Internet education happens at Toronto senior center

Seniors are all over blogging, IMing and other modes of communication at a very wired center in Toronto.

People say that the Internet is the domain of youth, but at one senior center in Toronto, seniors are learning how to surf the net in their new computer lab, reports IT Business.

"The computer keeps me in touch with friends and relatives," said Leana Ho, who, along with her husband, has traveled extensively with friends and family in many countries. "If I have to phone them, it may not be convenient."

Ho lives at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care and is using the new Yee Hong Senior Computer Lab to IM and write her own blog.

The lab has 22 computers that were donated by Renewed Computer Technology, a not-for-profit organization that refurbishes donated computer equipment and provides software and training services to communities in Ontario. Microsoft Canada has also donated a quarter million dollars to the Yee Hong Centre over the past several years.

The lab is staffed by by over 100 volunteers who were trained specifically for this project.

"They want to be able to get in touch. They're pretty interested in the Internet," said Andy Yu, a 12th grader at Agincourt Collegiate Institute and a volunteer.

Owen Sagness, vice-president of online services group at Microsoft Canada, said that once most seniors are introduced to the technology they feel comfortable with it.

"The lab contains a generational component. Seniors can pass on their wisdom and guidance to all of us. Students will pass on their wisdom and guidance to seniors," said Toronto Mayor David Miller.

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