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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Teens teach elders about computers



gadgitkids.jpgA new business called GadgitKids uses techno-savvy teens to teach older folks how to use their smart phones, pads and computers. Genius!

Our colleague Katherine Snow Smith reports here about how a bunch of high school kids are tutoring older folks on iPads, iPods, smartphones and laptops. The newly formed GadgitKids is the brainchild of Cecilia Tucker, a marriage and family therapist who thinks teenagers can offer what they instinctively know to their parents' and grandparents' generations.

Tucker, who has a son in college and a daughter in law school, found herself without a technical guide last year when she bought a new Motorola Droid X. "I said, if I just had a teenager I would be able to do this. I went to bed and I awakened with the idea of, if I need a teenager, who else does?" said the 59-year-old.

She spent months researching the demand and supply of technical assistance and decided to start GadgitKids. It has 15 employees; four are 18 or older. They make $10 an hour. There arestrict guidelines for when and where they meet with clients. Only those 18 or older work outside the Seminole office, and then it's at a public place with Wi-Fi. They have to call the office and check in when they leave an appointment so someone knows all went well and they are safely on their way home.

She is marketing GadgitKids to businesses as well as individuals. After a presentation at Suncoast Jeep, several employees got tutoring to learn how to store and transmit data and photos from their phone instead of computer. Two GadgitKids sales people start this month.

Allen Conner, owner of Robert's Mobile Home and RV Resort, has signed on to have GadgitKids offer help to the park's residents monthly. He's paying $120 a month for two GadgitKids teachers because he thinks it's a useful service to offer guests.

"We had a lady who wanted to learn how to take photos and how to send them to her children up North. GadgitKids showed her how to take photos and send a whole file," Conner said. "When you can have someone come right to where people live and mingle it makes a difference. … Today you can't just provide someone a place to stay. If you want people to come into your place and stay long term, you need to give back by providing services like this."

PHOTO: Bud Durham, 73, gets laptop help from Josh Korzinek at Robert’s Mobile Home and RV Resort. The GadgitKids business idea was born of a 59-year-old’s frustration over a new smartphone.

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[Last modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 3:44pm]


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