Carolyn Motokane helps an older woman with her iPad

Whether we like it or not, technology is constantly being integrated into our daily lives. From our grandchildren’s constant requests to take selfies, to our healthcare providers encouraging us to download apps to track our daily pill intake, we are living in a world where keeping up with the latest technology trends is almost as important as remembering to bring home omiyage. While there is little doubt among us as to why using technology in our lives is important, the biggest challenge is finding the right opportunity to properly learn how to navigate such a daunting task. Maybe the free technology class at the mall is too crowded, or perhaps you do not want to be ridiculed by a younger family member because technology is “easy.”

In 2016, Carolyn Motokane, a retired community college professional and longtime Keiro volunteer became the first of many volunteers to be trained in facilitating Keiro’s Introduction to iPad course. Like many in our community, Carolyn uses her iPad on a daily basis.

Teaching the iPad class

According to Carolyn, “Between the iPad and iPhone, I’ve disposed of my paper calendars and phone books. In addition, I use my iPad to shop, text message, research, plan vacations, watch movies, and email.”

After years of using her iPad to improve her lifestyle, Carolyn found an opportunity to help older adults in our community learn about how their iPad can help them stay socially engaged and keep their independence as they age at home.

Carolyn said, “The ability to connect with family members and friends through another avenue of communication is what I’ve observed as being most valuable to the participants”.

Participant triumphs over FaceTime

While other technology courses teach similar content, Keiro’s Introduction to iPad course takes a different approach to delivering the content to its participants. Individuals can borrow iPads for the duration of the six-week course so they can practice at home. Additionally the course is limited in size to provide an optimal volunteer-to-participant ratio, ensuring individuals of all skill levels have the opportunity for one-on-one help from an experienced volunteer like Carolyn.

As a volunteer, Carolyn said her favorite part about volunteering was, “Feeling like I could assist someone in learning something that will make their lives easier and feel more connected to the world.”

Carolyn Motokane helping an older adult man.

Rather than serve as a constant stressor, technology is a tool that can and should enhance the quality of our daily lives. Keiro’s Introduction to iPad courses are offered throughout our community and if you or a loved one are interested in participating in an upcoming course, please contact us at 213.873.5709 or email us at [email protected]. Additionally if you are someone who, like Carolyn, already enjoys the benefits that technology brings and would like to volunteer your passion and skill set, please click here to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

You don’t need to be an expert iPad user to become a volunteer facilitator! As Carolyn says,“Just jump in and experience the wonderful world of volunteerism. Keep an open mind, be curious and find something you like about every participant. You can make a difference in someone’s life and many will impact yours.”