Penn State Harrisburg program provides technology assistance to older citizens

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg will hold “You Are Not Alone,” a free two-week technology assistance program aimed at helping older citizens in Middletown and surrounding areas navigate computers and smartphones, Monday, July 24, through Monday, Aug. 7, from noon to 3 p.m. each day in Room 109 in the college library.

Penn State Harrisburg Information Technology Services staff and student helpers will assist older citizens to setup and troubleshoot their electronics, including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, as well as their email accounts and apps.

The program was created by Dr. Rashid Kaveh, adjunct professor in mechanical engineering in Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Science, Engineering, and Technology, who said he had a hard time teaching his mother back in Iran how to use her computer to connect to the internet and set up her email.  “I realized, this isn’t just an overseas issue, a lot of older Americans are experiencing the same difficulties and are not computer literate," he said.

The event is a collaboration between the college’s Information Technology Services and the Office of Student Engagement.

Kaveh said that he wanted to “connect generations” by having student helpers assist the older individuals.

“I wanted to fill the gap that exists between the youth and their elders,” he said. “Young people are spending less and less time with their grandparents and missing out on valuable communication and stories. In turn, older people are feeling left out and unappreciated. This program will help bring our older citizens up to speed on the latest technologies, while forging relationships between the young and the old."

Kaveh said that he hopes the program will continue for as long as technology continues to expand.

For more information, call 717-948-4385.