Photo: Edwin with a digital learner in the pre-COVID world before masks and social distancing were part of the norm.
When digital coach volunteer Edwin Rogadio was asked what attracted him to CTN, he responded that he is passionate about helping others and supports our philosophy of “We believe that access to the internet is a human right, and that those without the skills to use a computer are at risk of social and economic disadvantage.” Edwin embraces his work as a digital coach and shares his “secrets to success” when interacting with older adults entering the digital world — secrets which can benefit us all.
Edwin believes that while they are never too old to learn, you must always remain patient with those who have chosen to learn something new. Discover the learner’s needs early to ensure that you meet their needs. When introducing a new session, always clearly outline the topics to be covered to establish the learner’s expectations. Always reinforce topics covered from the previous session and include the adult learner in the session’s direction by asking questions like, “Should we continue with last week’s lesson, or can we move to a new topic?”
Be sure to take good notes throughout the whole coaching session, and recap at the end. This will review the learner’s progress while helping the coach determine whether there was a learning gap that must be revisited. And keep the coaching simple: Ask questions and provide continual encouragement and moral support. If conducting a remote session, allow the learner to take full control of the tablet whenever possible while providing interventions only as needed. Stay on track and on schedule because the time goes by quickly. Stay focused yet remain flexible since the adult learner may wish to divert to another topic or skill. Be a good listener so you know if you are meeting the needs of the learner.
Edwin hopes CTN can eventually expand the Home Connect program to more areas in the community where the elderly learner can benefit from the volunteer coaching efforts provided by himself and the other CTN volunteers. Edwin, we sincerely appreciate your commitment, insight and for your incredible work helping older adults join the digital world.