Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blogging for Seniors

Sometimes the "Work of the Poet" entails something a bit simpler than U.S. politics or world diplomacy. Matt Hampton of the Queens Tribune interviewed "yours truly" about a course I'm going to teach in November. Here's his piece:

Queens Tribune
Oct. 19-25, 2006

Bayside This Week

Coming Soon: Golden Years Bloggers

Mary Tomaselli, a professor in the Continuing Education department at Queensborough Community College will teach a course in blogging aimed at Senior Citizens in Queens this November...

The course will be held two Mondays in November from 10 a.m. to noon, will cost $50, and is designed to teach senior citizens how to access and create their own online blogs.

A "blog" is short for Web log, a type of continually updated web page that is often used to express the individuality of the writer, though they are often used for family communication and picture posting. "I hope senior citizens can walk away from this [the class] and know this is something they can take into their lives." Tomaselli said.

Tomaselli has four blogs, and has been actively posting online since 2004. Her first blog, "Books, Reading, Ideas," was set up as a companion to her "Books and Brunch" course at Queensborough Community College. She also maintains two politically themed blogs called "The Answers to the Questions," and "Work of the Poet."

Seniors interested in taking the course only need to have internet access and enough computer proficiency to be able to surf the information superhighway. "It's so easy to get up a blog and post to it," Tomaselli said. "If you keep at it for a little while, the comments start to come in. It's like keeping a diary, and the community begins to respond." Tomaselli also highlighted the benefits of reading blogs as a way to stay connected to the community.

By using news gathering programs and subscribing to specific blogs, Tomaselli says she can keep up with worldwide news down to the most personal level, which is something she plans to teach during the class. "You can get a discussion going," Tomaselli encouraged. "You can keep abreast of what's going on in the whole world."

"I would tell them to be skeptical, always to be questioning," Tomaselli cautioned, in particular when reading blogs that fail to attribute sources. But she was quick to add that seniors have nothing to fear when using the internet to express their opinions. "I have found there is no danger on the internet when you're blogging."
—Matt Hampton

To take the course call the Continuing Education Department at Queensborough Community College and register: 718 631-6343. Hope I'll see you there. the teach

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