While many older Australians are embracing technology and enjoying the benefits of digital life, a disproportionate number still don’t have the skills to confidently participate online.
The Social Seniors program is targeted to people over 60 who have some digital skills and confidence already, with an interest in extending them further. Through a series of practical 2.5 hour workshops held over a 4-6 week period that are designed to be delivered by libraries, the focus is shifted from technical skills to creative interaction.
Using an ‘interests-participation approach’ and activities that are geared towards ‘learning by doing’ the workshops also promote ‘peer-to-peer learning’, with facilitators identifying and encouraging ‘skilled mentors’ to help to explain or demonstrate particular processes to their peers.
Social Seniors aims to help seniors to:
Connect and share information on common interests;
Participate regularly in community groups and activities using social media platforms;
Embed the use of digital technology into their everyday lives;
Find new opportunities for active pursuits and social activities in their local area;
Learn about online privacy and security; and
Build confidence to use online channels such as banking, paying bills and accessing local services.
The roll out of the program in Victoria is supported by Telstra, the Department of Health and Human Services and Public Libraries Victoria.