Teens and seniors bridge the tech gap

Daniel Hong, a sophomore at Mountain View High, helps a local senior master a technology problem. Jane Ridgeway/Town Crier

Local high schoolers and seniors shared their knowledge last week at an Intergenerational Tech Tutors workshop offered through the Los Altos Senior Program at Hillview Community Center. Teen volunteers from both Los Altos and Mountain View High schools developed the four-week workshop’s curriculum and walked seniors through learning new technical skills, from performing a web search to navigating the wilds of social media.

“You don’t think about it because it seems so natural, but it’s really jargon-heavy,” said city recreation specialist Brandon Council. “(You might say), ‘Go to the search bar,’ but what’s a search bar?”

Though the workshop started small, Council said, with more tutors than seniors, it grew to capacity over the course of four weeks, filling the small computer lab.

Many intergenerational duos hunkered down in front of the senior center’s computers to focus on web-based skills, while others worked with seniors’ own devices, from the latest iPhone to a high-end digital camera.

Los Altos resident Carol Wald, a former linguistics professor herself, said the program had benefits for both seniors and their young counterparts.

“She’s a terrific teacher,” Wald said of tutor Avery, a Los Altos High sophomore.

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