JCHE computer centers are a place to learn and connect
The buzz is beginning about JCHE's soon-to-open computer lab. It will be located in the new Brighton program center, which is slated to open in mid January of 2011. The center will offer JCHE resident completely new computers as well as scanners and printers.
Tamara Litvin, the computer educator for the three JCHE sites, has been with the organization for five years, teaching both individual and group lessons to residents eager for computer skills. She teaches beginner computer proficiency classes to residents. Classes are taught in English, Russian and Chinese. For more advanced users, the lab is open five days a week during Open Access hours. To Tamara’s delight, she often finds the “regulars” of the computer lab waiting impatiently for the start of Open Access hours.
Computer proficiency has become a growing trend around JCHE, as residents seek to stay in touch with family and friends via the World Wide Web. With correspondents in countries all over the world, residents can use the computers to send and receive photos, exchange emails, and stay up-to-date with current events. Tamara admits that it’s hard to understand hotmail in Chinese, but she points to the cross-cultural connections as a learning experience for both her and the residents. She is proud of the accomplishments of her computer students, and loves to see the alacrity with which residents keep pace with an increasingly viral society.
The computer center is an integral place for socializing here at JCHE. The lab offers an opportunity for residents to share stories about grandchildren, sons and daughters, and new occasions for celebration. They read newspapers in native languages to stay current on world happenings, as well as play games in an interactive setting. All these experiences enrich the lives of JCHE residents and spell out a recipe for successful aging.
"I always thought of myself as just a teacher, but I realize that I am much more than that,” Tamara says. She explains that the lab is a way for residents to engage in the more creative world of computers. New interests include Scrabble, card games and a growing Mahjong following. She feels happy to have passed on her passion for computers to others, and admires JCHE residents for their involvement and participation in an area that could be considered too difficult for older adults to understand.
Tamara is thrilled to have JCHE residents as engaged in the technological world as she. “If it’s your passion, you hope it’s contagious,” she says, “Computers are my passion.” Here at JCHE, it’s reassuring to know that Tamara’s passion is spreading like wildfire and that those who live in JCHE’s Brighton buildings will have a wonderful new place to enjoy that passion!