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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
690 Dorval Dr. Suite 100
905.875.3851 X 5008
263 Queen St. E. Suite 14
905.595.0722 X 4000
7700 Hurontario St. Unit 601, Suite 100
905.457.4747 X 3013
50 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W. Suite 300
905.949.0049 X 1266
7420 Airport Road, Suite 104
905.677.0007 X 5233
– Rosario Commisso (Intern and ETAG Volunteer Technology Tutor)