Wednesday, July 17, 2024


A Google employee works with a student at a recent Cambridge Community Television “Age Engage” class for those 50 or older. (Photo: CCTV)

A  student gets some tech education at a recent Cambridge Community Television “Age Engage” class for those 50 or older. (Photo: CCTV)

It turns out 50 is not too young to feel overwhelmed by the Internet. Even Google knows it.

Cambridge Community Television is offering a few spring classes specifically for people 50 years and older, including a free one called “Age Engage” that’s a collaboration with Google. Students get two hours with a partner from the Internet search giant’s outpost in Kendall Square who’ll guide them through whatever Internet tasks seem most baffling – email, searches or paying bills online, for instance.

“It’s a great example of a tech giant going out of its way to act as a responsible and conscientious neighbor in the community, in a pretty unique format,” said Maggie Duffy, a marketing, promotions and sales coordinator at CCTV.

“Age Engage” is just one of the offerings, though (and the only free one). The others cost $15, or $10 if you’re a CCTV member, and each requires registration, accepting students on a first-come, first-served basis, and runs from 1 to 3 p.m. on the days they’re scheduled on the master calendar here.

The classes start Wednesday with “Getting Started with Gmail,” which has a follow-up March 26 with “Intermediate Gmail” (including file management, folder creation and contact lists and email filters, automated “away” messages, creating a signature and using Gmail in languages other than English).

Those over 50 may also be interested in the March 20 course on “Internet Security and Privacy,” which talks about passwords, privacy settings, the ways companies track users online and how to limit the data they collect.

The station offers a more general weekly computer drop-in session from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays that include mini-lessons at 2 p.m. on various topics, with all of them this month focused on Facebook.

“We see this as a chance to introduce the public to the kinds of opportunities we have available for people over 50,” said Allison Maria Rodriguez, CCTV’s community training coordinator. “We are always trying to enhance and expand our offerings by figuring out what opportunities would be most beneficial for this particular, sometimes overlooked, demographic.”

For information, call (617) 661-6900 or stop by the studios at Cambridge Community Television, 438 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square.

This post took significant amounts of material from a press release. It was updated May 7, 2015, to eliminate a misidentification in the photo caption.