• 9 Family: Class aims to get seniors up-to-speed on smartphones


    WINTER PARK, Fla. - As long as there are parents and children there will probably always be a generation gap.

    New technology has left some parents and grandparents feeling disconnected from their younger, more tech-savvy family members. Now a class is helping to bridge the gap between the generations.

    Sonia Parris hasn't been in school for a while, but she has just learned something that she says will change her life.

    Parris said she knew how to send text messages, but when her sister-in-law, who only speaks French, moved in with her recently, communicating was a big problem. That problem eased some on Monday when Parris learned how to download translating software.

    For five hours about 150 seniors learned the ins and outs of texting, shooting video and surfing the web, thanks to the Senior Tech Rally Tour that made a stop at the Winter Park Community Center.

    Taking a picture of yourself with a phone might not seem like a big deal to a lot of smartphone users, but for a lot of those in Monday's class it was their first time to give it a try

    "We can help people get things that they never thought they could, or see pictures or see their family or get connected with their family," said Jenny Lebrecht with the Senior Tech Rally Tour.

    Lebrecht has been traveling the country with the tour. Last year more than 14,000 signed up for the free classes through insurance companies and retirement centers.

    That number has tripled in just two years because people like Parris have realized smartphones are here to stay.

    "I think one of the things I found out is you can send email with a phone. I never did that," said Parris.

    The Senior Tech Rally Tour plans to offer classes soon to people who aren't affiliated with their current clients.

    Most major cell service providers offer free smartphone classes for people needing guidance.

    More information: Senior Tech Rally

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