Since the fall of 2015, for 2 hours every Thursday during fall and spring semesters, MPTC IT Club students host Tech Tyme at the Fond du Lac Senior Center.
Here’s what Sarah Docter, Program Director and Outreach and Wellness Coordinator has to say, “A few years ago I noticed that many of the seniors here at the Fond du Lac Senior Center were having difficulties navigating their technology devices and that the staff was spending much of their time trying to help them. I reached out to MPTC for help and was connected with Jose Bustos, President of the IT Club. Jose and the students created Tech Tyme and to date it has served over 380 people. The program has gotten so popular seniors arrive an hour ahead of time to get in line. We have them take a number and get a 15 minute limit for their helping session. We so love and appreciate this program!”
Tech Tyme just before Christmas break found IT Club members Alex McCleary and Phil Conley, armed with cookies and candy canes, busy helping some seniors. I asked each busy team what projects they were working on and found out:
“I am heading to Florida for the rest of the winter and need to fix up my laptop and printer to take along. This is SO great!”
“I came for some help last year and am back again today. Last year my printer wouldn’t work, my wi fi wouldn’t work, my usb wouldn’t work! So frustrating! Turned out to be a driver issue. The students downloaded new drivers to fix it. Awesome! Now my computer ran out of space and wasn’t getting any updates. I was really worried about security issues especially for all the travelling we do and using public wi fi. They set me up in the cloud for more storage space so now I can get the updates!”
The FDL Senior Center Tech Tyme project is an excellent example of MPTC service learning! Both Phil and Alex are logging their volunteer hours and reflections for this work into our Noble Hour system towards earning a Service Learning award. The inspiring signs on the Senior Center wall help define the mission of service learning, “Believe there is good in the world.” “Think of others before yourself.” “Dream big and have fun!”
There are 41 students in the MPTC IT Club this year. IT Club students are in Associate Degree programs of Web Development/Design, Mobile App Developer, Tech Support Specialist, Digital Marketing, and Network Specialist. Instructor Jeff Sonnleitner is the Club Advisor. Alex and Phil said the next goal of the Club is get the newest cohort of West Bend Campus Tech Support and Network Specialists involved in the Club!