Meet Nola who is improving digital literacy

To celebrate International Women’s Day we are shining the spotlight on senior trail blazers who are making the world a little bit brighter in their own way. 

Today we meet Nola Shoring who has developed a successful grant application to improve the digital literacy of seniors in the Australian Capital Territory.

Nola was determined to improve digital literacy for her fellow residents at The Grove, Ngunnawal and the Canberra North branch of National Seniors Australia.

With her background in teaching and other education roles in the local community, Nola has a strong understanding of the grant application process.

The digital literacy classes she is developing are aimed at differing levels of experience. There is an beginners class which deals with the basics such as starting up and powering down the computer, the difference between Google and Safari, the relevant programs for writing a letter or document, how to transfer pictures from a camera to a computer, resizing of images for emailing and how to Skype to family members.

Advice is also given about keeping safe on the net, passwords, scams to be aware of, and how to do online banking safely and securely. A second course has also been developed to assist those who have the basics under control but want to further improve their knowledge and abilities.

When the grant was approved, Nola started immediately contacting all the residents of The Grove to determine which classes they would be most interested in. She had four women immediately sign up for the starter course with another four also keen to attend a different time slot.

“We’re in a position where we can really support people in their retirement, and for those with time on their hands. Its so important being able to keep in touch with people via email and to have internet options available to them since so many things are now based purely online,” says Nola

“Its interesting when you move into a retirement village. You talk all about the move itself, the finances and the implications, the benefits of downsizing, but when you actually make the move, the thing that becomes most important is the focus on communicating with the people you live with in the village and community. And we understand just how important it is for our entire community to have the ability to be comfortable and confident using new technology.”

Nola says in retirement she loves being able to use the computer for online shopping, family tree research and most importantly keeping in touch with family and friends.

“I’m thrilled that I can also help others to gain confidence with this technology,” says Nola.

The training is being provided by the PCUG ACT. Participants in the course will have access to their 1800 number support line. Rather than purchasing computers, the aim is to show participants how they can access email and undertake searches using the computers at their local library.

Anyone can have free access to the computer for one hour per day at the library. The classes are small: – one trainer for 12 students. There will also be five – seven volunteers present in the class to give support where needed.