photo

High school sophomore Hannah Reynolds, 15, stood behind a podium on a raised stage with a projector screen to her back.

“I’d like to start off and ask how many of you guys have a Facebook or know about Facebook,” Reynolds said. 

A small number of hands among the group of about 20 people inside the large community room at the Province neighborhood Village Center rose into the air. Among them was Judy Golladay, 64, who was seated at a table with her iPad — a Christmas gift now two-and-a-half-years old. 

“How ‘bout you?” Reynolds asked Golladay. “What’s your favorite thing about Facebook?”

“I have Facebook and I know hardly anything about it,” Golladay replied. “Except my grandkids send me messages on it.” 

Golladay wasn’t alone in her limited knowledge of the popular social media site and other networking applications younger generations use on a daily basis. Other Province residents in the room — all seniors like Golladay — listened as Reynold’s explained how to use Facebook and the photo-sharing application Instagram. 

The event, held on a recent Friday morning, was part of the new Province Pathway Partnership program — an arrangement between the neighborhood and the Sequoia Pathway Academy, a K-12 charter school on Porter Road just south of Honeycutt Road.

Born out of a need to build pickleball courts in Province and raise awareness of the sport — a game that crosses ping-pong and tennis — the program pairs the students with neighborhood residents, who can teach, mentor and tutor the kids in a variety of areas. 

“We’re gearing up for the fall so we can really help them; whether it’s math, or music or pickleball or cooking pasta or whatever the heck it is,” said Bill Brannen, a Province resident and partnership organizer. 

While the focus of the program is passing on knowledge to the students, partnership organizers said there are some things the older folks at Province can learn from the younger generation. 

Prime example: technology. 

The Friday morning “technology fair” was born out of a lunch meeting between students and residents. 

“They see how the parents struggle (with technology),” Brannen said. “They figured, well, we’re 20, 30 years older than their parents — we’re going to struggle.” 

Both Reynolds and Nate Wong, athletic director and teacher at the academy, gave presentations on modern applications used in today’s ever-changing tech world. Wong spoke about cloud computing and how to store information in cyberspace. 

He pointed out kids these days have a different mindset than older generations when it comes to new technology — especially the openness of social networking sites and how information in cyberspace becomes permanent. 

“I think my biggest issue with them is they don’t understand that once it goes up there once, it’s up there forever,” Wong said. “You can’t do anything about it.” 

But an open forum online, if used properly, has great benefits, he said. For those in Province — the retired and the snowbirds — such a tool can be used to keep connected. 

“They come from different parts of the country where they had different lives before they got here, and this is a tool that they can (use to) keep up with the people from their other lives,” he said. 

Golladay said she’s done her best to stay up-to-date with modern technology and has even taken classes. 

“I’m trying to keep up with my kids on the technology,” she said. “And I’m trying not to overload my brain.” 

Golladay said she’s not a big TV watcher and she doesn’t read books, but she likes to sit with her husband in the evening. Her iPad keeps her occupied. 

“I love it,” she said. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever gotten.” 

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