Category Archives: Volunteer

Facebook Privacy

When signing up for a social media account to keep up-to-date with people around us, we often don’t think twice about giving our personal information away online. As technology advances, so do online scams that attempt to obtain information about users including name, age, and even credit card number. It’s important for people to feel comfortable and aware of the information they share online and where they share it. There are some best practices that can help limit what is shown on your Facebook profile, how to block certain users and activities, and protect your password.

I want a Facebook account but only want my friends to see it. How can I do this?
Facebook has made controlling who can see your profile easy. By clicking on the upside down triangle in the upper right corner of the Facebook home screen, a drop down menu will appear. Then, click on “Settings”, listed near the bottom of the drop down menu. A new screen will appear with the option to click “Privacy” on the menu along the left side of the screen. It is here that you will be able to switch the “Who can see my future posts?” setting from “public” to “friends”. Now your Facebook account is only accessible by people you accept as a Facebook friend.

I was tagged in a photo on Facebook that I want to be removed. How can I do this?
The privacy menu also has the option “Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in”, which also contains a link to Facebook’s activity log. When viewing your activity log, you can see all posts and photos that you have been tagged in. From here, you have the option to remove the content, by clicking on the pencil icon in the upper right corner of the post.

Someone I don’t know is trying to add me as a friend and is sending me messages. How can I prevent them from interacting with me?
From the Settings screen found by clicking on the upside down triangle in the upper right corner of the Facebook home screen, click on “Blocking” listed along the left side. When clicked on, Facebook allows you to block users by inserting the name or email of that specific person. When completed, the user will not be able to send messages and view your Facebook content.

I received an email asking me to provide my Facebook password because there was a problem with my account. What should I do?
NEVER provide your Facebook or any other important passwords via email or any online forum. Your password should always remain confidential. This is most likely an email scam attempting to obtain your personal information. To remember your password, write it down and store it in a secure area.

Facebook continues to ask me to add information, like my education and workplace to my profile. Is this mandatory?
No, you are not required to add this information to your profile. Information such as your phone number can also be hidden from the public. When clicking on Contact and Basic Info, found on the upper left-hand side of your profile page, you can switch the option from “friends” to “only me”.

Internet scams and hoaxes will never fully dissolve from the web. However, as users of technology, we can educate ourselves about how to safely surf the web and what information we choose to share online. The more people that learn about online security and how crucial it is to protect personal information, the less effect these scams and hoaxes will have on the online population. Knowing that you can use social media while maintaining your privacy makes the experience more user-friendly.

Be sure to check out ETAG’s Volunteer Technology Education Program that incorporates learning about passwords and online safety in our beginners’ curriculum.

– Rosario Commisso (Intern and ETAG Volunteer Technology Tutor)

New VTEP Curriculum

With the help of coordinators, volunteers, community partners, and participants, ETAG has helped hundreds of older adults develop the skills needed to become comfortable users of technology. ETAG’s programs prioritize the needs and interests of the seniors participating. With patient and understanding volunteer technology tutors, the interactions participants engage in makes their visit both enjoyable and rewarding.

The 4000+ visits to the Volunteer Technology Assistance Program during 2016 reflect the participants’ commitment and eagerness to learn and become a part of the digital world.

A constant challenge many organizations face is how to improve. More specifically in ETAG’s case, what can be done to make the participant’s experience more valuable while also enhancing the volunteers’ involvement? To address this challenge head-on, ETAG’s team has created a new EDUCATION based curriculum for participants.

The new Volunteer Technology Education Program is divided into three progressive sections; learner, intermediate, and adventurer, each with its own subjects and objectives.

Learner
The learner level curriculum begins with an introduction to Windows and Apple computers and ends with an explanation of online security and virus protection. Users also have an opportunity to focus on Android/Apple tablets and a few “apps” available. Objectives in this section include but are not limited to, having a basic understanding of a computer’s hardware, knowing how to connect to Wi-Fi and distinguishing what files are safe to download from the Internet.

Intermediate
The intermediate level curriculum starts to explore email, cameras, photos/videos, and maps. Additionally, applications such as WhatsApp and social media websites like Twitter and Facebook are popular intermediate topics. Objectives in this section include but are not limited to, attaching a photo to an email, finding directions on a map, and posting on Twitter or Facebook.

Adventurer
The adventurer curriculum dives into advanced level functions on various social media websites and exposes participants to online storage services in “the cloud”. Objectives in this section include but are not limited to, tagging photos on Facebook, creating backup files and playing online games such as Bejeweled.

TechChecks
To help participants feel comfortable while progressing through the Volunteer Technology Education Program, TechChecks were designed to “check” a participant’s knowledge of a particular task. TechChecks are an excellent way to ensure that participants are reaching an understanding of the topics being discussed. For instance in the subject “Introduction to Windows”, participants are asked to properly power on and off their computer to prove to themselves that they confidently know how to.

The program has no time limit. Whether it’s two months or a year, participants are free to take as much time as they need to build the skills to succeed. Participants have the opportunity to leave the program with an understanding of both basic and advanced level skills in technology, which includes most popular devices, applications, and operating systems. The completion of the program is a reflection of the participant’s hard work and graduates receive a certificate of recognition from ETAG!

Below is the current schedule for VTEP. Please call and make a reservation if you’d like to join us!

Oakville
690 Dorval Dr. Suite 100
905.875.3851 X 5008
Monday (9am-12pm)
Wednesday (9am-12pm)

Brampton
263 Queen St. E. Suite 14
905.595.0722 X 4000
Wednesday (9am-12pm)

7700 Hurontario St. Unit 601, Suite 100
905.457.4747 X 3013
Friday (9am-12pm)

Mississauga
50 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W. Suite 300
905.949.0049 X 1266
Friday (9am-4pm)

Malton
7420 Airport Road, Suite 104
905.677.0007 X 5233
Wednesday (9am-12pm)

– Rosario Commisso (Intern and ETAG Volunteer Technology Tutor)

Volunteering Rocks!

ETAG… It may seem like an average volunteer opportunity, but for me it was SO much more. The exhilarating joy one receives from putting a smile on someone else’s face is priceless. I met many seniors at ETAG in my Burlington placement. Not only did I help them learn how to use technology but I established a connection with each of my “students”. It’s not just about showing seniors how to make a Facebook account or introducing Skype to someone so they can chat with their nieces in Vancouver. It’s about making a positive change in another person’s life so that they can feel good.

One lovely lady I helped regularly found great value in our time spent together. The appreciation she had for me was indescribable. We had to go through so much trouble to change an email password… It involved calling Cogeco and contacting Microsoft, however we did not give up when the going got tough. In the end her problem was solved, and the smile on her face said it all. It made me feel wonderful to know someone valued my time and effort. I would do this forever if it meant making someone else’s life better. Plus, ETAG’s Volunteer Technology Assistance Program is free.

I believe we as human beings should always try to share our knowledge. There are so many people out there who have much less convenient lives than ourselves just because no one has ever been there to teach them. ETAG gives these kindhearted, open-minded, seniors a chance to expand their range of access. I have volunteered at many places, but ETAG was one that I looked forward to every week.

I thank Chris, Joanne and all others involved in this program for making a change in the world. I hope to be back in my placement on PA days and during vacation time, as currently I am in high school. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and anyone interested should not hesitate for one moment to try this program out, whether be it as a volunteer or a student 🙂

– Jasmeet Chahal (ETAG Volunteer Technology Coach)

Now Hiring Volunteers

ETAG is looking for technology savvy people interested in a volunteer position starting January 2015. As a technology coach, volunteers will help adults 55+ learn about the AMAZING technologies of today. Common topics include, Email, Facebook, Google, Microsoft Office, Skype, laptops, cell phones, tablets, and digital cameras.

In short, volunteer positions are weekly and require a 1.5 to 3 hour commitment each week. There are volunteer positions available in neighbourhoods across the Halton and Peel regions, including Oakville, Brampton, Burlington and Mississauga. The address for each location is available here.

If you’re technology savvy and this volunteer opportunity appeals to you, please send an email to volunteer@etagonline.ca to apply.

For more information about volunteering with ETAG, please check out the volunteer section of our website. There’s also lots of great technology information available on our Facebook page.

Hope to hear from many of you soon! Enjoy your day.

– Chris Bint (Executive Director)

ETAG Is Now A Charity

ETAG is now a Charity!!

Since 2008, ETAG has helped thousands of adults 55+ learn how to use the common technologies used by today’s digital generations. We’ve connected people with their loved ones around the world using tools like Gmail, Facebook, and Skype. Our amazing volunteer technology coaches have guided boomers/zoomers into the tablet era, helping explain the pros and cons, the ins and outs, the iPads and Androids… There is SO much reward in teaching someone’s Nana and Papa how to use Google to find information or to complete an online form; skills often taken for granted by many. Technology creates unbelievable possibilities for its users. Helping all generations benefit from these possibilities has been a remarkably fruitful adventure for ETAG 🙂

After years of providing seniors with a free and patient way to learn how to use technology, it is with great pleasure to announce that ETAG has been registered as a charitable organization in Canada! ETAG’s team is delighted to enter this new chapter and can’t wait for all the incredible opportunities and good that will follow as a result of this great news. On behalf of myself and the entire ETAG Leadership Team, thanks very much to our volunteer technology coaches, who are an essential part of the programs ETAG organizes. You are all SO supportive and make your communities a better place to live.

There are big things on ETAG’s horizon! As technology continues to change and get better, ETAG will too, helping everyone stay in touch with the essential information we need to enhance our lives by utilizing technology comfortably and confidently. I can’t wait for what’s next!!! Stay tuned 🙂

– Chris Bint

 

Fun Tablet Workshops!

Smiling learners with ETAG

March has been a busy month. ETAG toured our new Lifelong Learning Workshop in Burlington, Oakville, and Mississauga, helping adults 55+ learn about the many tablet technologies available today. Over 60 attendees filled the seats at each of our incredible community partner venues, including the Burlington Seniors Centre, the Sir John Colborne Recreation Centre for Seniors, and Viva Retirement Community.

Happy at ETAG's Workshop!

With the help and guidance of ETAG’s amazing volunteer team, participants learned what tablets are (when compared to laptops) and what they are generally used for. Instructors discussed the different brands available, including Apple iPad, Android’s Asus Transformer Pad, Blackberry Playbook, Kobo’s Arch, and the Microsoft Surface.

ETAG’s tablet workshop is an opportunity for participants to learn about tablets in a neutral, unbiased forum to ensure they have a firm understanding of what they want before visiting a retail outlet. Instructors explored the different interfaces, explained the major hardware variances, and outlined the price ranges people should expect. Participants also learned about concepts like ‘open-source‘ and ‘proprietary‘.

Doro and iPad!

With a special sneak peak preview from our incredible sponsors at Doro, the Doro Experience App for Android was highlighted as an accessible option for older adults looking for a SUPER SIMPLE tablet interface that’s easy to learn and use. Terrific stuff! Not to mention Doro’s well received PhoneEasy cell phone, perfect for anyone looking for a reliable, basic mobile phone with usability at its core. Check them out online!

Thanks again to the New Horizons For Seniors Program, who is the primary supporter of ETAG’s Lifelong Learning Workshops across the GTA. We can’t wait for the next round of workshops in May. Visit ETAGonline’s FREE WORKSHOPS section for more details 🙂

– Chris Bint

 

Volunteer with ETAG

Volunteers are an integral part of our community. Many social services rely on the efforts of a committed volunteer team to make a difference. When someone volunteers, everyone in the equation is a winner; the community or cause benefits from the contribution and the volunteer benefits from gaining experience. In fact, volunteering may be arguably the most invaluable experiences of your life. Being a volunteer can elevate your learning and give you insight into opportunities that you would normally not have had.

Volunteer opportunities for seniors play a important role for North America’s aging population. They provide an avenue for healthy seniors to remain active and stay connected with their community. According to Statistic Canada, seniors dedicate on average, over 223 volunteering hours per year, more than any other age group! This is not a surprise to us at ETAG; we have over 50 volunteer technology tutors assisting with our Volunteer Technology Assistance Program (VTAP) each week, many of whom are experienced older adults. Our successful VTAP initiative is made possible by our highly qualified volunteers who work tirelessly to bridge the gap between technology and older adults.

At ETAG, we are always looking for technology savvy tutors. If you’re a regular and confident technology user who has excellent communication skills and a passion for helping others, don’t hesitate to attend our next information session on March 7th. Visit our Volunteer section for all the details.

– Simone Carpio (ETAG Lead Volunteer)