NDP ‘Tech Tutors’ create senior technology workshops

NDP junior Julian D’Aloia help Vi at Silverstone resident Mary Jo Brown to send a text message from her iPad. 9submitted photo)

Teaching his grandmother how to text, FaceTime and use applications on her cellphone inspired Kaden Macor, a junior at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale, to teach local residents at Vi Living at Silverstone how to use their electronic devices.

“My grandmother lives in Canada, so we don’t see her very often. She kept asking for help with her phone and her calendar,” Macor said in a press release. “I thought if she needed help, others might too so they can communicate with their kids and grandchildren.”

Last September, Macor looked for a retirement community close to Notre Dame Prep that would allow him to come in and teach residents how to use their devices. He contacted Vi and set up his first class, the release stated.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said.

When he arrived for the first time, there were 15 “students” waiting for him.

“I was surprised at how receptive and enthusiastic they were about learning,” he recalled, in the press release.

Macor did his best to help all 15 people in the hour he was there.

“He’s terrific,” said Vi resident, Betty Zimmerman in the release. She needed help with her new camera. “It’s very important for us to learn how to use these things.”

With the demand high, it was apparent that Macor would need help if he was going to assist 15 or more people at each visit. NDP juniors Julian D’Aloia, 16, and John Byrne, 17, answered the call.

NDP junior Kaden Macor assists Vi at Silverstone resident Betty Zimmerman with her new camera. (submitted photo)

The Tech Tutors visit Vi twice a month to hold classes and give one-on-one instruction on how to use anything from iPads and cellphones to digital picture fames and mobile printers, the release stated.

The boys found that they formed immediate bonds with their senior students.

“We established instant connections,” D’Aloia said in the release. “We grew up with technology and they didn’t. It’s cool to listen to their stories.”

Vi resident Mary Jo Brown, needed help sending a message from her iPad.

“I’m Technology 101 or less,” she said. “Julian was very patient, and he taught me how to text.”

On Jan. 20, Ms. Brown sent her first ever text message to her brother who lives part time in Mesa and part time in Boseman, Mont., the release stated.

The residents were interested in learning to use Uber, Facebook, Twitter, and playing games on their devices. The most popular mobile games are bridge and Words with Friends.

“We taught a woman who was 102 years old how to play, and then she taught her friends,” said Macor in the release.

Macor said he has plans to expand to other retirement communities in February.

He is looking for easy-going NDP students who are willing to help retirees set up and use their electronics. The boys say they try to remember the kindness their teachers show them and to teach the same way.

“We have become the teachers so we need to be patient and help those who have trouble with technology,” D’Aloia said in the release.

Opened in 2002, Notre Dame Prep is a Catholic diocesan college preparatory high school with a co-ed enrollment of 932 students. The school has received national recognition for the caliber of its academic, arts and athletic programs.

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