SET was developed from the Technology Working Information Group (TWIG), a group of Century House members who put on two Technology Focus Groups in March 2019. A total of 32 community seniors attended the focus groups. The results of this initiative told us that seniors are using and interested in technology.
The focus groups told us that seniors want:
- to use technology, but it can be stressful to keep up with ever changing technology;
- a safe place to learn and have as a resource;
- small group learning, targeted specific levels, even 1 on 1 learning opportunities;
- to know how to identify scams and be secure in cyberspace,
- tips and opportunities to follow when it comes to technology.
As a result, SET defined its objective as “to deliver a variety of technology to seniors in a user-friendly manner.”
This will generally be done senior-to-senior by Century House volunteers, with outside support as needed.
- In summer 2019, we met with the New Westminster Public Library and became familiar with their computer equipment and technology courses. They are keen to help us offer similar sessions tuned for seniors. They also run on the same city technology platform as we do.
- In fall 2019, we presented a workshop on Cloud Storage and several sessions on iPhones. More such information sessions will be held in early 2020.
- In early 2020, a project team is developing the process by which we will offer training in the computer lab and 1-1 sessions wherever space is available at Century House. The first step was an Open House and Bring-Your-Own-Device drop-in session January 22.
- In early 2020, we secured a grant to fund some of the expenditures needed to make this a reality.
- In August 2020, we secured another grant; see “Octopus” below.
Tutoring and support
If you have questions or need help with your electronic device (smartphone, tablet, desktop) SET is once again available to help, with the established COVID-19 protocols in place – either online help or in-person in the new Social Pods.
Century House volunteers who have an interest in assisting other members with their electronic device (Apple, Android or Windows). They are by no means experts but could help solve those issues or at least point you in the right direction for answers.
To make an appointment, call the Century House front desk and leave your name — or email Centuryhouse@newwestcity.ca. You will be matched up with a SET trainer who is most familiar with your type of device.
Five project areas
Over time, SET hopes to have five project areas:
- Webinar: Develop our webinar capabilities – purchase software, learn software, prepare manual, get a Century House YouTube Channel for easy access to videos, make and post webinars. We want to make senior-focused how-to videos, video workshops and other things at Century House so that seniors can share with other seniors, including those who are isolated. This technology should also permit live sessions with a variety of people in different locations.
- Cyber Security: Working with the New West Police, develop a campaign with useful information and develop partnerships around the community to get the information out to local seniors.
- Technology Training Programs: For beginners, intermediate and advanced seniors. Programs that local seniors want and need – how to set up email, using apps on your phone, word processing, paying bills online, and more. We hope to develop five programs with user-friendly manuals and train the trainer capabilities.
- Video/Photo Production: Develop our video/photo production capabilities, develop programs on how to make a video and post online and how to enhance photos, and promote the CHA YouTube Channel.
- Technology Special Event: Develop a technology special event that would highlight all the learnings and celebrate Seniors Embracing Technology.
Format of SET
The original TWIG group is currently operating SET, with ad hoc teams as required. We will probably develop a more formal structure by 2021.
Each project will have two senior leaders and the overall project will have five project supports who will also be seniors.
There will be a lot of volunteer opportunities for seniors to be leaders; three of the projects will train trainers and create course binders. There will be opportunities to become a 1-1 support advisor in volunteers’ areas of knowledge.
In summer 2020 an opportunity arose to apply for a grant with a very short lead time. Shelly Schnee submitted an application and was successful. She called the program OCTOPUS and described it as “an outreach to seniors in the community that focuses on technology and information.” OCTOPUS will include virtual programs on technology and on art, music, anything creative or educational; access to information; and fraud prevention. Full details are here (PDF).
These goals are broadly aligned with the wider goals of SET.
For more information, please contact Shelly Schnee, email@example.com, (604) 519-1061.
Last Reviewed on 2020-10-21