094: Learn to Use Technology with This Free Resource

At Absolute Trust Counsel, we used to create this podcast just as a podcast. We would sit in a room with our headsets, microphones, and just record. Then when the pandemic hit, things changed, and we started live streaming so we could interact with our clients and audiences in a new and impactful way.

As we think about how the pandemic changed our way of life, it’s easy to relate to downloading and learning new apps and buying new devices just so we could carry on and do the “normal” things that we always used to, right? It wasn’t long ago that many of us saw Zoom and other communication platforms as novelties that weren’t likely to assume an important position in our lives. Similarly, while many of us are familiar with things like Google Maps, far fewer have ever had to explore all that it has to offer fully.

And despite its tangible, everyday benefits, technology isn’t that intuitive, so there can be a learning curve that may seem downright daunting. We need help, and we need instruction, especially for older adults who want to learn to leverage technology to make life easier and open new possibilities and experiences.

“Where were we supposed to learn this information about technology? We must recognize, one, not only is it not your fault if you don’t understand or have this information, but two, it’s our mission at Senior Planet to make sure you’re informed, especially when it comes to going online to protect your own personal information online. So again, this is where we’re honing in on providing that safe space for participants to learn a lot and have fun.”

In our newest episode of Absolute Trust Talk, we have the privilege of introducing you to Ryan Kawamoto, Regional Program Director for Older Adult Technology Services at Senior Planet, an AARP affiliate. Together Ryan and Kirsten will be telling you all about Senior Planet, a valuable resource that’s just a phone call (or a mouse click) away and will help pave the way for you to master today’s most useful technology. Concerned about the cost? Don’t be. This multi-faceted resource is at your disposal, free of charge. Concerned that you must be an AARP member to participate? No worries there, either. An AARP membership isn’t required.

Our discussion will include:

  • Several ways that technology can improve our lives
  • How COVID has made technology more important than ever
  • How Senior Planet’s programming makes learning technology easier
  • How mastering technology can keep us safer while online
  • The various ways these valuable learning resources can be accessed (at no charge!)

And more.

Whether you’ve been curious about emerging technology but have difficulties trying to use it or would just like a refresher on some of your favorite apps or devices, this episode is for you.

Big Three from Episode #094:

  1. From staying in touch with friends and business associates to getting the most out of our communication devices, emerging technology is making our lives easier in a variety of ways, but we can’t assume that everyone knows how to use every app, search engine, or device out there. That’s where Senior Planet steps in to cut out the intimidation factor by encouraging individuals to stay informed and educated with practical technology training.
  2. Senior Planet is a FREE resource open to EVERYONE, whether you have an AARP membership or not, aimed at providing a safe for participants to learn, network, and have fun.
  3. Senior Planet offers a wide variety of technology and lifestyle classes — online and in-person — that are conducted by qualified professionals to help older adults develop a greater level of comfort and skill with today’s technology. These classes are offered in English, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Time-stamped Show Notes:

0:00 Introduction

1:57 Ryan Kawamoto, our guest today, has a deep experience in the senior community. Listen as Kirsten shares more about who Ryan is and why he is qualified to talk with us about technology.

4:47 Senior Planet’s mission focuses on providing older adults with comprehensive technical support. Listen in as Ryan shares more about what they do.

5:44 An essential educational feature that Senior Planet has is a toll-free technology hotline where you can get most of your questions answered right on the spot. Here are the details.

7:17 For those looking for answers to specific technology questions or need more in-depth solutions, Senior Planet also offers 1-on-1 instruction, known as tech talks. Press play to learn more about how to schedule one of these coaching sessions.

7:39 Did you know? After a 2-year Covid-related hiatus, in-person instruction is once again available, and walk-ins are welcome. Here’s how to register for assistance.

11:02 Every day, Senior Planet offers various courses ranging from finances and wellness to technology. Not only will participants learn something new, but they will be able to network with fellow learners.

13:00 Senior Planet makes it its mission to ensure that its course curriculum is geared toward seniors with special exercises, formatting, and more. Here’s what you need to know.

13:53 As mentioned above, Senior Planet offers more than just technology-related courses. Start listening now to hear more from Ryan about the new Money Matters class that helps seniors protect themselves from fraud, find great deals when they shop online, and more.

15:07 Ryan and Kirsten continue their discussion on classes and coaching offered by Senior Planet, highlighting the five different impact areas and 60 different topics, lectures, and workshops covered.

16:39 Senior Planet is constantly adding new classes, programs, and events and offers an e-newsletter to keep you in the know. Here’s how to sign up.

17:50 For those seeking to enhance their technological understanding at their own pace, Senior Planet offers an extensive array of pre-recorded classes and videos that are just a click away.

19:36 Listen in now as Ryan shares information on two upcoming events in partnership with AARP California. For more information or to register, visit https://seniorplanet.org/locations/palo-alto/in-person-classes-at-avenidas/.

20:12 Learning more about technology can be a daunting prospect. Ryan discusses Senior Planet’s emphasis on creating a safe, welcoming learning space for all.

22:10 Q&A: In-home “smart” devices have gained a lot of popularity lately, but there’s some learning required to get the most out of them. Here’s how Senior Planet can help you meet that challenge.

24:22  Q&A: Do you need to be an AARP member to use the Senior Planet resources?

25:20 Q&A: Where does Senior Planet get all the instructors to teach the classes?

27:40 Senior Planet’s tagline is “Aging with Attitude.” Ryan explains what that entails and why it matters.

Get in Touch with Ryan Kawamoto
Regional Director for Older Adults Technology Service (OATS)
Senior Planet – An Affiliate of AARP
450 Bryant Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
T: (650) 650-460-9123
Email: RKawamoto@oats.org

Connect with Senior Planet via Social Media:

  1. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1fH87GZAPaP-tLl_H1hNGw
  2. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/senior.planet/
  3. Twitter: https://twitter.com/seniorplanet
  4. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seniorplanet 

Resources/Links Mentioned in this Episode:

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