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Qquestion: Several years ago there was information about free classes for kupuna learning to use a smartphone or tablet. The classes were taught in person in Iwilei. Do they still have them? I can’t follow along well enough by myself yet to take an online class. I went to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, which would have been helpful if I could hear better, but the background noise in the store made it difficult for me. I’m looking for a quiet space with a knowledgeable instructor in the same room.
Answer: The program you recall reading about in Kokua Line several years ago was an annual summer course that was suspended during the pandemic and has not resumed. However, there are other free, in-person options for kupuna in your situation. Here are two possibilities on Oahu:
>> Lanakila Pacific’s Kupuna Tech program, which holds classes in Kalihi-Palama and Pearl City for people 60 and older who want to learn how to use a tablet, computer or smartphone. Tablets are provided for in-class use. For more information, call 808-356-8521, email Kupuna Wellness@LanakilaPacific.org or go to lanakilapacific.org and click on “senior services.” This nonprofit organization also offers digital literacy classes online.
>> Catholic Charities Hawaii’s Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center, which offers a variety of classes for members ages 60 and older at its Lanakila Avenue location, including a beginner iPhone class, which also is offered online, according to the nonprofit’s September schedule. Call 808-847-1322 to become an LMPSC member (there’s no fee to join), then ask how to register for digital literacy classes. Read more at catholiccharitieshawaii.org; click on “senior services,” then on Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center.
Keep in mind that technology classes offered by either nonprofit organization might fill quickly, but there’s usually another session or cohort opening soon if the class you want is closed.
It’s also worthwhile to check your local community center, if your neighborhood has one, for technology classes or one-on-one instruction available to members. Your nearest public library may also be helpful, as reference librarians are known to answer questions from patterns learning to use the computers that are available for public use.
Another guide is the Kupuna Digital Resource Directory, which lists in-person and online classes, programs and technical support to help senior citizens in Hawaii use digital devices to access the internet. Printed copies of the directory should be available at public libraries and county aging offices, according to AARP Hawaii. The directory is also available online, at 808ne.ws/kupdir. It was last revised in December 2021, so some entries are out of date, but it’s a good place to start; verify that any specific program you’re interested in still exists. For more information about the directory and why it’s important for kupuna to learn to safely navigate cyberspace, see bit.ly/3KTprzk.
A big mahalo to the man who stopped to help a chicken cross the road. Don’t joke. I was traveling ewa on Ala Moana Boulevard and as I passed Cooke Street, I observed a pickup truck pull up to the light and watched a man get out. I thought he must have had something fly out of his truck and had circled around to get it out of the busy street. In my rear-view mirror, I watched as he went out to the median strip and saw there was a large chicken in the middle of the road. He attempted to herd the chicken to safety, eventually picking it up (with a lot of fight from the chicken) and took it back to the side of the road. Mahalo to this man who cares about our animal friends! — Marissa
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