The Tech Savvy Seniors program, which aims to educate seniors on various IT topics, is returning to Wagga Wagga City Library from August to December of 2023.
Supported by funding from the New South Wales Government and Telstra, these free classes aim to help the older generation become more familiar with technology.
The classes help grow the digital literacy skills needed to efficiently operate computers, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and phones, email, and online shopping.
The first block of classes run from 10:30am to 12:30pm every Friday until 22 September.
A second block of the free training sessions will start again on Friday 13 October and repeat every Friday from 10:30am to 12:30pm until 8 December.
Library Services Acting Manager, Michael Scutti, said that this program is an invaluable asset to the community, with ongoing positive feedback from previous participants.
“Every day more services are moving to being accessible exclusively online,” Mr Scutti said.
“For seniors in particular, digital literacy is essential for accessing services and for maintaining independence.
“The response from participants is always positive. A lot of our participants are mostly self-taught so they may not be aware of certain features of their devices; sometimes it’s simple tips – for example how to set your screen timeout.”
Class participants will be guided through a two-hour class by one trainer and one technical support instructor, with the option to either bring a personal device or use a library supplied device.
It will be small groups learning with no more than 12 participants per class. All learning materials are provided alongside a break mid-way through, with a free morning tea.
Mr Scutti said the demand for these classes has changed over time as technology continues to develop, and the program has repeatedly adapted to suit the needs of today’s climate.
“Ten years ago, we would run a lot of beginner-level computer classes: how to use a mouse and keyboard, creating a word document, very basic elements. We rarely run those classes now, as most participants use tablets and phones, as opposed to laptops and PCs,” Mr Scutti said.
“The baseline skill level of seniors has also noticeably shifted upwards over time, along with their confidence.
“Even five years ago, most participants would baulk at any online shopping, viewing it as far too risky. Because we have a strong focus on online safety, the Online Shopping class is now one of our most popular.”
Bookings are essential for each class, with previous years having multiple classes booked out in advance.
Featured image: Tech Savvy Seniors class in progress. Image credit: City of Wagga Wagga.