Computer classes for people over the age of 65 are growing, especially in South Florida public libraries. The Delray Beach Public Library is trying to keep up with demand by starting a longer basic knowledge course offering through the Older Adults Tech Academy, or OATA.
Michelle Quigley is the principal teacher for the course and a resource librarian. Her goal is to teach her eight students over the 10-week course "to be more comfortable on the internet, and to hope that they can integrate using the internet more into their daily lives,” she said.
Quigley is teaching the students how to conduct basic research online, how to stay organized, how to protect their personal information and even how to bank — all online.
It can be a frustrating task for some, but also one that holds new opportunities.
Carl Weiss is one of Quigley’s students. He’s a retired chief financial officer of an investment firm. He said this course is helping him figure out what he felt was “never his thing.”
“It’s opening my eyes to, you know, not only what’s out there, but how it can be used,” Weiss said.
In this session, he and his classmates learned how to open and manage new tabs and bookmark web pages.
Delray Beach’s program may be a longer course with a holistic approach, but you can still take certain types of computer classes in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties' public library systems. However, these are usually by appointment or based on one specific skill at a time.