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Last updated: March 16. 2013 9:22PM - 325 Views
By - mbiebel@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6109



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Smiling with satisfaction, Susan Searfoss crossed another ??to do? off her list. ? The Hunlock Creek woman had spent an hour driving to the West Pittston Library, where iPad expert Jack Szeghy taught back-to-back classes in how to use the popular devices on a recent Tuesday evening.? Both the drive and the class were time well spent, Searfoss said, noting Szeghy had just talked her through changing a setting on her iPad from military time to Eastern standard time. ? Also, he had told the class how to add apps to their iPads so they??d be able to read about all sorts of current events on the slim electronic devices.


Searfoss tapped her screen to add the Associated Press, USA Today, PA Home Page, The Times Leader and The Citizens?? Voice to her collection.


Many adults are hungry to learn what they can do with hand-held technology, library director Anne Bramblett Barr said, explaining why she??d scheduled a second iPad class when the 20 slots in the first class filled so quickly.


??We??ve really tapped into a need,? said Bramblett Barr, who plans to offer more classes starting in March.


Some people in the recent classes admitted they??re just starting to explore the world of the iPad.


??My husband is well-versed already,? Lucille Houston of Pittston said. ??I??m learning the different options.?


One of the many options, Szeghy told the group, can be found at the website ??appsgonefree.?


??Every day they come up with apps that are free, and they give you a description of what that application does,? said Szeghy, who is retired from IBM. ??Tomorrow they may not be there, or they might cost $9.99 the next day.?


One app might give you capitals of African countries, he suggested. Another might give conjugations of German verbs.


??I??m sorry I went to school when I did,? he said with a chuckle, hinting it??s much easier today to have a wealth of information at your fingertips.


??Do you want to get them all? Good God, no!? he said of the apps. ??You??d eat up all the memory you??ve got.?


The iPad can give you a ??face time? conversation with someone far away, Szeghy said, flipping his iPad to show it had a little camera on each side.


With an app called ??Find a Friend,? he noted, he can follow the route his son is traveling on a trip as long as his son has a GPS-equipped smartphone.


Because library visitors have such an interest in the iPad technology, Bramblett Barr said, she plans to put together a series of small classes that will focus on specific aspects.


One might explain in detail how to use the iPad for email, another might be about using it to download music or to manage your calendar of activities. Someone with vision impairment might be especially interested in learning how to change the font size of the letters on the screen, perhaps to make them larger.


Someone who finds it difficult to move his or her fingers might appreciate learning about a ??voice over? feature that allows you to give a verbal command instead of tapping an item.


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