GRAND Magazine - Spring 2020 - 17

tech talk
Senior Planet has expanded to four computer- and WiFi-equipped centers
across the country: New York City; Plattsburgh, NY; Denver, CO; and Palo Alto, CA.
It also gives training at 165 locations over six states, most of which are "partner
sites" (libraries, senior centers, and community centers). Senior Planet trainers have
taught in assisted living and nursing homes-- "Anywhere where somebody has a
computer room or a space for enabled WiFi tablets, we'll go and teach there," says
Kander.
There are classes in everything from setting up email to social networking to
starting an online business-all free to anyone over 60.
Face-to-face Senior Planet has been a huge success-attracting older people
from diverse backgrounds who learn together and get to know each other, forming friendships and gaining essential skills. More than 30,000 seniors have benefited from engaging with Senior Planet, whether that involved taking a class,
attending an event, or visiting the website, among other touchpoints.
But then coronavirus struck, and everything changed. Senior Planet has had to
adapt to the new reality of social distancing when most Americans-especially
seniors-are confined to their homes. They've done a remarkable job of moving
their programs online to both live, interactive groups and recorded classes.
I spent a few hours today on the Senior Planet's website, exploring their virtual
offerings. I "met" new people (Hi Gail and Dave from Colorado!) in a Daily Virtual
Gathering, where we had a tutorial on how to use the ride-share app Lyft; took
chair yoga with Tina in New York; and learned the ins and outs of Zoom with tech
expert Bre along with 70 other people. If I'd had time, I could have joined the virtual Book Club, discussed my favorite movies, and read an article on how Covid-19
affects Medicare-from the comfort of my home.
Next on my to-do list-Ready Set Bank: Online Banking Made Easy, a tool
created with Capital One that teaches seniors how to bank online - a process that's
become more important than ever.
Senior Planet has also published the Coronavirus Resource Guide -- which
includes Virtual Events, the Stuck-at-Home Guide, and important information on
COVID-19. These offerings are updated daily.

Click here to watch interview
with Tom Kamber
17 GRAND

SPRING 2020

Tom Kamber (center) with
two Senior Planet students

I recently interviewed executive director Tom Kamber via Zoom about the
evolution of Senior Planet and how the program is adapting to the new stay-athome world. (The following interview is condensed and edited.)
GRAND: When we set up this meeting, it was kind of a different world, and now
it's like we're on a different planet!
Kamber: It's been the most insane turn of events.
GRAND: I can tell from other interviews you've done that you are a very upbeat
person. I'm hoping you give us a sense of uplifting optimism.
Kamber: I am a relentless optimist. If you want optimism, you've come to the right
place. I'm really gratified by watching the whole world kind of coming together to
try to grapple with a crisis like this and being really inspired by it. I see hundreds of
people serving food to each other, coming up with home-delivered meals. The city's
not really set up for that. They're having to tell people, "Hold on a minute. We're
trying to figure out how to handle the public health issues associated with such a
Continued on next page


https://youtu.be/OehHoEXjruA https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0994809700/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=0994809700&linkId=c0cf2342749a51234e00421ef2df453e https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003B6QYSW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=grandmagazi0d-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B003B6QYSW&linkId=74a78ba0a510c9871c2e38f745d59213 https://www.seniorplanet.org/ready-set-bank-online-banking-made-easy/ https://www.seniorplanet.org/coronavirus/ https://youtu.be/OehHoEXjruA

GRAND Magazine - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - Spring 2020

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