Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On Aging Computer Controller:

I recently acquired a used computer for my mother. I had it checked out and fitted with the programs she needed and today delivered it to her, set it up, and got her started.

Now, I don’t know if you have ever watched as a senior citizen learns how to work a computer for the first time, but I was pleasantly surprised at how fast she did pick it up.

She knows how to turn it on, find and work the work processor, play her music that we put into it, Play with the game she picked to practice her mouse skills on, watch her DVD’s and she can also shut it down.

She was, of course, overwhelmed at first. So much to learn and understand, and there are so many ways to learn to do the same thing in the beginning. Icons, start menu, enter, escape, right click, left click, keyboard, mouse. Programs, oh so many programs!

I watched as she made her way from holding her mouse in a death grip to finding the curser doing what she wanted it to do. She made choices and went ahead with stilted confidence which further grew.

I wrote up a little ten page instruction booklet to leave with her. Explaining wording and actions on her screen, what the buttons do and where to find things she will want again. She will easily try to and get better at it tomorrow and the days after that.

I will call her on the phone and field her questions, guiding her in the exploration of this new larger then life toy.

I may have to nudge her to practice so she will be ready for the big day.

Next week we set her up with the internet. Email and My Space here she comes.

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