Elderly people who are willing to better understand the world of mobile devices can sign up for a free course offered by the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences (ICMC) of USP in São Carlos. The activity  Practices with Tablets and Phones  aims to familiarize the elderly with their own devices, presenting from basic concepts to applications that can be useful in everyday life. The application deadline is February 26 or while vacancies.

“I thought it was fantastic! I lost the fear of touching the phone, an insecurity that I had not to be this time,” says the entrepreneur Claudio Kalau, who attended the course last year. “I believed it would not need to learn, but I started to feel out of the market, “he adds.

Who also attended the course last year and approved the initiative was retired Maria Aparecida Crnkovic: “I won the machine’s my son, but he did not have much time to teach me. It is much more useful when you have a live class with slides, and can interact with staff. Today, communication is a necessity. ”

In the course, the participant learns, for example, make phone calls, send messages, create and manage contacts, alarms, daily, take pictures and videos, send emails, play games and even surf on social networks.Who participate in this first course module will also have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge in module II, which will be offered this semester, and later in the module III.

To participate, you must have at least 60 years and bring your own smartphone or tablet, enabled to surf the internet and Android operating system. Classes are held once a week, always on Wednesdays, starting on March 2, from 15 to 17 hours. There are 20 places available. To register, seniors should call the phone (16) 3373.9146, from 9 to 11 am or from 14 to 17 hours.

Teaching and research –  The activities are coordinated by teachers Mary Grace Pimentel and Renata Pontin, the ICMC, who develop research in the area of user-computer integration. “We are seeking tounderstand how older people interact with these applications and the best way to do this is to be with them in this course,” said Maria da Graça.

It is the activities in the classroom that teachers identify what are the needs of the public and, from there, can propose and alternative techniques to the tools that will be built in the future. Mary Grace says also that the course allows the expansion of the range of problems to be solved in the studies conducted by Intermedia Laboratory of the Institute,  which is part: “We are raising the difficulties from the point of view of coordination as the activities of the elderly in their day to day. Let’s tackle these difficulties with our research. ”

Another aspect that favors the development of new studies is the variety of devices that students bring to the classroom. This makes the practices more challenging classroom and to ensure that there is a personalized service, many undergraduate and graduate act as monitors, helping the elderly of the learning process is a success.


Monitors help the elderly during class

Text: Denise Casatti and Henrique Fontes – Communications Department of the ICMC / USP

Photos. Henrique Fontes

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