Friday, February 26, 2010

Internet Magic Fridays

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters including our Campus Times. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.


These days, it’s safe to assume that most consumers like you and me are looking to save a buck, and for a host of Internet entrepreneurs, that spells an opportunity.

A slew of new web sites offer coupons and online promotions and that’s good, but it can also be confusing and frustrating to weed out the really good deals from the duds. You see, the proliferation of these sites isn’t just about saving shoppers money. As part of their marketing programs, retailers offer cash to those web entrepreneurs each time the consumer makes a purchase from their store’s site. The enticements these sites use: coupons and other discounts. Each site uses a code so the retailers know where a customer is coming from.

But don’t let that deter you! There are good deals to be had. I think the best approach is to do a little research, then pick one or two sites you like and stick with them. For instance, you can go to hundreds of grocery coupon sites, and eventually you’ll find that most of them have many of the same coupons. So pick one you find easy to navigate, and forget the others.

Grocery Store Coupons

Here are a few of the more popular and well-respected sites. But of course you can always Google “grocery coupons” and choose your own.

This site offers as wide a variety of timely coupons as the grocery shoppers’ “gold standard,” the Sunday paper. The site’s layout is simple, which makes it east to find available coupons and then print them out. Enter your ZIP code to get coupons for stores in your immediate area, and also be prepared to download their coupon-printing software. It’s easy to do, and this site also gives you the option to add an icon to your toolbar so you can check back every day with just one click.

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Example of printed coupons

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This site keeps its discount fare fresh and staffers update deals three times a day and check each coupon code to ensure that it works.

Others you might explore for grocery coupons are


Restaurant Coupons

Another really cool “sport” is finding restaurant coupons. These usually appear as “gift cards.” In other words, you purchase (print) a gift card and pay, say, $5.00 on line to receive a $25.00 gift card (saving $20 when you use the coupon). Obviously, by your having made an investment in the card, the restaurant is virtually certain that you will use it. Again, you enter your ZIP code to get coupons for restaurants within 5, 15, or 25 miles of your home. The most popular site for this is restaurant.com, but you can Google around to explore others. I don’t know about you, but after a few minutes of exploring, I’m ready to just pick one and “run with it.”

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Examples of restaurant “gift card” coupons

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Other Stuff

For a sample of coupons you can get for stuff other than groceries and restaurants, go to retailmenot.com. Many small and large retailers post coupons for everything - including clothing, tires, balloons, flowers, you name it! Some store offer coupons for online shopping only, others for both online or in-store purchases. For instance, this week J.C. Penney is offering $10 off your online purchase of $10 or more! I did notice, however, that many of their coupons had passed their expiration date, however. What’s up with that?

Happy couponing. I routinely hear of web shoppers who claim to save so much money with coupons that the store almost owes them money when their leave with their groceries! I don’t go into this “sport” with all that much enthusiasm, but you’ll soon find that if you check your favorite site each day, print and take the coupons to the store, you can save several dollars with each trip – and in this day and age, every little digital bit helps!

But be careful. You can get addicted!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.


LEARNING LATER, LIVING GREATER:
The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

An End and a New Beginning…

On our last evening in Austria we enjoyed a delicious farewell dinner held at the oldest inn in Innsbruck, the Goldener Adler. Our souvenir menus told us we were having warm duck breast salad, steak with vegetables, unlimited wine and sacher torte for dessert. We had a great time recapping the many interesting things we learned, the incredible places we visited, and all the highpoints of the program. There were stories, laughter, picture-taking, and even a lengthy limerick by one of the more poetically-inclined members of our group. Musical entertainment was provided by a Tirolean zither player. The evening was a fitting finale to an outstanding program that did more for me than I had ever expected.

In fact, what I took home from this trip was, not only unexpected, but much better and far more long-lasting than any souvenir. I took home a kind of action plan for the next step in my new life. For me being back in a classroom after more than 25 years was invigorating. Thanks to this educational travel program I realized that, in an effort to help remake my life, I wanted to return to school.

So, taking another step outside my comfort zone, that fall I entered a special program for working adults at Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. No 18-year-olds in these classes; just hard-working men and women who came to school in the evenings and on weekends. Six semesters later I emerged with a Masters of Education degree, having focused on adult education. I saw all around me how education changed the lives of my classmates as well as myself, and I wanted to be part of something that powerful.

So, in a way, I came full circle. When I first signed up for my educational adventure, never in a million years did I think it would lead me where it did…what a wonderful surprise!

Next Week…Now What?

THURSDAY’S THOUGHT…
According to Lawrence Durrell, the British author and travel writer, “Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.” So true! That’s exactly how it helped me decide what I wanted to do next.

For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit http://www.learninglater.com/ You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at http://www.amazon.com/

Aging In Place Wednesday

On Wednesdays, Laurie Orlov, tech industry veteran, writer, speaker and elder care advocate will be sharing her insightful research on how seniors can safely and successfully live independent lives in the home of their choice.


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Is the iPad for boomers
and seniors? Could be!

What's the iPad got that boomers and seniors might like? Well, first let's just view the website of a popular netbook, the HP Mini, with its 'reading glasses required' (some might say illegible) screen to go with its very light weight. Don't be fooled by the 'Accessibility Tools' link on the upper left of the HP website. That's for viewing the feature/specifications web page -- which without enlargement is also illegible.

Okay, now wander over to the Apple iPad specification page and scroll down to the bottom. Yes -- that's where you'll find Accessibility features -- "Support for playback of closed-captioned content, VoiceOver screen reader, Full-screen zoom magnification, and mono audio, which combines the sound of the left and right channels into a mono signal played on both sides. This enables users with hearing impairment in one ear to hear the entire sound signal with the other ear."

RIM futurist talks of a "world of Floridas." Joseph Dvorak, PhD, Manager of Innovation and Technology Futurist for Research in Motion spoke recently of a 'world of Floridas'* -- the 700 million people worldwide over the age of 60. That's now, not in 2050 when there will be 2 billion. RIM has some nice features for accessibility and the BlackBerry -- this material is copyrighted 2010, so it's very recent. Thinking about the metaphor of a 'world of Floridas', perhaps a 1.5 pound iPad can be placed in backpacks for cruises or other travel, perhaps assisted by cruise lines that offer iPad-specific charging and wireless features.

Perhaps access to 140,000 apps, a bigger screen than either an iPhone or BlackBerry, the ability to watch movies, check health-related websites, super-size text, web pages, and e-mails easily, and listen to music or soundtracks (with one or both ears). And let's not forget a swipable touch screen that could enhance navigation for those that find the iPhone a bit small. No learning curve if you already have an iPhone. Yeah, that would fit right into a 'world of Floridas.'

Platform for apps and add-ons that boomers and seniors could love. So they probably will add the much-ballyhood missing camera for Skyping with the grandkids. And for those multi-taskers out there, maybe someday you can do six things at once, like the Motley foolish folk. Or maybe, for that $499 price (a fraction of a new Mac), you just want to focus and watch that movie, listen to that music, and relax for a change.

For more information, visit Laurie at http://www.ageinplacetech.com/

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photo Tips Monday

Dave Berry, Director of the Photography Department at Computer School for Seniors will be sharing his insightful Photo Tips with you every Monday for Capture the Moment Mondays.




4 Tips To Better Photography

As you are reading this post, Patti and I are on a Cruise to the Caribbean on the beautiful Caribbean Princess. We will be visiting the ports of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbados,Tortola and St.Thomas in the Virgin Islands. I can't wait to share my pictures with all of you in my future blog posts. Before we sail away I would like to share with you four photography tips I share with friends when asked...

These may seem basic but I always follow the Berry photo plan before I go out shooting..

1.) Always look at the scene without the camera. Look for interesting things around you, fill the scene in your mind and than put it together. Visualize what you want the picture to say before you press the shutter.

2.) Put yourself in a position to take great shots. Don't be afraid to move around. Look what's behind you. Hit the streets and hit the shutter a lot.

3.) Don't be afraid to make mistakes---that is the beauty of Digital Photography. Experiment with your photography because you can make instant corrections while you are still shooting. Adjust shutter speeds and apertures to change the photo you are taking. Remember, If you don't like it delete and shoot another one.

4.) Take alot of Pictures----this is the most under discussed thing in Photography. Digital Camera's make it all worth while. There is no reason for not taking alot of pictures and when you go home you can delete the ones you don't like.

Until next week thanks for dropping by--Meanwhile go out and have FUN WITH YOUR CAMERA !!!!!!!!!

Bon Voyage !!!!!!!!!


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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Inspirational Sunday

Bill Witcher, co-founder of Computer School for Seniors will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.


My wife Mimi and I were just talking the other day about how blessed we are. We have our health; we have a wonderful family that includes three fabulous grand kids; we're excited about our new website http://www.cs4seniors.com/ that we started in our sixties; we have each other. Our "we are blessed" thinking was affirmed on Friday when I received the following email from a friend. The author is unknown but I believe his story applies to all of us.

- Bill Witcher

The Best Time Of My Life
Author Unknown

It was June 15, and in two days I would be turning thirty. I was insecure about entering a new decade of my life and feared that my best years were now behind me.

My daily routine included going to the gym for a workout before going to work. Every morning I would see my friend Nicholas at the gym. He was seventy-nine years old and in terrific shape. As I greeted Nicholas on this particular day, he noticed I wasn't full of my usual vitality and asked if there was anything wrong. I told him I was feeling anxious about turning thirty. I wondered how I would look back on my life once I reached Nicholas's age, so I asked him, "What was the best time of your life?"

Without hesitation, Nicholas replied, "Well, Joe, this is my philosophical answer to your philosophical question:

"When I was a child in Austria and everything was taken care of for me and I was nurtured by my parents, that was the best time of my life.

"When I was going to school and learning the things I know today, that was the best time of my life.

"When I got my first job and had responsibilities and got paid for my efforts, that was the best time of my life.

"When I met my wife and fell in love, that was the best time of my life.

"The Second World War came, and my wife and I had to flee Austria to save our lives. When we were together and safe on a ship bound for North America, that was the best time of my life.

"When we came to Canada and started a family, that was the best time of my life.

"When I was a young father, watching my children grow up, that was the best time of my life.

"And now, Joe, I am seventy-nine years old. I have my health, I feel good and I am in love with my wife just as I was when we first met. This is the best time of my life."



Bill Witcher is co-founder of Computer School for Seniors (http://www.cs4seniors.com/)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Internet Magic Fridays

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters including our Campus Times. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.

They say we’re a product of our environment and life experiences. So it happens that I believe in local loyalty. I was born and raised in a small town in northwest Iowa, where my dad owned a business on Main Street. Even though the town was only about 2,500 people, we “shopped at home,” because of course, we wanted people to shop at our store instead of driving to the bigger city just across the state line to spend their money. Our family members were expected to set an example, and shop in our home town.

I still believe in local loyalty. And if you look around your neighborhood or suburb today, you’ll see a lot of local businesses that, in this economy, are struggling to survive right along with the national chains.

The point is not so much local loyalty these days as it is just plain loyalty. We can help businesses where we shop and eat (large or small) survive and thrive by patronizing them.

At the same time, they often reward us with special discounts. This brings us back to the subject of coupons. Many businesses (both local and national chains) use coupons or “specials” to capture your loyalty. That loyalty is good for them, and it can be good for you too. A couple of examples:

At a local restaurant where we like to eat, we were invited to sign up for their specials by filling out a form which asked for our email address. Now they routinely email us special offers. For instance, on my birthday:

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We also indulge in a great pizza now and then. Who doesn’t? We find that if we go to the website of our favorite pizzeria, we can click on “special and coupons” and always find a way to save money.

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Of course the national chains do this too. I just signed up for the “Fresh Catch Club” at Red Lobster (redlobster.com). Members are notified of special events, receive a birthday “surprise” (probably a coupon), and are entered in a prize drawing. Point is, signing up for online “clubs” brings you up a notch as far as getting the best deal is concerned. Of course you have to exercise a degree of caution as to what you join online as you do anywhere else – in other words, read the fine print.

But membership does have its privileges, and if you click around on your favorite restaurant or shopping sites for opportunities to sign up for free membership, you can cash in on some of those privileges.

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.


LEARNING LATER, LIVING GREATER:
The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

On Top of a Glacier…

With the beautiful Austrian Alps as a backdrop we viewed slides and listened to lectures on the history, geology, and culture of that mountainous region. Early the next morning, we headed for the Stubai Valley area. We were going to visit a glacier.

We traveled through picturesque towns of incredible beauty. Each one was nicer than the last. All along the way we saw evidence of the most popular tourist attractions in the area – alpine and cross-country skiing. This is where the Austrian Olympic ski teams come to practice and perform.

After lunch in a quaint little alpine restaurant, we finally arrived at the base of the glacier mountain. We took a funicular up to the base camp or first level, where we found a cozy restaurant and ski lodge. We then climbed aboard a second enclosed lift and were taken to the top of the glacier. What a site and what an experience! Mixed with the ice were rocks thousands of years old, and our leader was diligent about pointing out all their interesting facts. It was quite a learning experience and so much fun!

We were so busy, my three-week program flew by. The last day found us listening to a lecture on Austrian industry. We then visited the oldest bell foundry in Europe, built in 1599, and run by the same family for 14 generations.

Next Week…An End and a New Beginning

THURSDAY’S THOUGHT…

The author, Wilfred Peterson, said “A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” The chain of a 29-year routine was broken for me with this educational travel program and things have never been the same since. For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit http://www.learninglater.com/ You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at http://www.amazon.com/

Till Next Time…

Nancy Merz Nordstrom is Director of the Lifelong Learning Department at Computer School for Seniors (http://www.cs4seniors.com/)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Capture the Moment Monday

Dave Berry, Director of the Photography Department at Computer School for Seniors will be sharing his insightful Photo Tips with you every Monday for Capture the Moment Mondays.


If you are planning to visit Washington D.C. this spring or summer you must put the NEWSEUM on your itinerary.

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This is definitely a photography opportunity you don't want to miss. Believe it or not there is a Kodak moment at every turn. The Newseum opened last year and you will go down memory lane seeing exhibits from years past. As you approach the Newseum from the outside you will see a display of newspaper front pages from all 50 states that greet patrons and passers-by each morning.

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The Newseum, which bills itself as "the world's most interactive museum", features more than 125 interactive game and simulation kiosks, 15 theatres and two television studios. The exhibits in the Newseum are some of the best I have seen.

Some of my favorites, are the gallery of News over the past 100 years, the 9/11 gallery chronicling the attack on America, the Berlin Wall gallery featuring a 12 foot tall section of the Berlin Wall on display along with one of the 300 guard towers that stood along the 27 mile barrier between East and West Berlin, and the Internet, TV and Radio gallery. However, my most favorite gallery was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs gallery...This gallery features the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled as well as interviews with many of the photographers. After a four hour visit and 300+ photographs it was a photographic experience I can't wait to go back and do again--Hope I will see you there !!!!!!

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Until next week thanks for dropping by...Meanwhile go out and have FUN WITH YOU CAMERA!!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Inspirational Sunday



Love One Another!

The Bible speaks frequently of how important it is to love each other.

In John 15:12, Jesus says, "This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you."

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 says, "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Mark 12:31 says, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Luke 6:31 says, " Do to others as you would have them do to you."

John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."



God Love America and Our Troops
On Valentine's Day and all year long!


A special thanks to Edie Kirkbride, a great friend of our blog, for our Valentine image!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Scrapbooking Tips


What a lovely thing to say!

Here is a great quotation to encourage us all to take time to preserve our images and the facts about our everyday lives for family and friends whether scrapbooking or blogging:

I want to encourage "baby boomers" and senior citizens to use digital storytelling to preserve their memories and life stories for future generations.

Here is the mission: using today's technology to tell yesterday's stories to tomorrow's generations. The current popularity of scrapbooking and genealogy all indicate that there is an interest to preserve these memories. But those who study genealogy know that we can find the dates and facts about a life, but stories that are not preserved are lost forever.

Everyone has a story to tell. Digital storytelling is one way to preserve and share our family legacies. Perhaps I can also work into the process a "retirement transition" focus, using digital stories as a way of finding a new purpose in retirement after a very busy working life.

Learning to share digital stories could become a powerful transition activity. And in the process, new retirees could learn technology skills that they might have missed in their professional careers.

Here is also an opportunity for schools, as well, to bring this digital storytelling process to their communities, to match young people who have the technology skills with older people who have the stories to be preserved.

Then, we can truly become a community of lifelong learners who share our knowledge and wisdom with each other.


(Dr. Helen Barrett)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Internet Magic Fridays

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.



Google is my new best friend. It’s not only the name of a (very successful) company, but it’s bound to become a new verb in the English books! Need to know? Just “google” it.

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Google is a search engine that uses text matching techniques to find web pages that are important and relevant to a user’s search. Now, there are other search engines by other providers. For more in-depth information on search engines, go to http://www.google.com/ and type in “What is a search engine?” Information on about 225,000,000 sources of information and web pages will pop up. Yup, that’s what I said – 225 million! Choose (click on) one of the first five or so to learn more. Wilkipedia is always a good one to start with.

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For instance, last week I was editing a newsletter that featured an article on President’s Day. Since all good editors check and re-check information, I needed to know whether President’s Day should be written President’s Day (singular possessive), Presidents’ Day (plural possessive) or just plain Presidents Day (just plain plural). Now try googling Presidents Day just for
fun. You’ll see, as I did, that it came up all three ways! I guess that means that everyone can’t agree, so you can take your pick!

To make your searches faster and easier, go to http://www.toolbar.google.com/. From this site you can download a Google toolbar (it’s free).

The toolbar will then be installed at the top of your screen so you don’t have to input http://www.google.com/ each time you want to search for something.

Just type it in the space on your google toolbar and your off and running!

Jane Booras is Editor of the Campus Times Newsletter for Computer School for Seniors (www.cs4seniors.com)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.




LEARNING LATER, LIVING GREATER:
The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

Ah Italy…

Once we arrived in Verona, Italy we were treated to a lecture on the opera “Aida,” which we were seeing later that evening in an outdoor, 1,000 year-old Roman amphitheater! The amphitheater held 20,000 Italians who took their opera very seriously. As the opera began you could hear a pin drop, the audience was that quiet. The performance, enhanced by our lecture, was spectacular, complete with live animals, a cast of 200, and a full moon bathing the entire area in a golden glow.

The next day, after a lecture and a walking tour of Verona, our bus departed mid-afternoon, driving to the village of Dorf Tirol in the Italian Alps.

Dorf Tiro was beautiful–a perfect little Tirolean Village with signs in both German and Italian. We knew about the dual signage because of the lecture we had listened to before leaving Innsbruck. Sentiment about the Austrian loss of the South Tirol in 1918 still ran deep in the villagers, and even today unrest simmered in these northern Italian mountains.

The next morning found us walking down the mountain to Brunnenburg, the castle home of the late poet, Ezra Pound. His grandson now lives there, and has established the Tirolean Lifestyle Museum. Pound’s grandson gave us a very special guided tour and a lecture on the life and times of the controversial poet.

Lectures and visits to old Italian towns and medieval walled cities, completed our Italian stay. Five days later we found ourselves back in Innsbruck visiting castles, wonderful churches and cathedrals, art museums, and even meeting an actual descendant of the Hapsburgs.

Next week…On top of a glacier!

THURSDAY’S THOUGHT…
Euripides said, “Experience, travel - these are as education in themselves” So true! Never in my life had I felt like I was learning so much and enjoying myself at the same time. For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit www.learninglater.com You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at www.amazon.com

Till Next Time…

Nancy Merz Nordstrom is Director of the Lifelong Learning Department at Computer School for Seniors (www.cs4seniors.com)

Wednesday Aging in Place

On Wednesdays, Laurie Orlov, tech industry veteran, writer, speaker and elder care advocate will be sharing her insightful research on how seniors can safely and successfully live independent lives in the home of their choice.


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Connected Living
Ambassadors of Tech

Laurie Orlov on Tue, 02/09/2010

Outreach to link seniors and computers -- more needed. Although there are multiple approaches to opening up the vast world of the Internet to seniors, rarely do they reach all the way into the home. These include the FloH Club (telephone service), senior centers or SeniorNet (center-based), online training programs (like Computer School For Seniors), or online tech support (crossloop.com). Consider bundled offerings like IN2L that provide access to seniors in senior housing -- or a la carte software like PointerWare. All good, but none involve MyWay Village's Ambassador approach.

Comcast and MyWay Village pilot Chicago program in the home. This fall, MyWay Villlage began piloting its Connected Living program into community programs like this AgingWell in West Roxbury, MA. And at the request of Comcast in Chicago seeking a way to engage older customers, they piloted a bundle, including access to Connected Living along with Comcast's broadband service. The goal, according to Anna Hall of Quincy, MA Myway Village -- was to 'provide an easy way to use a computer -- without frustration.'

Ambassadors make it work. An integral part of Connected Living depends on ambassadors are well-trained part-time contractors, background checked, who have already been helping MyWay Village support its computers and software in retirement housing environments. They develop relationships with seniors, according to Anna, 'learning about their social needs, requirement for adaptive equipment, and helping them see how the computer (typically a desktop machine) can enhance their life." The Connected Living service is $9.99/month -- and the special Comcast high-speed access deal in the Chicago pilot was $19.99. The Connected Living service also is combined with a Call Center, where the responders are trained the same way as the ambassadors.

Connected Living connects volunteer ambassadors to seniors. MyWay Village's Connected Living initiative has also recruited volunteer ambassadors from the local community -- including seniors and stay-at-home moms, and in West Roxbury, 14 volunteer high school students have volunteered time to teach seniors at the high school lab.

Using the Internet as a catalyst for collaborative reminiscences. Using discussion groups to introduce seniors (in whatever setting), Anna says: "We introduce them to 'the wonder of the Internet'. For example, in a class about big band music, when someone asks a question about Benny Goodman, we search for him online and find his music. That triggers a group reminiscence about Benny Goodman, and then each can go back to their online account and write about their memories, creating a collaborative memoir."

Prediction -- home companion services will include computer guidance. Just as the ambassadors for Connected Living help seniors with computers, so too, there are home companion services that include computer support -- like Engage as You Age in the Bay area. Given growth in home companion care as part of the overall trend to age in place, expect that moving forward, initial assessments of home care requirements include an assessment of willingness to learn more about computers and would respond to a tech ambassador.

For more information, visit Laurie at http://www.ageinplacetech.com/ Place Technology Department at http://www.cs4seniors.com/

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tuesday Treasures

On Tuesday's we are going to take a trip down memory lane with some "remember when" photos and stories submitted by our students. It could be photos from a high school prom; a nostalgic look at a 1950's TV program or a collage of photos that were just taken last week. If you have memories, old or new, you would like to share, send them to me at mxw8110@yahoo.com


This simple yet effective collage was created in Photoshop Elements by one of my favorite students, Kevin Rush. He visits New York City as often as possible to take in all the city has to offer plus to catch up on the many family members and friends who live in or near New York City.

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He is a native of New Jersey and spent many a day and night in New York City before leaving home to attend college at the University of Tennessee and to pursue a career with Celanese Corporation.

He and his wife Linda (an excellent baker and dedicated teacher) were fortunate to live in the New York City suburbs for 13 years during which time their son Bryan was born. Kevin's career took the family to Dallas in 1992 where they have put down new roots.

The pictures in the collage were all taken on a Saturday morning between 7 and 7:30 in and around his niece's apartment in the West Village of NY City. Kevin said, “I thought she would appreciate getting to see her neighborhood from a perspective and lighting she normally would not witness. Why should she ever be up at 7 on a Saturday morning?”

Thanks to Kevin for sharing his "morning magic" of photos in this collage collection.

Capture the Moment Monday

Dave Berry, Director of the Photography Department at Computer School for Seniors will be sharing his insightful Photo Tips with you every Monday for Capture the Moment Mondays.



Dave's Photographic Mentor

Today I'm highlighting one of my favorite Photographic websites to visit----Moose Peterson.

This is a website that is dedicated to Moose Peterson's great passion for wildlife photography. Yes, that's his real name and he is a talented gentleman and a true inspiration. Over the years I've had the pleasure of attending several of his workshops and let me tell you - they are the BEST!!!!

With just shy of 2100 pages, all written by Moose, you'll find tons of information to read and awesome photos to enjoy. You can learn about taking great pictures by reading through his site. It can be found by going to http://www.moosepeterson.com/. While on Moose's website don't forget to visit Moose's great daily blog.

Until next week thanks for dropping by...meanwhile go out and have FUN WITH YOUR CAMERA!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Inspirational Sunday

Bill Witcher, co-founder of Computer School for Seniors will be sharing words of encouragement, inspiration and hope with you each Sunday.




Just Stay

Have you ever had the feeling that someone needed to hear from you? That you had to make a call or pay a visit to a friend or loved one? I have. Over the years I think we have all made telephone calls that have started out with, "I've been thinking about you. I just had to call to see how you are doing." Many times our Lord will put a thought in our mind or touch our heart and we just know we are needed. The following story a friend shared with me via email explains how God can use us in many unexpected ways for His work.

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

"Your son is here," she said to the old man.

She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.

Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

"Who was that man?" he asked.

The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.

"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here.

When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."

"I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey. His son was killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to inform him. What was this gentleman's name?"

The Nurse with tears in her eyes answered,


“Mr. William Grey.............”

The next time someone needs you ... just be there. Stay.


WE AREN'T HUMAN BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.

WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS GOING THROUGH A TEMPORARY HUMAN EXPERIENCE.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Star Review

The year 2009 brought many mixed blessings along with it. For our blog, that year featured exceptional images and stories. Since we have more and more new people befriending our blog, on Saturdays we have decided to do a review of some of the Stars from our first year.



Restore and Collage


Jane Kennedy, one of my gifted students, showed me this lovely collage she had created. I just cannot say enough about the creativity, sense of design and talent I see continuously when dealing with my wonderful 50-to-90-age-group students!

When I asked her if we could use her collage in our blog she kindly consented.

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There is a sweet story that goes along with it. The image the collage is created around is of her mother, Pauline Baxley. Jane found this picture in a box after her brother had passed away. She had never seen it before. Her mother had written “Pondie” right across the front of the photograph!!

Jane says, “Thank goodness she did that or I never would have known who it was!” Jane is a Photoshop user, so she was able to remove the signature.

Then her recipe for such a successful image, was to use a scrapbook background she found in one of her books. Next she found the fashion ladies and the old automobile on the Internet and added those to her collage in Photoshop Elements. She stirred these appealing elements together and ended up with a charming collage for herself and her family!!

Thank you Jane for sharing this wonderful collage with all of us!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Internet Magic Fridays

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters including our Campus Times. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.


One day last week when I opened the front door, I noticed a new “Yellow Pages” phone book had been delivered. It was thick and heavy, and I lugged it inside and back to the study. There I retrieved last year’s edition of the same book. Together they could easily give me a backache or help a 2-year old reach the dinner table from a dining room chair!

My intent was to replace the old one with the new one on the shelf. But suddenly I realized that, in one whole year, I haven’t once opened the yellow pages! So I hauled them BOTH to the recycle bin.


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When I need to know something about something, something about anything, or anything about something or anything about anything – I go to the Internet! Google is my new best friend.

Need a phone number? Internet. Plumber? Internet. Zip Code? Internet. Map or driving directions? Internet. Possible treatments for Aunt Sally’s latest illness? Internet. Picture for a greeting card or church bulletin? Internet.

It goes on and on and a world of information is there at the tips of your fingers.

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The Internet is a rich and reliable resource for (almost) anything you need to know. Besides that, it expands what you need to know by taking you to places that tell you what you didn’t know you need to know.

As we blog around each Friday, we’ll explore some of this fascinating new universe. Besides, who needs all those heavy, bulky old phone books anyway?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.




LEARNING LATER, LIVING GREATER:
The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years…
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

Continuing from last week…

During one of our excursions, while we were sitting at a cafe in downtown Innsbruck, we heard people chanting and were very surprised to see a large human-rights demonstration coming down Maria Theresian Strasse, the main street of Innsbruck. They were Turkish patriots and sympathizers, carrying signs, banners and coffins protesting the death of one of their leaders.

Now, that street–Maria Theresian Strasse – is the very same street that I had seen in a film the day before as part of a lecture on the history of Austria. In that film, the street was again the scene of a large march, not of human rights activists, however, but of Nazis during World War II. What the film showed us was the occupation of Innsbruck by Hitler and his troops.

It was a sobering, eerie experience to sit there and watch this modern-day demonstration since in my mind’s eye I saw the Nazis instead. This was a real life history lesson for me, learning at its very best.

All of our lectures and field trips were designed as real life history lessons. For instance, in preparation for our upcoming trip to Italy and the South Tirol, our lecturer took us through several hundred years of the history of that region, focusing on the treaty after World War I in 1918 that took South Tirol away from Austria and gave it to Italy.

Since the professor blamed President Woodrow Wilson for Austria’s loss of the Tirol, things got a bit sticky between him and some of our group who also knew their history. But it certainly made for a fascinating morning, which flew by. It’s always interesting and very educational to learn about other points of view.

How different these classes were from those of my youth. I found myself thinking over and over how I wished school could have been this stimulating, this challenging, this entertaining. I loved sitting in the classroom at the University of Innsbruck soaking up all the professors had to impart to me.

Next Week…Off to Italy

THURSDAY’S THOUGHT…

According to Michel de Montaigne, the Renaissance Scholar, “Traveling through the world produces a marvelous clarity in the judgment of men. We are all of us confined and enclosed within ourselves, and see no farther than the end of our nose. This great world is a mirror where we must see ourselves in order to know ourselves. There are so many different tempers, so many different points of view, judgments, opinions, laws and customs to teach us to judge wisely on our own, and to teach our judgment to recognize its imperfection and natural weakness.” This fact was certainly brought home to me as I sat in that cafĂ© in Innsbruck.

For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit http://www.learninglater.com/ You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at http://www.amazon.com/

Till Next Time…

Nancy Merz Nordstrom is Director of the Lifelong Learning Department at Computer School for Seniors (http://www.cs4seniors.com/)

Age in Place Wednesday

On Wednesdays, Laurie Orlov, tech industry veteran, writer, speaker and elder care advocate will be sharing her insightful research on how seniors can safely and successfully live independent lives in the home of their choice.

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Seniors Who Use Internet
Could Reap Health Benefits,
Studies Show
By George Lauer
iHealthBeat Features Editor

A couple of recent studies indicate elders are beginning to appreciate and embrace the health benefits of IT, a trend some predict will grow rapidly as the health industry gets up to speed with digital technology.

According to research released in October, spending time online reduces depression and increases cognitive brain function among senior citizens. A study conducted by Washington, D.C.-based Phoenix Center found that spending time online reduces depression by 20% for senior citizens.

Along with improvements in quality of life, researchers say reducing the incidence of depression by widespread Internet use among older Americans could help trim the nation's health care bill.

Meanwhile, researchers from Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California-Los Angeles found that surfing the Web for only a week stimulated areas of the brain that control decision-making and complex reasoning in middle-aged and older adults with little Internet experience.

Tangible, measurable health benefits of technology, along with anecdotal evidence delivered word-of-mouth or through the media, will boost seniors' engagement, experts say.

David Lindeman, executive director of the Center for Technology and Aging, said when seniors begin seeing "real-life applications for health IT that actually improve their lives," barriers to technology go down and adoption goes up.

"When people see something that can actually improve their lives, they're going to seek it out and use it," Lindeman said.

"Five or 10 years ago, it may have been easy to say older adults were uncomfortable with some of the new technology, but that's changing on many levels. In addition to the issues of social connectedness and communication, you now have a whole new array of health benefits and those are about to expand with the possibilities of smart phones and mobile technology. That's going to be huge," Lindeman said.

Depression Study

Phoenix Center researchers said the implications of their findings are significant because depression affects millions of Americans aged 55 and older and costs about $100 million annually in direct medical and workplace costs.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates 42% of Americans aged 65 and older use the Internet, significantly lower than rates of other age groups.

Because of the relatively low usage rates, researchers said the opportunity for better health outcomes from expanded Internet adoption among seniors is substantial.

"Efforts to expand broadband use in the U.S. must eventually tackle the problem of low adoption in the elderly population," George Ford, Phoenix Center chief economist and co-author of the study, said in a release accompanying the report.

"The positive mental health consequences of Internet [use] demonstrate, in part, the value of demand for stimulus programs aimed at older Americans," Ford added.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Capture the Moment Monday

Dave Berry, Director of the Photography Department at Computer School for Seniors will share his insightful Photo Tips with you on Capture the Moment Mondays.



1st Photo Safari with my Son!!!!!


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My son Brian called me right before Christmas and expressed an interest in getting into Photography. I have been behind the lens for over 40 years but I have chosen not to convince my children to share in my hobby unless they wanted to be involved. When he called and wanted my recommendation on buying his first camera I was thrilled to say the least! After giving him my recommendations, his brand new Nikon D90 with two lens arrived on Christmas Eve. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to give him a crash course in Photography over the Christmas Holiday. A couple of weekends later he called and wanted to go shooting.


Even though it was in the low 30's that weekend I suggested going to the Ft. Worth Zoo....


I must say we had a Blast !!!!!!.

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When we got home my wife said to me, "Do you realize that was the first time you have ever taken your son to the Zoo?" I thought about it awhile and she was right. I had been so busy in my career when my kids where young I had never taken them to the zoo.

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What I haven't shared with you is my son Brian just turned 31 years old last December. It was one of the best days I've spent with my Son and to think it took photography to bring us together for our 1st Father/Son trip to the zoo. I guess you can say it's never to late!

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Hear are some of our pictures from our 1st Photo Safari. Hope you enjoy! Until next week Thanks for dropping by. Meanwhile go out and...


HAVE FUN WITH YOU CAMERA!!!!!!!!

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