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Bringing seniors up to speed with digital literacy

A group of Gisborne seniors keen to be computer savvy are taking advantage of a new fully-funded digital literacy programme being delivered by the Tairawhiti Technology Trust in Kaiti.

The programme called Better Digital Futures for Seniors was explained at an introductory talk given to about 20 people and is almost fully booked.

Created by The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA), the programme includes four pathways, each containing four two-hour modules or lessons.

Tairawhiti Technology trustee and operations manager Polly Crawford said she was pleased with the turnout.

“These courses can only be a positive for Tairawhiti seniors who want to take a step into the digital world and those who just want to increase their knowledge,” she said.

“I hope the message gets out that these are awesome course offerings at the TaiTech hub situated next to the Superette in the Kaiti Mall and we are encouraging all seniors to drop into the Hub to register for the next course.”

Classes will start on Monday, beginning with the Digital Essentials pathway which includes four lessons over four weeks — introduction to devices, the internet, email and browsing.

People can take the pathway that best suits their needs. The course is free to seniors, but is also available to those under-65, at a cost of $20, Mrs Crawford said.

Other subjects such as online shopping, online banking, managing photos and staying safe online are covered under the different pathways.

For those participants who do not already have internet access, there is an option called SkinnyJump provided by the Spark Foundation. This gives people access to affordable broadband at home if they fit certain criteria and comes with a wireless modem with 30GB preloaded and 30GB top ups for $5.

The whole programme has been developed to cater for seniors at different stages of their digital journeys.

DIGITAL INCLUSION: Tutor Tena Baker-Clark and Huruhuri Pokai at an introductory session about the new digital literacy programme which starts next Monday at the TaiTech hub in Kaiti Mall. Better Digital Futures is designed to empower seniors by improving their digital competency. Picture by Liam Clayton