Student-run computer classes help townspeople

Evan Barber

Recently, three student-run computer classes were held at Wayland High School to help people become more computer literate. Some of the class’s attendees were focused on one specific task or program, while others had never touched a computer. Students taught everything from how to get onto the food channel web site, to how to use Java Script.

Many people wanted to learn how to use a program for a project at work, and others just wanted to make an e-mail account. “It’s funny because most people my age have signed up for so many different online accounts, like e-mails, or an ESPN.com account, that we don’t think twice about it. These people didn’t grow up with the Internet, and they really don’t know how to use it, but now I think they do,” said Andrew Herstine, one of the student teachers.

It has not only been a learning experience for the adults who came, but also for those teaching. “We were asked questions we didn’t know how to answer. When a student asked us for advice on something like [how to] attach a picture in an e-mail from an iPhone we had to test it out ourselves. As a team we were able to find the solution and still help the people with their questions,” said Mrs. Barber.

The student teachers have also learned what it is like to have tough students. One man insisted that a website domain is put in as “www.comfoodchannel.” No matter how many times it was explained that the .com was at the end, he never seemed to comprehend. The student teachers used different methods to show this man the correct way to write it. “After a few tries it started getting tiring, but I knew I had to teach him how to do it,” said Carson Hart, another student teacher.

The free classes lasted two hours a night and were open to anyone in town who registered. When asked to comment on the experience, Kamal Namou said, “It was such a great experience, and a fun way to get community service hours. It felt so great for me to know that the people I helped would take what I taught them and bring it back to use for the rest of their lives. Hopefully they enjoyed it as much as I did.” WHS’s Director of Technology, Ms. Simon, said that these sessions would be offered again next fall. It is a small way of giving back to a community that supports the schools tremendously.