Photo: Staff member Carlos Sivira conducts a Home Connect lesson with a senior learner.
The delivery of devices to the newly identified Home Connect learners continues with several learners having already participated in sessions with their staff trainer.
One learner, Vivian, has already completed her basic sessions and will soon begin working with a Digital Coach (CTN volunteer trainer). While most of the new learners have little or no tech experience, Vivian had a good understanding of things tech-related and didn’t need much help figuring out the tablet. Vivian and her CTN staff trainer, Josie, have completed the five basic sessions faster than anticipated and Vivian is looking forward to more training. Meanwhile, she is using a photo editing app to make a collage of her granddaughter.
Catherine, another Home Connect participant, is an older adult learner Josie assisted before the pandemic during her training shift at Western Addition Senior Center. Prior to the shelter-in-place order, Catherine exclusively used public computer labs and doesn’t have a smartphone. A recent Tuesday (when her internet service was connected) was her first opportunity to get back online. She was extremely excited and appreciative to log in to her email and Facebook to catch up on communication. Josie showed her Google Meet, and she’s already planning to set up a video chat with her sister.
Josie has helped two other older adult learners. Trina has now completed two of the five sessions, and Anna has her tablet and is connected to the internet. Anna has experienced some health issues, and while the two have not yet been able to have any official lessons, Josie showed her the basics of the tablet when it was delivered and helped her log into Skype so that she could talk to her doctor in Russia. Their sessions will start once Anna is feeling better.
We anticipate Home Connect learners will work with CTN staff instructors for approximately 5 one-hour sessions to become familiar with the device before handing them off to a Digital Coach (CTN volunteer trainer). The volunteers will then assist the learner to accomplish the Learning Pathways selected by the learner.
To date we have received nearly 100 referrals from our local partners and have identified more than 70 who are eligible to receive a tablet. We are encouraged by the early progress of the Home Connect program, and more importantly, by the positive comments we have received from the enthusiastic older adult learners.