Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Age Action - Getting Started with Computers

Today was my first day as a volunteer for Age Action in their Getting Started Computer Training course. This is a six week programme for the over 55s to encourage and help them to use computers and the Internet. All classes are run by volunteer tutors with small groups of learners, in local, non-formal learning settings. Our class today was held in the Rathmines-Pembroke Citzens Information Centre. This is a training centre with plenty of computers and good modern facilities, behind Slattery's Pub - it must be at least 25 years since I set foot in this pub.

There were just six learners there today - this will increase to eight next week. There were four volunteers, so as this was my first day I had just one learner to look after - a 74 year old man called Paddy who had very little experience with computers. In no time at all we were looking up Google, RTÉ News, AIB Bank, Mayo GAA, and horse racing web sites. Paddy picked this all up very quickly. I very much enjoyed the two-hour session - and hopefully Paddy did too. We'll go in to more detail next week.

I've never really volunteered for anything before - I guess it is about time I did something. Most of the Getting Started courses are held during the day - this is not convenient for work, I am hoping for the odd one in the evening the next time I'm asked to do a course.


  1. Fair play Eugene, I love the Getting Started initiative. My 'Vizitant' project got backing from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland in 2008 to deliver video conferencing (tele-presence) to elderly people living alone in Ireland. Unfortunately it hasn't progressed like we hoped at the time and I've since rolled it in under a broader project with my colleagues at Daynuv (virtual presence).

    Can I ask will you be training them how to use Skype? In particular video Skype? On the occasions were I did get the opportunity to demonstrate it people loved it. One elderly gentleman in Limerick nearly had tears in his eyes to think he'd be able to watch his grandson in New York playing the violin for him.

  2. Hi James,

    No training on Skype - just the basics of Windows, email, and the Internet. E.