Marco seniors brush up on their smart phone smarts

Lely junior Ellie Poling demystifies apps and functions during sessions

Presenter and Lely High School junior Ellie Poling confers about a smart phone technicality with Judy Daye.

Every time one of Ellie Poling's special group of "tech" students learned a new smart phone function, you could see the light bulbs coming on.

One said using the slo-mo video function would be "cool" for catching a butterfly in flight.

Two others high-fived each other when they found out that the mysteries of creating panoramic photos ("keep the arrow close to the yellow line and pan slowly") weren't so mysterious after all.

The students comprised a group of seniors who'd taken advantage of a tech education series devised by Lely High School junior Ellie Poling, and presented free at the YMCA of South Collier (Marco).

"I've done tech classes at school, and I've always helped my grandparents," Poling said. "I've even helped my parents. Everybody needs some help sometimes."

Poling's teaching method is hands-on, and she makes sure everyone hits the buttons and touch screens themselves.

Maggie Tanner has her photo taken during a hands-on senior tech session at the YMCA of South Collier (Marco).

"It's hard just to explain how things work. This is a better way.

"I like doing it as a service," she said, "and there definitely is this huge need for tech help. It's a great way to learn something myself and have other people learn as well."

Student G.G. Ford was quick to acknowledge the value of attending Poling's classes.

"I'm kind of just starting out," Ford said. "I've used the phone for work, but now I'm starting to learn the tricks of the trade."

The Y readily endorses the classes, and on a promotional flyer notes that seniors can learn what their laptops or phones can do for them specifically "in the areas of health, current events and/or social media."

Sessions at this stage run Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. through Oct. 31, but Poling said depending on demand, she's willing to continue indefinitely.

"But I do graduate at the end of next year," she said with a chuckle.

To participate in these free sessions, (parking is also free), register at - and for more information contact Deborah Passero of the Y at 394-9622 x118.

The Y is at 101 Sand Hill Street, and the sessions are held in the Youth Development Center at the south of the complex.