Every year, CTN has the opportunity to volunteer with Covia, a Bay Area nonprofit recently affiliated with Front Porch. Covia and Front Porch offer senior living, extensive programming, affordable housing, and community services for more than 10,000 people. Their mission is to inspire and build community — cultivating meaningful relationships and experiences that respond creatively to changing needs.
To support Covia’s older adults in their digital education, CTN provides an annual digital skills course through Covia’s Well Connected program. Well Connected is a virtual community that offers phone and online activities that build community through group conversations, games, and education. This year, CTN’s Carlos Sivira Falcon taught Covia clients how to navigate online banking.
While online tools and services are designed to make life easier, we often take for granted that not everyone can access and use them. In the context of banking, a lack of digital skills can affect one’s ability to receive government aid, monitor personal finances, check credit scores, apply for loans, or receive unemployment benefits. Online banking may seem daunting to older adults, but it is an increasingly valuable resource as our world becomes more digital.
Carlos’s course had 27 participants, all of whom were eager to learn the basics and nuances of online banking. Topics covered included viewing statements, transferring money, automatic payments, and setting up tools like Bill Pay and Zelle. Carlos also discussed some of the disadvantages of online banking, including fraud, identity theft, and scams. In the end, the group gained a comprehensive understanding of online banking and had plenty of questions to keep Carlos on his toes.
“The Well Connected program depends on partners like Community Tech Network to provide virtual tech training to thousands of older adults living throughout the country,” says program director Amber Caroll. “It’s been fun to be a part of this evolution — watching interest, knowledge, and confidence in technology grow with every new class. We know that not everyone will adopt the latest and greatest technology, but for those interested and able, CTN makes the daunting world of technology approachable and fun!”