Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Teaching my Mother a thing or two! #IlovemymumandIdontcarewhoknows #362

I have been working as an educator for almost 27 years (1989-2002 with SmartForce, 2002-present with NCI, plus my YouTube work). During this time I have had people of all ages and abilities in my classes, and I'd like to think that I was not ever nervous preparing for and going into a class.

Last Saturday I had a lesson with my Mum on how to use her new Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone - it was a Christmas present from my sister and myself to her. It is her first ever smartphone and the first time she will have used a touch screen device. Bear in mind also that she does not have a computer either. She is 81 years young and I felt a bit nervous as we sat down at the kitchen table to get to grip with the S3.

I was first struck by the fact that this was in the kitchen where I grew up and that when I was small the roles were reversed. My Mum was my first teacher - she showed me how to hold a knife and fork properly at the very same table, she taught me how to behave, she helped me with my homework, she tested my spellings, she taught me how to blow my nose and wipe my ass, she taught me the value of reading, she taught me how to skin a rabbit and clean out the guts from chickens - in short my first life skills were learned at my Mum's apron strings. Now for my first lesson as the teacher!

Changing from an old-fashioned button style Nokia phone to a smartphone is not easy - especially for people like my Mum were are not used to technology. I decided that priority #1 would be to get her up to speed with text messaging and making/receiving phone calls. This worked out very well - the main problem was tapping at the centre of each letter on the glass keyboard and correcting spelling mistakes. We sent messages and phoned each other from opposite sides of the kitchen table. Mum is a quick learner and I began to relax - with every message and phone call I could see her begin to relax too. Feeling comfortable with texting and  making calls, we moved on to Facebook - she was keen to see what all this was about. I set up her account and added all immediate family as friends. It will take time to get used to this, but already in the days after setting this up she was "liking" and "posting" on Facebook. All the notifications are a bit annoying at first - but once she is used to Facebook she will have the smartphone licked.

It felt strange at first teaching my Mum a thing or two - but I can safely say she is one of the best students I ever had!

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