McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center
University of South Carolina - Aiken
The McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center's mission is to provide adults aged 50 and older education for, and access to, computer technology to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge and wisdom. The Learning Center is part of the national SeniorNet organization, which is associated with Learning Centers around the nation.
The McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center opened in 1999 as the first SeniorNet Learning Center in South Carolina. (The second, at the Catawba Native American Achievement Center in Rock Hill, opened in September 2008.) The McGrath Learning Center is located on campus of the University of South Carolina - Aiken (USCA). The Learning Center is managed by local senior volunteers, and classes are taught and coached by volunteer instructors.
The Learning Center offers a low-cost, friendly introduction to using computers. The basic curriculum features courses on a general introduction to computers, word processing, and use of the internet and email. More advanced courses cover genealogy, graphics, digital photography and photograph enhancement, and financial management using a computer. The Learning Center holds open lab time where students can use computers to practice their skills or to work on individual projects. We have found that peer teaching is effective and rewarding for the older adult instructors as well as the students. Teaching is primarily hands-on, with the student duplicating the actions of the instructor. Coaches, usually 2 or 3 per class, provide one-on-one help for each student at his or her computer.
The Learning Center moved to its current location in January 2008. It is located in a single-story, brick building next to the USCA tennis courts as shown on this map. It is equipped with Lenovo desktop computers for up to 12 students per class. The computers may be run from either the Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system.
The national organization that the McGrath Learning Center is associated with:
- publishes a monthly newsletter and a variety of instructional materials,
- supports 50 Learning Centers throughout the U.S.,
- offers discounts on computer-related and other products and services,
- holds national and regional conferences, and
- collaborates in research on older adults and technology.
SeniorNet is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization of computer-using adults, age 50 and older. SeniorNet members learn and teach others to use computers and communications technologies to accomplish a variety of tasks. SeniorNet Learning Centers offer computer classes specifically designed for adults 50 and older. Since its founding in 1986, SeniorNet has educated over a million older adults, including underserved seniors, about computers and the Internet to enrich their lives and enable them to share their wisdom.
SeniorNet operates SeniorNet Online on the World Wide Web at http://www.seniornet.org. Give them a visit!
Donations to both the SeniorNet national organization and the McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center at USCA are tax deductible. You do not have to be a national SeniorNet member to take a class at the McGrath SeniorNet Learning Center.