EVERETT — There are plenty of ways a smartphone can be useful to older adults.
Dell Johnson wants to save location data for his favorite fishing holes.
“I’ve heard of guys getting lost when they’re hunting,” he said.
If Bonnie Whipple and her husband could track each other’s phones, she said, it might be handy when they lose each other at Costco. Though, she’s not sure she wants everyone in her family knowing when she stops by the casino.
Johnson and Whipple were students in a smartphone class held Thursday at the Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett. The monthly class is taught by Maricel Halmo, 36, who calls herself “Gadget Girl.” She offers similar programs at senior centers in Marysville and Arlington.
Thursday’s class focused mostly on maps and GPS navigation. Anyone can use their phone to get them to Marysville, or find Mexican food nearby, Halmo said.
“I got back to Michigan,” Johnson said, holding up his phone.
“Well, how long is it going to take to get there?” Halmo joked. “Everyone, we’re going on a road trip. Dell’s driving.”
Then, she went over how to create a trip with multiple stops.
“One stop at a time,” Noelle Jackson said. “If I see something I like, I’ll just go drive in.”
Some students, such as Doretta Runo, have taken multiple classes from Halmo. Runo likes the hand-outs. Her children try to help her with her phone, but she needs time to write down the directions so she’ll remember what to do later, she said. Still, she’s gotten accustomed to the convenience of paying her bills online.
“My kids do this so easily,” Jackson said.
“But they’ve been working on it for a long time,” Runo said.
At the end of class, the group voted on next month’s topic. Texting was the clear winner.
“All my grandkids text, and Grandma doesn’t,” Runo said.
And maybe someday, Halmo said, they’ll tackle the cloud.
Take a class
Maricel Halmo, who calls herself the “Gadget Girl,” offers “Outsmart Your Smartphone” classes the first Thursday of every month at the Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett. The classes are 9:30 to 11 a.m. She also teaches in other venues.
For more information about her programs, call 360-280-5515.
For more information about the senior center, call 425-257-8780.