September 8 - 14, 2013: Issue 127

 Mobile Devices For Seniors
by Michael Mannington

It's not difficult to see why mobile devices are so popular. In fact tablet sales have overtaken the sales of computers as their usefulness extends into our daily lives. And to make it easy, Pittwater Council is providing free wifi in Avalon, Newport and Mona Vale. To meet the demand for the mobile technologies Avalon Computer Pals is again running a series of special courses at the Community Centre in Newport.

Senior tutor in iPads for Avalon Computer Pals Jim Carmichael explains that learning to use an iPad is perhaps easier than learning to use a PC.

"It's all new to our students and they  cope amazing well with the touch screens " explains Jim.  "The need is mostly email and programs such as Skype". "The iPad connected to the internet is all most people need so  the setup is quite simple".

Senior iPad trainer Jim Carmichael

"For beginners after the two weeks students can manage their emails and use the internet and  then progressively learn how to do more things". "Learning to use an iPad is fun but it does help to have some awareness of the technology" says Jim.

IPad student Betty Langford has no hesitation in calling herself one of the older students at aged 86. "I was a bit dubious when I first got it but now I can't do without it" explains Betty.

One of Betty's main uses is to read the online books. "I have access to over 40,000 books" says Betty.

Fellow student Robyn Hudson users her iPad for banking  and is undertaking this course so she can learn to use other apps. The course helps you have more confidence says Robyn.

Students Betty Langford and Robyn Hudson share the fun of using their iPads.

Avpals President Paul Purvis says that among the courses run at Newport, learning to use the iPad is still the favourite. Courses include introductory level to the most advanced and are two or four weeks duration.  "In term 4 commencing on 15 October there is a special course on a lovely little program called Snapfish" says Paul. "One of our expert trainers will show you how to make a photo album that you can give away, perhaps very timely for Christmas."

This course starts on 03 December and if you are interested you should phone 8064 3574. Interested students should book as soon as possible as the classes are limited to ten students.

The courses are for everybody and while some students are quite expert they realise that there is always more to learn and  for beginners it is the easiest way to master the new technology. It is possible for some students to progress to be a trainer. The group of thirty Avpals trainers have their own monthly sessions learning about the latest technologies and new trainers are always welcome.

Paul says that to be a trainer you don't need to be an expert but an interest in new technology helps. Being a trainer means that you learn more than you will ever teach. Besides the courses at Newport, Avpals has the traditional one on one training at Avalon where you come for a school term and this is still very popular.

If you would like to know more, ring 8064 3574 or read about the courses at

Registration Day for 4th Term one on one computer and iPad training 9am –10.30am Monday 30th September under Maria Regina Church 7 Central Rd. Avalon. These courses fill very quickly and the tip is to get there early.

There is a free Lecture/Demonstration on Tuesday 8 Oct – 1:30pm at Newport. Come along to find out how to get the right computer, iPad or tablet for you.

Newport courses: Tuesdays – 1:30pm to 3:30pm – Term 4 2013 (15 Oct – 10 Dec)
Newport Community Centre 11-13, The Boulevarde, Newport
Booking is essential, Phone 8064 3574. All courses are for the over 55’s only

iPad classes at Newport

Copyright Michael Mannington, 2013.