Bridging the digital gap: Young Fil-Am techies help older generation with phone apps and gadgets

LOS ANGELES — These Filipino Americans are trying to narrow the digital gap for seniors by teaching them how to use technology at the office of SIPA, the Search to involve Pilipino Americans.

“A lot of it is just building up their confidence just removing that confidence barrier they don’t want to press a button or touch stuff because they have no clue how that works so we’re trying to simplify that for them so its more accessible,” said Dana Calit, co-lead, Filipino Googlers Network of Southern California.

For this seminar, some 50 seniors learned about photo editing, video chatting, and space-saving apps — things they’ll usually try to ask their grandkids about.

“Minsan mga anak namin busy hindi namin ma tanong,” said senior Lorna Ricafrente.

“We do not know how to pindot,” said Ethelina Mendoza Provido.

The Googlers said it’s all about empowering elderly users, most of whom grew up on old school rotary phones.

“Especially with technology moving quickly and things becoming obsolete you don’t see as much phones at home that are landline or computers connected so to be able to teach them to do this so they can be independent in the community is key,” said Ana Solinap.

There will be another class later this month, where these seniors can learn a few more tricks on their devices, making sure they stay up with the times.

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