On November 12, 2018 , San Diego Oasis hosted the annual Get Connected Technology Fair for adults age 50 or older. It was the largest technology event held for older adults in San Diego County with more than 900 people in attendance. The free event was funded in part by the County of San Diego Aging & Independence Services.
The fair featured 24 unique Tech Talks on a vast range of topics including: Cyber security; Innovations in Aging Technologies; Managing Passwords; Virtual Reality; and Shopping for a Smart Phone. Volunteers from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts served as tech experts adding a fun intergenerational element to the day. Exhibitors shared innovative devices and provided other helpful resources.
Tech Fair presenter and founder of WiseBoomer.com, Jacki Montierth, has a passion for teaching seniors how to use technology. “When I retired in 2010, I realized that too many seniors actually worked hard to ignore, and avoid, using and learning the new technologies that are now, and will continue to be, important to navigating and providing the best possible quality of life for them. I want them all to know that they are just as capable of using technology as the younger generations.”
Since 2017, Montierth has taught 96 classes at San Diego Oasis, helping 644 students embrace new technologies. “The most fun I have is watching the students’ faces when they use FaceTime for the first time. Their smiles say it all. Then they go home and FaceTime their kids and grandkids and absolutely love it!”
San Diego Oasis offers a wide variety of free and low-cost technology classes year-round throughout San Diego County. In a recent iPhone class, Oasis member and volunteer tutor, Susan Tancredi, learned how to use Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. Susan then discovered on her own that Siri makes an excellent sous-chef. “When I’ve got dough all over my hands, I can ask her, “Hey, Siri. What is 160° Celsius in Fahrenheit? And she answers: 320°. It’s like magic!”
Planning is currently underway for the 2019 Get Connected Technology Fair for older adults 50+ which will be held at Grossmont Center on October 15, 2019. Organizers are expecting a record number of attendees this year.
"Every year, over 5,300 older adults are engaged with Oasis one way or another, said Simona Valanciute, President & CEO San Diego Oasis. "Oasis members are actively learning something new, stimulating their minds, working their limbs, making fast friends and having fun! In addition, Oasis members are spending time in the community helping at-risk elementary school children improve their reading skills and build their self-esteem. We can't wait for you to visit!"