It’s never too late to learn. This was the most important lesson for the students of a senior’s IT course. They completed Certificate I in Information Technology on Tuesday, after nine months of attending weekly classes.
Some of the students started the course having never even turned on a computer. It was a challenging prospect, but teacher, Steve Welsh said the biggest problem was self-doubt. “People think they can’t handle it and they lose heart. But with patience and perseverance it all just falls into place,” he said.
The course was initiated by Monica Wren of Neighbourhood Central. She said it stemmed from a client who wanted to be able to shop on the internet and felt left out of the technological age. “These days everything is online, even essential services like MyGov. This means people are reliant on others to access government services, which obviously creates privacy issues,” Monica said.
Home and Community Care (HACC) is focussed on helping people remain independent, and technology training was one aspect of increasing independence. More clients wanted to learn to use technology, but Monica felt she didn’t have the skills or the time to provide instruction, so she looked to TAFE. The students studied six units on modern technology. The module Digital Devices taught them to use items such as phones and cameras; even printing photographs is daunting for someone who has always used film.
Ann Williams bought a tablet and needed to learn how to use it. “I felt I was getting behind and wanted to learn how to Skype my grandchildren, and communicate with friends,” she said. The course will run again next year, and fee exemption is available for senior students. Student support is also available for students with additional needs, such as impaired hearing or reduced mobility.
By Raen Fraser