OLLI course teaches smartphone use

Sophomore Sam Kuhlmeyer is teaching a class this semester called iPhone 101 to students enrolled in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Bradley.

OLLI students range from ages 50 to 98, and the class meets every Thursday from Oct.12 to Nov. 2 at Bradley.

The director of the Lewis J. Burger center reached out to me last semester about teaching the class, and since I had a pretty big tech background, it sounded like something right up my alley, Kuhlmeyer, a television arts major, said. Im in a leadership and service organization called the Bradley Fellows that requires us to do 40 hours of service per semester; I thought this class would be a unique way to get my hours this time around.

Each week, the OLLI students come in to learn different aspects of Apples smartphone and leave with a homework assignment to practice what the session covers.

iPhone 101 was created to help people become more comfortable with their iPhones, Kuhlmeyer said. Well be covering topics like sending and receiving emails, changing wallpapers and ringtones, sending texts and other topics of interest for people over the age of 50.

Deidre Parker, one of the OLLI students in the class, said she recently purchased her first smartphone two weeks ago and this class will allow her to become accustomed with her smartphone.

My old phone was just a flip phone, and I hardly ever used it. I just got it for emergencies, so this smartphone stuff is all new to me, Parker said. Id like to be able to take pictures and send them to friends or relatives and to send texts because Ive never done that before either.

While Parker is new to the world of smartphones, another student in the class, Jody Baum, said she has had her iPhone since the release and signed up to refresh her skills and help others learn.

[I signed up] for my husband, Baum said. I know pretty much [what Im doing] but hes worse than I am, so I thought it would be helpful if we both came.

To help the students gain more one-on-one attention in the class, OLLI invited other Bradley students to volunteer and lend a hand in the classroom.

Im really happy we have these gentlemen from Bradley Fellows because they know all about these smartphones. I have a lot of questions that they think are kind of silly, but to me, I really want to know, [and theyre very helpful], Parker said.

Kuhlmeyer said hes excited to work with older people in a new setting.

This course is no doubt going to teach me how to be patient, and how to explain things at a level that people of all ages can understand, Kuhlmeyer said. Plus, Ill get to work with a number of different people from a number of different backgrounds, which will be incredible.