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Learning to use technology

In addition to classes on technology, organization offers many others

Though Albert Lea Community Education has offered classes for Albert Lea’s senior citizens in the past through its general enrichment catalog, it has expanded those offerings in its recent books.

Kim Ehrich, Community Education enrichment marketing specialist, said there are financial classes covering topics such as retirement planning, estate planning, preparing for the unexpected and Social Security, to name a few.

One of the newest classes with the most interest is titled Medicare 101, which is taught by a Thrivent Financial representative and provides an overview of the Medicare program and coverage.

Ehrich said Community Ed is trying to have these classes in person, but most of them will likely be by Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For seniors who are interested in learning more about technology, there are classes providing introductions to Zoom and Facebook that are geared toward seniors.

“During the pandemic and having to stay home, many want to be connected to their loved ones and they don’t know how,” she said. The Zoom class covers basic information such as how to get an account, log in and join a meeting.

She encouraged people to sign up soon for the classes as they are limited to nine in the classroom plus her as the teacher in an in-person setting. Classes are taught in a classroom in the new fieldhouse at Hammer Complex but may likely have to switch to an online setting.

Ehrich said she is also offering individual technology classes, where people can sign up for a one-on-one session with her to address more questions about technology. For these sessions, people are encouraged to bring their devices with them.

She said though the one-on-one classes are already full for the winter session, she plans to offer them again in the spring.

Many people have expressed positive feedback and gratitude about the classes with many asking for more classes again in the future.

For people who are already familiar with Zoom, there are cooking classes people can sign up for. There are also Zoom yoga classes titled “Release and Restore Yoga” and “Gentle Flow Yoga.” A second session of those classes will be held in March.

In addition, Community Ed offers kits that people can pick up at the Community Ed office and take home and make of gnomes and mittens, as well as different paint kits.

Community Education can be reached at 377-5318 and can be found online at alschools.ce.eleyo.com.

Masks are required to be worn at all times in school district buildings.