Tech savvy LHS students give seniors technology lesson

Oct 12, 2022 | Local Headline NewsLynnfield NewsLynnfield Villager

LHS STUDENT HELPDESK member Gavin Fair helped Ruth Nally learn how to use different programs on her laptop during a technology lesson on Oct. 6. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — A group of Lynnfield High School students gave 10 seniors a technology lesson during a program held in the Maker Space on Oct. 6.

LHS Media Specialist Janice Alpert recalled that the Student HelpDesk joined forces with the Senior Center several years ago to develop a program that gives students the opportunity to teach technology lessons to a group of seniors.

“It went really well,” said Alpert. “The program went away after COVID hit, but we are really excited to bring it back. We want to help everyone.”

Student HelpDesk members Colin McCormick, Gavin Fair, Ryan Michalski and Walter Radulski, along with Alpert and Educational Technology Director Stephanie Hoban, helped the 10 seniors in attendance learn how to use different apps, external hard drives, smartphones and different software programs.

“These guys grew up using technology and are digital natives,” said Alpert. “I am sort of in the middle. I remember when the Internet and email were both created.”

Before the lesson began, Alpert showed the students and seniors a YouTube video of two teenagers who had trouble trying to dial a number on a rotary phone.

“It shows that it is all relative,” said Alpert. “There are no silly questions. We are here to help all of you.”

The tech savvy students and seniors laughed frequently while watching the video.

After attendees watched the video, the students, seniors and educators were incredibly engaged and focused over the course of the hour-long lesson.

“It’s a great program,” said Michalski. “I heard a lot about it, and it was great that the seniors came and we were able to help them. It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed helping them learn. I am glad we are doing it.”

Radulski agreed.

“I really enjoyed helping the seniors who came here,” said Radulski. “It was a lot of fun.”

Vietnam War-era veteran Ron Small said the program was very educational.

“Everybody was so congenial and were willing to help us,” said Small. “It’s great that the students were willing to use their knowledge to help everyone. It’s beautiful.”

Historical Commission member Bob MacKendrick concurred with Small’s sentiment.

“This was certainly needed,” said MacKendrick. “Unlike the kids, us older folks are not experts with technology. They were very, very helpful.”

Alpert was “thrilled” that she was able to bring the program back to LHS after it was put on the backburner for the past couple of years.

“It was great seeing the HelpDesk students working with the seniors,” said Alpert. “They learned a lot from each other. The students were able to work on their communication skills. They definitely know a lot about technology, but this program helps them learn how to teach it. The students did a great job making the technology feel less intimidating to the seniors. It was wonderful that the teenagers and the seniors were able to form those relationships. That is something that makes me proud.”

Hoban said the program is a win-win for both students and seniors.

“It was a fantastic day,” said Hoban. “We met some great people. I loved seeing everybody working together to learn technology.”

Alpert is looking to hold similar programs in the near future.