Hocking College Offers Computer Classes To Seniors

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Hocking College is kicking off its seventh year of computer classes for senior citizens starting today.

It is taught by Mark Yanko, an instructor in the computer science department at the college, but his students are what make this service-learning course possible. Each second-year computer science student in the course is assigned to a senior citizen to help them with basic computer skills.
The number of senior citizens allowed in the course is dependent on how many students volunteer to help. This year they have 28 Hocking students enrolled in this class.  Their participation fulfills a service learning civic responsibility requirement.
"Students are required to write a two-page reflection paper on it and they're required to keep a weekly journal as to the person they're working with and the items that they're showing them," Yanko said.
The course covers things like moving between programs, managing email and learning about safety on the internet.  "I feel that in the industry, a lot of the scams and fishing schemes that go on kind of target some of the elderly.  So, we try to educate them about the pros and cons about giving out credit card information," said Yanko.
The course is completely free and Yanko says the response from the community has been great since they first started it.  He also says that many of the students become close with their senior citizens and remain in touch even after the course is over. 
"The students go into it thinking that it's silly and they don't like it, but usually about the second or third time, they start getting attached to the person they're teaching and then at the very end it's very nice," said Yanko.
He hopes that interest in the course continues to grow and says that it has been a success from the minute they started it.