While face-to-face encounters are still necessary and important, technology is how much of the world connects nowadays, particularly among individuals in younger generations. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and the Internet lets you stay on top of your grandkids’ activities while allowing you to reconnect with long-lost friends, close relatives who live far away, and complete strangers who share your hobbies and passions.
For many seniors, such technology may prove confusing and intimidating, feelings which are often compounded by limited vision, hearing and dexterity that may affect the use of devices. Fortunately, Vancouver is home to a number of resources that older adults can tap in to to learn a variety of modern communication skills.
If you’re looking to start learning about technology, there’s no better place than with the classes offered at Vancouver Community College. Courses vary by month but generally repeat if you happen to miss one. Their credit and no-credit offerings require no application and only a simple registration plus some books, available for purchase at their downtown bookstore. Check out their introductory courses, which cover such topics as computers, Windows, digital media and Internet Media.
The University of British Columbia offers free two-hour Word or Excel workshops for beginners or advanced students which are held once a week and usually take a month to complete. No registration is needed. Just show up for some relaxed small-group interactions. If you have specific technical questions about mobile phones, tablets, social media, email, or other topics, you can drop in at informal sessions which are scheduled on their events calendar.
As much as you might enjoy interacting with young people, you may want to learn new technology skills in a classroom setting among other older adults. In that case, check out the classes offered at local senior centres around the city. These programs are geared towards adults 55 years and older.