DIGITAL SAVVY: 92-year-old Pat Robinson is among a number of older residents to take advantage of a unique TAFE NSW Corowa course.
A group of Corowa residents – aged from 75 to 92 – have stared down their own “techno-phobia” and taken a crash course in digital technology at TAFE NSW Corowa.
The 12 mature-aged students have just completed a popular beginners’ computer class – the Statement of Attainment in Foundation Skills - teaching new users the basics in a range of applications, including emailing, Googling and even presenting their own life stories in Powerpoint presentation.
TAFE NSW Business teacher Anne Morley said it was the first time many of the students had been exposed to computers and software, and that it was a life-changing lesson for some.
“In the first class, some of the students were literally shaking they were so scared of the technology,” Ms Morley said.
“They enrolled for different reasons: a couple were secretaries of local organisations like the CWA or the Macrame Club, while others just wanted to use social media or email to keep in touch with their families or send their grandchildren a digital birthday card.
“Their new skills are a great way to keep their minds active.”
Pat Robinson, 92, decided to take the class to help her create a digital newsletter for the Corowa Probus Club and said the course had helped her in many aspects of her life.
“I just loved studying with TAFE NSW and the teacher was so patient and knowledgeable,” Mrs Robinson said.
“I feel much more comfortable with technology but I still swear at it occasionally!
“I’m using email a fair bit and I even browse the internet if I’m looking for something.”
The class has been held via Microsoft Teams in recent months to adhere to social distancing requirements, which has enabled students to learn more about video meetings. During the first lesson, Mrs Morley worked with the students to identify their goals and customised individual plans to help them realise it.
“The students loved the fact they were able to achieve their goal that we planned at the beginning,” she said.
“It’s a great example of the way TAFE NSW gives locals the practical skills and experience they need to succeed, whether it’s for a job or just to navigate the changing world.”
According to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, 11 per cent of Australians over 50 do not have access to an internet connection and three-quarters of Australians who don't use the internet at all are aged over 70.
Enrolments are open now for the next intake of the Statement of Attainment in Foundational Skills at TAFE NSW. To find out more, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.