Patience of ECO Instructors Vital to Helping Seniors Get Connected

By Lyndsey Kleven

For those who have never operated a computer before or are unfamiliar with the Internet, signing up to learn computer skills can be overwhelming. With the wealth of information that is available, learning this new skill can be both exciting and intimidating to a first-time computer user.

Connect Ohio’s Every Citizen Online (ECO) free basic computer training is a beneficial resource to new adult computer users. In fact, more than 16,000 adults have already taken advantage of the training at 250 training facilities all across Ohio.

Larry Parks recently participated in the training through the Rossford Public Library in Wood County. Parks is 65-years-old, had never operated a computer before in his life, and felt it was time to learn some simple computer skills and to see what the Internet had to offer him. Parks says before entering the class, he only knew how to turn a computer on.

“My son and daughter have been encouraging me (to use the Internet) for years,” said Parks. “You’re never too old to learn something new.”

Parks has enjoyed the ECO training and had only nice things to say about his training instructor, Adam Murphy. He credits Murphy’s patience to helping him learn how to use the computer.

“If Adam was impatient with me, I probably would have quit,” said Parks. “It’s embarrassing to be slow at something. Adam has helped me, big time.”

Murphy says he realizes how overwhelming it can be for first-time users and focuses on helping his students concentrate on one task at a time. He also makes himself available for student’s questions, even after they’ve completed training. He periodically touches base with Parks, revisiting some of the class material.

“The classes are there to provide a foundation (terminology, starter tips, etc.) to allow the participants to get comfortable with technology,” said Murphy. “I want participants to learn enough to start exploring on their own and begin asking questions.”

Parks says that he is not completely comfortable with his new technology use yet, but he is regularly using the computer. Since taking the training, he is able to participate on his church’s prayer group list, which is communicated via e-mail, and he looks forward to checking out

Any Ohio adult is eligible for the 6-hour training program. Find a training location and register for Every Citizen Online classes today by calling 1-800-NOW-I-CAN (669-4226).

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