TAFE NSW Great Lakes students learning the fundamentals of digital technology had a steep learning curve when classes moved entirely online and have credited great teaching with helping them build confidence using technology and making new community connections.
The cohort of students all over the age of 50 undertook a Certificate I in Preparation for Work or Training with an emphasis on computer skills.
Research conducted by the Australian eSafety Commission found 7 out 10 people over the age of 50 with low to no digital literacy skills want face-to-when learning about technology.1
TAFE NSW business teacher Shauna Wissink said the Certificate I in Preparation for Work or Training is a class which helps people improve digital literacy and computer skills in a meaningful way and be better equipped for further study.
“The course helps build the foundation skills such as technology skills and good reading and writing skills for people from all backgrounds and stages in life to gain confidence and be prepared for new study and career pathways,” Ms Wissink said.
During COVID-19, the course classes shifted from the classroom to connected learning (online)..
Forster/Tuncurry local Mary Johnson who participated in the class said completing the course rebuilt her confidence and encouraged her to use programs such Microsoft excel and powerpoint which she can use for her photography hobby.
She said initially video classes were confronting but the communication from her teacher, Shauna, was exceptional and her caring and graceful qualities helped re-build her confidence when using computers and technology.
“Shauna is such a lovely person and her influence as a teacher is remarkable. The way she taught the class gave me so much confidence, she encouraged everyone to have a go and delivered the information in a very humanistic way,” Ms Johnson said.
“Being in a class I have also met and connected with people in my community and that helps with our overall wellbeing.”
For many people, going online and using technology is about getting day-to-day tasks done and accessing information and services used in their daily routines such as staying in touch with family and friends, using internet banking and using technology to support their hobbies. Employers also require their workers to have good reading and writing skills, as well as basic technology skills.
Shauna Wissink said the learning at TAFE NSW helps build confidence as well as practical skills.
“As teachers it is also very rewarding to see students using technology confidently and enjoying the learning experience, collaborating and helping each other in the class and building connections in the community.”
Enrolments for Certificate I in Preparation for Work and Training or Certificate II in Access to Work and Training for semester two are now available. Visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information.
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