Simple Pleasures

Tech Tutors

What: Computer training for seniors
Who: Sarah Chapman and Devin Williams of Spry Learning Co.
Where: Portland, Oregon
When: Started in 2000

with the belief that technology best aids those whose mobility is limited, and with dreams of starting a business that would bring modern innovation into the lives of older people, Sarah Chapman and Devin Williams, both 31, set out to teach seniors about technology.

Although neither had teaching experience, they worked with gerontologists and instructional designers to put together the curriculum for their courses. Chapman and Williams launched a pilot program at two retirement communities and also took into account helpful feedback from their pupils about the quality of instruction on basic computer skills and on using the Internet and more advanced programs.

Currently offering services only at retirement communities, Spry Learning Co. will soon offer tutorials and training manuals to enable seniors to learn from home. "The whole point is to [make it] a positive experience [as well as] something that brings good into their lives," says Williams, who expects sales to reach $4.2 million this year.

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This article was originally published in the September 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Simple Pleasures.

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