Friday, 27 May 2011

Broadband Internet Training For Seniors


Do you know a Senior Citizen struggling with a computer? Or are you one yourself? Then training is available on the basics of using the computer, Internet, Emails and Word Processing. This is open to any person 50 years or older.

What does it cost? A gold coin donation each session is the only cost. The government is funding the computers and internet access to encourage seniors in using computers and the internet.

How long will the training last for? Each session lasts one and a half hours each week and there are eight sessions. If you're still struggling at the end of the eight weeks then you can book in again however if there are others still waiting for the basics then they get first preference.

What do you mean by 'basic'? Being able to use the mouse and keyboard; find information on the internet; have your own email address and be able to send and open emails; simple word processing.

I already know 'the basics'. I want to learn more - is that possible? We would love to, however at the moment we are not able to go past this basic training simply due to availability of suitable tutors. Some options are:
  • If you already know the basics then we would love to have you take on some of this basic tutoring. That way our more knowledgeable tutors could be spared to provide this more advanced training. We get help, we can help you.
  • Hunter Community College are running courses at Woodrising that give formal qualifications (Certificate 1 in IT) however these are more designed for people wanting better employment.
  • There are also three very active seniors computer clubs at Islington, Charlestown and Cooranbong plus some U3A organisations as well that provide training.

Where is the training held? At a dedicated room at Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre.

Who is giving the training? Volunteer tutors who are conversant with using the computer and training. Most of them are seniors themselves so they understand seniors problems.

How many are trained at once? There are only two seniors with the one tutor so its very personal attention. Training proceeds at the seniors pace of learning.

When is the training held? This depends on volunteer availability but they are fairly flexible. At the moment it is on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I don't have a computer and/or internet access. This doesn't prevent you receiving the training, however it does make it difficult for you to practice, and practice is essential. You are welcome to use the computers and internet access at Woodrising anytime they are not being used for training.

Can I receive the training on my own computer? If its a laptop then you're most welcome to bring it in and train on that. That also lets us help with any problems you might be having with it.

How can I get some of this training? Bookings are essential. Ring the Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre on 4959 4624 and put your name down. Or apply using our online form. You will then be contacted to arrange suitable times and answer any questions you might have.

Why should I do this training? Make new friends; find out what is going on; communicate with old friends and relatives; Look up bus and train timetables; get street directions; research items like family history; show the younger generation that you've still got it and most importantly, so you stop swearing at the computer!

Where can I get more information? This the main website for the Broadband For Seniors (BFS) system and this is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Please mention this to any senior in the community.
  • If they need training then its only a phone call away.
  • If they are conversant with a computer then they are most welcome as a volunteer tutor.

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