Transforming lives through digital literacy.

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While all are welcome to apply, we especially need people bilingual in Spanish, Cantonese, Russian, and Tagalog.

In response to the COVID pandemic, Community Tech Network reformatted our traditional in-person training to a remote training platform we call Home Connect. While still providing our signature digital literacy training, both the senior learner and our trainers remain in the safety of their own homes. As Home Connect continues to expand, so does our need for volunteer digital coaches to provide ongoing training and support after our learners receive their device and initial training from our CTN staff.

Home Connect is designed to support older adults eager to connect virtually with family and friends, service providers, and their support systems as well as to obtain information and entertainment. Two levels of training are provided, the first taught by CTN staff instructors. They make sure that the senior is set up with internet access, provide a preconfigured tablet, and deliver an initial five hours of remote introductory and familiarization training using screen-share technology. The staff trainer then transitions the senior learner to a digital coach volunteer for additional learner-selected training.

Compassion and patience are the two most important traits needed when working with older adults who have limited experience with technology. Establishing a strong, professional, and friendly relationship with their digital coach is important to adult learners, as learning sessions can be equally social and technical. It is essential for the digital coaches to establish trust and a rapport with their learner, so strong interpersonal skills are important and valued! Our older adult learners are virtually inviting us into their homes during the pandemic; we are honored guests and must always respect this relationship.

A successful digital coach reflects and embodies these traits, has at least one hour each week to invest, and is personally rewarded by positively impacting the quality of life for an older adult. Specific detail is available on our website, which allows you to make an informed decision about whether becoming a digital coach may be right for you. If you would like additional information related to the work of digital coaches, please contact steph@communitytechnetwork.org.

Thank you for your interest in helping change the life of an isolated senior. Your work will open the door to new possibilities in ways that are currently unimaginable for an older adult learner with little or no technology background.

Volunteers Needed to Become Digital Coaches

About Author

Stephen Minor
editor