Look around you when you’re in a restaurant, in a dentist’s waiting room or passing the time in an airport and you see people using them. They’re looking intently at something on their tablets,
reading with e-readers, or texting with smartphones. Portable digital devices seem to be everywhere. And they were everywhere almost before we knew what happened. It was only seven years ago that the launch of the iPhone made smartphones available to the general
consumer market. The same year Amazon’s Kindle was introduced and it would become the first popular e-reader. Also in 2007, the Android operating system was released, and one year later was used in smartphones made by Google and Samsung. And, it was only four years ago that the iPad tablet was introduced.
Today, according to a recent Pew Research report, 58 percent of American adults now have a smartphone, 32 percent own an e-reader, and 42 percent have a tablet computer, like an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or Kindle Fire. Even more amazing, industry analysts predict that next year tablets will outsell personal computers.
In the case of tablets, demand for computer lab classes reflected this changing trend. The first iPad class was held in the fall term of 2011, when only 10 percent of Americans owned tablets. iPad classes have been
offered every term since then, with the number of classes increasing to three each term. And because of the high demand, this past winter term we held four iPad classes. Summer term, three iPad classes, an iTunes class, and for the first time, aniPhone class, are on the schedule.
The computer lab has conducted two surveys of its students since the introduction and popularity of remote devices, to get a better
sense of our students’ computerinterests and computing environments.
The first was in 2010; the second was in January of this year. It showed
how many of our students have adopted these new devices, and also how the interest in these devices has changed. For instance, the older digital devices, digital cameras and iPods, were more popular in 2010 than in 2014. With the newer devices, our students’ usage comes very close to that of the usage of the general public.
The chart on this page shows that 51 percent of our students had smart phones, as compared to 58 percent of the U.S. public; 43 percent of our students had iPads, compared to 42 percent of the public; and 21 percent of our students had e-readers compared to 32 percent of the general public.
The chart also shows a marked increase in ownership of these devices
since 2010. We asked a new survey question in 2014: Compare the
amount of time you spend on your personal computer with the time you spend using your portable devices. More than 25 percent of our students said they spent half their time using their personal computers and half using their portable devices. Almost 20 percent of students said they used their personal computer only one quarter of the time. The rest was spent using
their portable devices. Students are emailing, doing Web searches,
taking pictures, shopping, reading the news and other activities, not
only at their desktop or laptop, but also just about anywhere with their smart phones, e-readers or tablets. Who says seniors don’t adapt to changing technology? Our students in the computer lab certainly have been and are continuing to adapt.
by Geoff Carr
What an amazing guy - a triathlete who has run
in the Long Beach Marathon, a mover and shaker involved with the planning and production of our Aquarium and our Convention Center. Meet Steve Kohn, who will present OLLI with the new course, OPERA THROUGH
He lives in the San Fernando Valley with Karen, his wife of 51 years. With chest-swelling pride hespoke of their 2 sons and 3 grandchildren.
Steve has myriad interests,
none more than opera. He is anxious to say, “I’m not a rock star, just a guy who loves opera.” A chance meeting with Gian
Carlo Menoti at the Met started him on
this path. He has been a member of The Opera League of Los Angeles for years. The Opera League is a volunteer support organization
which provides speakers dedicated to spreading both knowledge and love of opera throughout Southern California. Steve is thrilled with his role as a community educator.
In addition, he manages the Opera League Gift Shop, his first endeavor in retail.
The 8-week course on the history of opera, from the 16th century to the present, will be accompanied by Powerpoints, class discussion and the welcome acceptance
of questions. BRAVO, STEVE!