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Westlake Tech Crew Tutors Senior Citizens On Technology Advances

Tech Crew member Lauren DeMartino instructs Victor Schembri.
Tech Crew member Lauren DeMartino instructs Victor Schembri. Photo Credit: Contributed
Tech Crew members Marie Savo and Dylan Agosto.
Tech Crew members Marie Savo and Dylan Agosto. Photo Credit: Contributed
Tech Crew tutor Julia Remo instructs a senior citizen on how to take photo with a cell phone.
Tech Crew tutor Julia Remo instructs a senior citizen on how to take photo with a cell phone. Photo Credit: Contributed
Workshop participant takes photo of Tech Crew tutor Julia Remo.
Workshop participant takes photo of Tech Crew tutor Julia Remo. Photo Credit: Contributed

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- Mount Pleasant senior citizens and their personal technology devices are becoming more familiar with each other because of hands-on technology workshops held in the Westlake campus library.

Hosted by Westlake Middle and High School student technology “experts” — or Tech Crew as they are collectively called — the afternoon workshops are designed to help seniors learn to navigate some of the basic, but incredibly powerful features of their devices.

Participants brought laptops, smartphones and tablets to the hour-long tutorials and were paired with student experts who showed them the fundamentals such as how to use the built-in camera, how to attach and download photos from an email and how to Skype with family and friends.

Library/media specialist Mary Knopp organized the Tech Crew this school year to help bridge the technology gap at school. The crew helps fellow students and teachers get the most out of the myriad devices and internet programs that are part of their everyday learning environment.

The five high school and 12 middle school tech crew members have been helpful in setting up the schools’ new Chromebooks, creating screencast tutorials, helping teachers with tech tools and assisting Knopp at her staff “Appy Hours.”

About 20 residents took part in each of the two fall workshops which included video tutorials and handouts as well as one-on-one lessons.

Octogenarian Andrew Stagnari came to the workshop to learn how to burn his photo collections to a CD. An amateur photographer with a 10-year-old laptop and extensive technology vocabulary, Stagnari was hoping that a tech student could enlighten him.  “At almost 90, the electronic age has passed me,” he admitted as he waited for his tech tutor.

Tech Crew members Julia Remo, Alexa Sputo and Olivia Rich had nothing but admiration for the seniors who were looking to engage with their devices.

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