What's on our seniors' minds at the end of 2018?

During the Center for Aging in the Digital World’s 2018 holiday party for the graduates of our Discover Digital Literacy! program, now up to 58 alumni after three years, we took a survey of what they would like to learn in a shorter duration program with a singularly focused topic. Since they have successfully discovered digital literacy, we wanted to offer a path for continued lifelong learning while concurrently growing our flagship program of 16 weeks in new venues.

I thought the responses will be all over the place but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Whether their topics of interest list was short or long, the lists included this topic: photography using smartphones and tablets with curation of the Kodak Moments in the cloud (aka internet).

Photography being on most graduates’ minds actually does not surprise me after all. For decades, both before and after the arrival of the internet, the answer to the question, “What would you take with you from a burning house?” almost always had memory-related mementos such as pictures and scrapbooks as being irreplaceable. We’re pretty certain that one of the topics for this new pilot program for our graduates in 2019 will be taking and curating digital photography in the always-connected (to the cloud) era.

I also believe that a little glimpse of digital world photography basics to close out 2018 may help my readers in case they find a new smartphone or tablet under the tree this holiday season.

Smartphones and tablets usually have two camera lenses: back- and front-facing kinds. The latter is also referred to as the “selfie” lens because you can take a picture of yourself when facing the smartphone screen. Ladies, this functionality can become your compact mirror too!

After you tap the “Camera” icon, which should be one of the ubiquitous “apps” on smartphones and tablets alongside the “Dialer” (only smartphones), “Contacts” and “Calendar” trifecta, the screen should show what the back or selfie lens sees. How do you like not having to squint your eyes into the viewfinder of the film-based camera of yesteryear to frame your shots?

You’ll also notice that there are several “icons” present on the screen. The biggest circle button, probably solid white in color, is the shutter button that you can tap to take the picture. A set of circular arrows that you can tap behaves like a toggle switch to change between the back- and front-facing lens. An icon that looks like a video camera (or the word “Video” which is also tappable) should be there too.

Yep, while photo camera and video camera were two physically separate gadgets in the past (digital cameras were the first to introduce this dual functionality), smartphones have the capability to become a photo camera or video camera through this tappable toggle switch.

Holiday gatherings of family and friends is an opportune time if you haven’t yet explored what your smartphone can do other than make phone calls. In 2019 we will cover more of what a smartphone or tablet can do!

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with almost 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

Read More on The Digital World
Volume 10, Issue 24, Posted 10:01 AM, 12.18.2018