Get Your Folks Online 2012

Mum, Dad….

Say Hello to the World Wide Web, everything you ever needed to know at your fingertips.

If parents or grandparents you know still haven’t got to grips with the Internet, they’re really missing out.

Google and Age Action have teamed up to create free bite-size courses that you can take them through, step-by-step. There’s everything from how to use a mouse, right up to trickier things like making Skype calls or searching for shows on the RTÉ Player.

And before you know it, they’ll be up and running and chuffed you took the time to share your know-how.

We at MyHomeCare fully support this fantastic promotion to get parents and grandparents to start using PCs and the Internet. As a teacher of adult education courses I myself see a big increase in age brackets in our Computers for Beginners class. Each year around 80% of my class consists of students over the age of 50. I see people coming in who are visibly shaking with nerves who have little or no experience of using a PC. With a little help and encouragement these same people walk out of a classroom 30 hours later full of confidence and ready to progress to the next level.

The main issue I see with this age group is a fear of failure and a very low level of self-worth. The first thing I do in my class is to try and break down that fear barrier and reassure them that they are not alone and that everyone else in the class is starting at the same level. Through constant positive reinforcement and encouragement my students get a real hunger for learning how to do new things on the PC and the Internet and most of them want to get home and show the grandchildren what they can now do. Although it may seem funny I believe the grandchildren are actually driving a lot of the older age group to learn new technologies for the simple fact of having something to talk about with them, to get involved in what the grandchildren are doing and to maintain and strengthen the bond between them.

It really is fantastic that children these days are growing up surrounded by technology and are so comfortable using technologies that they very quickly adapt when a new technology comes into the market. To see my 4 year old intelligently using my ipad does my heart good. The down side of the youth being so readily plugged in to everything online and comfortable with PCs is that the gap between themselves and the older generation widens and that all important parental bond weakens a little bit.

This is one of the reasons I encourage action to be taken by the older generation and fully support the Get Your Folks Online initiative

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