Staying Connected while Sheltering at Home
Our Neighborhood Tech Connect program helps people use computers, tablets, and other technologies to connect with family members, manage their health, learn new skills, and more. This is even more important than ever when we’re all spending much of our time at home. Our digital literacy trainers are reaching out to students by phone, email, WeChat, and Zoom to offer as much help as we can while keeping everyone physically distanced.
Neighborhood Tech Connect: Free and Low-Cost Internet Access and Devices
The keys to digital inclusion are access, equipment and training. Many of the older adults and people with disabilities we work with don’t have the resources to afford internet access or devices at home. Community Living Campaign is setting up San Francisco older adults and people with disabilities with tablets, Internet access, and training. To find out if you qualify, contact Peter Karpathakis at email@example.com or 415-821-1003, ext. 109. Or join Marie for more on closing the digital divide at 1pm on January 28.
Community Living Campaign, along with other organizations, businesses, and government agencies on the SF Tech Council continue to work to increase resources for digital inclusion. While not enough, there are some resources that can help. Read more about our Neighborhood Tech Connect program and the Pre-Assessment and Post-Assessment Tools we are using to measure progress and continue refining our approach.
Virtual Tech Classes and Help Desks
Not sure how to use Zoom? Want help reaching your doctor or family? Need tips on how to use social media? Our friendly and patient tech trainers are here to help! Check our online event calendar for all upcoming technology classes. Join any of the English-language Tech Help Desks and classes by phone: dial 888-475-4499 (toll free) or 669-900-6833 (local). Enter Meeting ID: 860 5577 1933 ## or video: https://us02web.zoom.us/s/86055771933 to register and join. Wait in the “waiting room” until the Zoom class starts.
- NEW! Android Help Desk Mondays 10:00am-12:00pm.
Starting February 1, join Peter for skilled and patient assistance with your Android tablets or smartphones. Bring your questions!
- Zoom Help Desk Tuesdays 2:00-3:30pm.
Join Peter to learn about Zoom – find out new tips and tricks and get personalized help. Each week, Peter covers a scheduled topic and answers individual questions.
Jan. 19 – Get Started: Logging In & Finding the Right Platform
Jan. 26 – Basic Meeting Controls
Feb. 2 – Audio/Video Settings & Virtual Backgrounds
Feb. 9 – Accessibility & More Settings
Feb. 16 – Zoom Etiquette
Feb. 23 – Hosting your own Zoom Meeting
Mar. 2 – Internet Safety & Security
Mar. 9 – Back to “Session 1” to start the cycle over again.
- Virtual Help Desk Wednesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm. Want help reaching your doctor or family? Checking on a stimulus payment or signing up for a vaccination notification or appointment? Need tips on how to use social media? Have questions about your computer, tablet, or phone? Molly and Maia are here to help.
- NEW! Apple Help Desk Thursdays 3:30pm-5:30pm.
Starting February 4, join Peter for skilled and patient assistance with your Apple desktops, laptops, iPads, and iPhones. Bring your questions!
- Virtual Help Desk Fridays: Gmail Best Practices 11:00am-12:00pm, General Questions 12:00pm-1:00pm.
Join Molly and Liz to learn more about a specific topic as well as to get help with general questions about your computer, tablet, or phone.
January & February 2021: Learn basic and intermediate Gmail skills and best practices.
Jan. 6- How to start a Gmail Account
Jan 13 & 20 – How to use your Inbox, Folders, and Settings
Jan. 27 – Cybersecurity, recognizing junk mail/spam, and filtering it out!
- Cantonese and Mandarin Tech Help Desks. Download a flyer for the classes or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Mondays to Fridays, 10:00-12:00
Mondays to Fridays, 1:00-3:00
Wednesdays 3:00, – 5:00
One-On-One Tech Help Appointments in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Our tutors can also provide one-on-one help in multiple languages. Just call 415-821-1003 x109 or email email@example.com to set up an appointment. To get the best match with one of our tutors, please let us know your preferred language, the device you’re using (Mac, PC, Android Tablet or Phone, iPad, or iPhone), whether you have Internet access at home, and what you’d like help with.
Explore the Online World
Learn new things online and be entertained while waiting to resume your regular activities. First stop, our blog post on Fun (and Free) Things to Do from Home.
Next visit the SF Tech Council’s Digital Passport site where you can discover a wealth of learning and information online. Learn lots of things you can do online through this simple site with links to all kinds of resources, including info on how to use Skype or Zoom for video chats, free online games, movies and much more. Two popular destinations are GFCLearnFree.org and TechBoomers.com, where you use this time to learn how to do so much more online with a computer, tablet or smartphone.
And don’t miss the San Francisco Public Library! They have a robust range of digital services that give card holders 24/7 free access to ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, movies, classes, music and more. It is all available for free with your library card. You can even apply for a digital library card from home!
If you have a permanent or long term disability that prevents you from visiting the library, you can sign up for Library Access from Home. You can get your library card, use online resources, and borrow things via mail.
Low Cost Internet Options During the Pandemic
Digital access is so important during the current physical isolation restrictions. While libraries and computer labs are now closed, Comcast Internet Essentials and Sonic are offering several months of free access to new users. Comcast has also made its Xfinity WiFi hotspots free during the Coronavirus outbreak. For more options, see the SF Tech Council’s Resource page.
SF Connected Computer Labs
All in-person training is currently suspended due to COVID.
We offer dozens of free computer classes and tutoring each month at senior, community, and adult day services centers throughout San Francisco – in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi. This includes classes to help people use accessible technologies for people with vision, hearing, and other disabilities. We also now have our own drop-in computer lab.
Our trainers offer free classes and one-on-one tutoring in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian at senior centers, adult day health centers, and other community sites as part of the city’s SF Connected Program.
Drop by the 5th floor at 1663 Mission Street on Mondays or Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm for free one-on-one computer training and hands-on presentations in a friendly environment. Or see our calendar for a full list of current lab times and locations throughout San Francisco.
Whether you’re just getting started or are looking for a new challenge, we have classes for you. Start with a class on something interesting to you such as social media, photography, or genealogy, and pick up computer basics as you need them. To find out about available topics, bring classes to your neighborhood, or to learn about upcoming presentations, view our calendar or contact Peter Karpathakis at 415-821-1003, ext. 109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to labs open to the public, CLC works with adult day services centers across the city to teach computing skills to their participants. As part of our program, we introduces participants to accessible technologies that can increase communication options for people with vision, hearing and other disabilities.
Other SF Connected Sites
As part of the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services’ SF Connected Program, Community Tech Network, Self-Help for the Elderly and Conard House also have computer training and specialty classes. For more information on free classes, call (415) 355-3555, visit the SF Connected map, or see the SF Connected class schedule.
In addition, the San Francisco Public Library has expanded the number of computers in its branches and you can book time to use computers or to get help accessing information on-line. For a list of branch libraries with computer access, go to the San Francisco Public Library web site and search for Senior Computer Classes on the SFPL events page.