A group of senior Shoalhaven women are taking steps to catch up with technology and improve their digital literacy by studying a Statement of Attainment in Individual Pathways at TAFE NSW.
As technology continues to advance and become more integrated into our lives, digital literacy is more vital than ever and an area where it is all too easy to be left behind.
The pandemic prompted a technological leap forward as QR codes and digital wallets became the norm for many when checking in to venues and showing proof of vaccination.
According to the latest OECD report, 40 to 50 per cent of adults in Australia live with literacy, numeracy and digital literacy levels that make it difficult to cope with the demands of work and family life and participate in education and society.
For Glenys Warner from Worrigee, the pandemic was the catalyst she needed to improve her digital literacy skills.
“I enrolled in the TAFE NSW Statement in Individual Pathways to keep up with technology, specifically to learn to use my mobile phone and computer,” Ms Warner said.
“Most of my friends use mobile phones, and I felt I had been left behind.
“Through the patience of my teacher, I’ve learned how to use a mobile phone to contact people, and to look things up on the internet.
“I attended TAFE NSW Nowra every Wednesday, and my confidence in using my phone grew with each lesson.
Mrs Warner now enjoys using her new-found skills to stay in touch with some of her ten grandchildren.
Fellow student Millie said it was important for people of all ages to learn to use modern technology.
“Without the knowledge of using his technology, especially for seniors, we are being left behind everyone else. There is always something new coming out and it can be hard to keep up,” she said.
“I think we’re very fortunate to have our TAFE NSW teachers giving their precious time, knowledge and support to teach us how to use technology.”
TAFE NSW Education Pathways Teacher Joy Sharpe said the Statement in Individual Pathways course was an example of how TAFE NSW can tailor learning to address skills demands for different students.
“We use a mixture of theory and practical coursework to improve everyday digital literacy skills so these students can communicate better,” Ms Sharpe said.
“For example, we explore the benefits of having a banking app on their phone. The students learn how to install an app for banking, then they learn to use that app on their phone.
“These students are achieving their own goals in digital literacy. They’re gaining confidence and a love of learning that will help them in their work and everyday life.”
Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0466 375 552.