Floyce and Calvin Floyd have been married 66 years and happily use their basic phones to show off photos of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
At 87 and 86, they are familiar with computers and use a tablet at home, but last week, they and about 40 others expanded their tech knowledge a bit by attending a traveling seminar for seniors who want to learn more about smartphones.
For one day last week, the Woodson Park Senior Center in south Oklahoma City hosted the AT&T Reconnect Tour, which is traveling across the country as part of the Senior TechRally. The seminar offered seniors the chance to understand how people are using applications, taking and uploading photos, texting, navigating with maps and more. AT&T loaned Pantech Tech phones to each senior who needed one and stationed a representative at each table to answer questions and demonstrate what the presenter was showing on a big screen.
“A whole world of smartphones and tablets opens up to them,” said Naomi Dean, the presenter from Sacramento, Calif. “It's a privilege to be able to host these presentations.”
“Explore. Try. Do.” was the phrase projected often on the screens as the group worked with the loaned Pantech Flex phones. Learning curve
Oklahoma City resident Maxine Washington, 68, came to the seminar a bit tired, having just worked a 16-hour day on Election Day as a poll inspector, but she wanted to learn more about pictures.
She already has a smartphone, but wanted to know more about it, she said while sending text messages.
“When you buy the phone, they don't give you much information,” Washington said.
Ralph Beal, 82, a sports fan, said he was there to learn more about how to use a smartphone to track golf and other sports scores, find good restaurants and use the maps features.
“If we don't learn more about the electronic things, we'll be lost in the past somewhere,” Beal said.
AT&T isn't the only mobile company that is helping people learn to use the devices they sell — Verizon posts a list of local workshops on its website and U.S. Cellular stores host them, too.
Contact your local stores for more information.