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Tech Savvy Seniors workshops at Verto

Tech Savvy Seniors workshops at Verto

Originally posted by Alex Crowe @ centralwesterndaily.com.au

Navigating the digital landscape can be daunting, especially if you’re a retiree no longer relying on technology in a professional environment.

A NSW Government initiative is attempting to demystify modern technology for seniors through a series of free workshops.

Douglas Brooks attended one of the government’s Tech Savvy Seniors Roadshow sessions at Verto on Thursday. 

Over his 35 years working in maintenance at Canobolas and Orange High schools, Mr Brooks said the computer teachers supported him to become proficient on Window XP, but since retiring he has found himself falling behind.

“I have a son and grandson in the US which I can email, skype and send pictures to,” he said.

“But there is a lot of things I don’t know how to do on these new machines.”

Colin Robinson is nearly 90 years old and says he is illiterate as far as computers and mobile phones are concerned. 

“My granddaughter gave me a smartphone, it’s smarter than me – I don’t know how to use it,” he said.

“I’m sick of being ignorant so this is my opportunity to walk away with more knowledge than I have at the moment.”

Verto’s Lanny Mackenzie said it is important for young people to be patient teachers.

“For the current generation using computers and mobile phones comes naturally,” Mrs Mackenzie said.

“With a bit of support seniors can learn a lot and very quickly too.”

TIPS FOR SENIORS

  • Don’t be afraid: These devices will come with manuals to prevent guessing and making mistakes.
  • Ask a friend: Younger friends, colleagues or computer store technicians are usually happy to answer questions, just be specific in your inquiry.
  • Join a class: There are options at Verto, TAFE, or University of the Third Age. Verto runs weekly lessons for seniors – get in touch so we can include you next term.
  • Practise makes perfect: Create simple documents, email relatives, attach a photo in your letters, send a text – the more familiar you are with your device the easier things get.
  • Don’t give up: There are many supportive groups and learning together makes it easier for everyone.
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