Staff reports [Northside Neighbor - 05/16/2018, page B07]
Seniors who use the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility in Sandy Springs are enjoying the benefits of new laptops and installation of WiFi in the facility. The new technological access is part of a pilot project made possible by a donation from the Sandy Springs Society.
Every year, the Society offers annual grant opportunities to nonprofits that serve the Sandy Springs community, and it donated $5,000 to purchase 20 laptops to allow enhanced access to computer technology for seniors eager to take advantage of computer classes and independent use of computer technology. The Friends of Benson submitted the grant and matched the award with a $5000 donation toward the technology upgrades.
With additional devices, the facility offers:
- Tech Savvy Instruction: using iPads and laptops, as well as instruction on smartphone use targeting iPhone users. Benson hopes to offer the following technology-related activities in the near future:
- Tech Savvy Fitness: nutrition and fitness tracking and monitoring using Fitbits donated by the Friends of Benson.
- Tech Savvy Arts & Culture: exploring web based online tutorials as a student or instructor.
The previous setup allowed the use of only the computer lab in the Benson facility. Now seniors can teach themselves or enjoy use of the new technology anywhere inside and outside of the building.
The technology upgrades also supported an enhanced registration process that allowed the use of the laptops for registration at multiple locations throughout the facility. The electronic process permitted an average of 50 additional class registrations per day during the recent registration period. Benson members were able to come in and register independently or with assistance.
Participants who registered for the classes participated in a lottery to determine which classes they will receive. The lottery method is a process designed to ensure that all participants have an equitable chance to participate in a variety of classes throughout the year. Several years ago, Senior Services instituted the lottery method because of the increasing demand for classes as the senior population continues to grow.
Photo caption reads: From left, Lynn Smith, Shomay Chern, Miles Rothman and Lawrence Lingner check out the new computers at the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility.