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ashby village technology Team

by Maryl Gearhart, leader of the Technology Team

If you have some confidence with your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can help Ashby Village members become more comfortable with their devices. The Village is seeking volunteers to help our members enjoy the advantages of our technology-connected society.

You don’t need to be a “techie” to volunteer! Technology Volunteers provide a wide range of help with technology and electronics, and each of us responds only to the requests we feel prepared to support.

Members might need assistance with computers, smartphones, or tablets:

  • installation and set-up
  • how to use specific applications
  • tips on security

    or with computer peripherals and networks:

  • ·networks and cable connections
  • printers and scanners

    or with everyday electronics devices:

  • DVRs/DVDs/answering machines
  • streaming to TV (Roku, FireTV, etc.)
  • telephones.

You can choose to help according to your skills and interests. Then again, if you enjoy learning new skills, you can take on the challenge of searching for solutions on help sites and Youtube! It’s useful for Village members to observe how we find resources when we’re troubleshooting or learning to use applications.

An additional option is volunteering with the Ashby Village Technology Committee. Our committee meets monthly to review the needs of Village members and plan strategies for technology support.

Meet some of our Technology Volunteers in action

Many of us work with members individually, and our experiences are delightful. Thanasis Bothos, for example, enjoys helping members with the Apple devices he uses in his daily life, and Jake Matchett specializes in PC/Windows assistance. Celie Placzek shares her iPhone photography savvy, and also provides general assistance because “opening up possibilities for others makes me smile.”

Some of us work with small groups. Mark Goldman has been facilitating an iPad/iPhone group in the Thousand Oaks Hamlet since 2012 -- as a passionate Apple user, Mark views “Apple as a way of life!” Ken Frankel and Bob Reynolds recently organized an “I-group” in the Clarewood neighborhood. With help from Alison Colgan, Sam Duncan, a PC/Android specialist, is initiating an Android group in the Outlandish neighborhood. Howard Kirsch and Maryl Gearhart are working with Don Hubbard to set up an iPhone/iPad group in North Berkeley. The Technology Volunteers are planning more neighborhood groups with hope that Village members will learn from one another as well as from us.

Volunteers who serve on the Village Technology Committee enjoy working on long term planning. Pat Hom, for example, is an iPad instructor for the UC Retirement Center, and she offers guidance on small groups and workshops. Lincoln Spector is a professional technology reviewer, and he is helping the Committee write articles for Village Voices. The Committee is currently planning workshops on special topics beginning in 2018. Our first workshop will demonstrate how to search for information on technology websites and Youtube. After all, we turn to the web when we’re stumped, and we’d like to help members learn how to find useful tips and tutorials

Contact us!

If you are a current Ashby Village volunteer and are interested in helping our members with technology,  contact

To become an Ashby Village volunteer, please email

We look forward to hearing from you!

 Thousand Oaks Mac Group  

Mark Goldman and the Hamlet Mac Users group: Barbara Bull, Carol Clover, Ilse Eden, Bill French, Tari French, Joanna Harris, Nancy Lane (behind the camera!), Carol Takaki, and Anna Marie Taylor