Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Review: Grandma's First Computer - Fun for Kids/Adults!

Grandma’s First Computer
By Linda Hayes
LuLu.com
ISBN: 978-0-557-01609-9
35 Pages


I think in every family, there is at least one older member who has absolutely no understanding of the “potential” of computers. Some, like my sister, have no desire to learn either. However, as more and more opportunities for sharing pictures, letters and even researching the family tree becomes known, many people who had no earlier opportunity to use the computer are taking the plunge!

Linda Hayes, in writing Grandma’s First Computer, apparently had that situation in her family, for her son Lawrence and Grandma Sylvia inspired Linda’s book. I am totally supportive of having young children learn to use computers—it is “their” future, after all! But I also am pleased whenever someone who has previously not had the opportunity decides to find out what the “internet” is that everybody always seems to be talking about.

Using excellent illustrations, by Acesgraphics, Linda shares a simple story about the time Grandma decided to buy a computer, only to get it home and have no idea what to do next. I had to chuckle at this point because even though I’ve worked with both mainframe and personal computers for years, there were technical staff members who actually set up and cared for the hardware (all equipment including the computer and peripheral machines such as printers, scanners, etc.) So when I decided to have a home computer, I admit to some trepidation, even though I had already been using personal computers and enjoying their benefits for work and research. Believe me, Grandma knew what she was doing to leave the computer in the box...until...Timmy came to visit!

Timmy looks to be about 8, but he obviously is already totally capable of setting up and getting things ready for Grandma. The book effectively shows and explains what computer components he’s working with. Only when he starts to use some routine computer terms, such as mouse and cursor, does he realize that...wow...Grandma doesn’t know anything!

I got the feeling Grandma and Timmy was going to be spending quite a bit of time together! And won’t Timmy feel great about being able to help his Grandma learn about computers!

Not having knowledge and experience can exist, no matter what age. Many of us were in jobs and had an opportunity to learn, but many others were busy doing other jobs! I applaud you if you are one of the latter and are just now beginning to learn about computers. I work almost daily via email with a gentleman in his 70’s who is learning to promote his books online, having never learned much other than using a word processor. You could be that person and need help...

Grandma’s First Computer is very, very elementary and is geared toward children, but it wonderfully shows the potential of two generations being able to reverse roles and the older individual learn from the younger. So, if you’ve decided to take the plunge, check out Grandma’s First Computer by Linda Hayes and share it with your nephew or grandson and see if he takes the hint! You just might get much-needed help and start that young individual on the way to a future career!

G. A. Bixler