In 1948, when Diane Howard was 4, she was learning to play ring-around-the-rosie.
In 2004, when Christian Magnuson was 4, he was teaching himself to install games on his dad’s computer.
On Wednesday, Howard, 71, sat in a classroom where Christian, 16, was the teacher. His class: an introduction to smartphones for residents of Westminster at Lake Ridge, a retirement community in Prince William County, Va. Christian began volunteering at the facility a year ago, helping at Tuesday night sessions where people could come with tech questions.
He noticed that plenty of them had smartphones — often gifts from children or grandchildren — but few knew what to do with them.
“They have self-taught themselves, to a degree,” he said. “Unfortunately, that degree is they have taught themselves how to turn on their phone.”
So a few months later, Christian started a smartphone class for them. He is now on his fourth session, with classes on basic and advanced smartphone use, apps and photos. Some of the facility’s staff have signed up too.