Jody and Ruthie talked with me after their digital skills class on a rainy afternoon in Austin. Neither of them had owned a tablet before, but both bring their own talents to class each week. Jody describes herself as “completely self-taught” when it comes to technology. For Ruthie, “almost everything is new, but the class is a really fun way to learn” about it all.
Ruthie and Jody are two of the five participants in the Connect @ Home program at Oak Springs Villas Apartments. The class works together with me, their instructor, to learn how to harness technology to reconnect them with friends and family, manage their finances and health care, and keep pace with the modern world. On the first day of class, Ruthie made a poignant statement: “Even though we’re here, we’re still living. There is so much about technology that has left us behind, and I’m going to catch up.”
Over the first few courses, Judy and Ruthie have fast become friends. They brought recipes and music to share after learning how to search the internet on their new devices. Even after the end of class, the two of them usually remain for some time, sharing stories and skills. I look forward to seeing all of the things both of them will bring to our class as we continue through the class. Jody and Ruthie continue to bring laughs and life experience to the Connect @ Home program. They entered as acquaintances, but I’m convinced that they will leave with an entire new group of friends.