Some seniors struggle with tech but not for the reason you think. Teaching adults and seniors is very different from teaching a child. For a child, you have to find ways to keep them away from the device. There is a lot of motivation for a child to play with tech. Teaching a child how to use tech is easy. Adult senior tech training is a different story it requires patience, time and the understanding that the best things in life have nothing to do with a computer. It is a totally different mindset and until a trainer understands that they will never be able to teach a senior how to use a computer or smartphone.
Senior Tech Training is counter-intuitive to how they learned in school
The techniques of learning in history class do not work with teaching adults about computers. Taking notes, memorisation and quizzes only make things more confusing as the tech will often change. Menus and Icons will change. A process to export or share a file may be different after a software update.
Many of my students try to take notes. I do not let them… here is why. It is very common for them to come back to the next class and have no idea what the notes mean. This is not because they forgot but because there are very specific ways to take tech notes that honestly would be its own class. (This is why online tutorials all are video or have screenshots)
We just don’t learn from mistakes we celebrate them!
Proper senior tech Training is best done through trial and error. Trial and error is the most efficient way to teach computers. The major difference between children and adults in the area of learning computers is that children are not afraid of making a mistake.
“Children make two mistakes a minute! Adults make one mistake an hour and threaten to throw the computer out the window” (Rage Quit for you folks under 35)
The foundation of my training process is to create a safe environment where the student understands there is nothing they can do that will break the computer. I inform them that I can fix any problem they may cause in seconds.
- “Why did this not work?”
- was it the wrong button?
- Did get overwhelmed by the terms being used?
- How can we find a way around this? I have no idea what this button does … let’s press it!!!
- Whoever makes the most mistakes wins!
By making it ok to make mistakes we can focus on why things work and not a static process that will be out of date in a few updates anyway.
Focus on the fun
I will say it again .. the best things in life have nothing to do with a computer. But there are fun things to do that have nothing to do with computer games. I try to focus on what our student wants to do. What would make their life better!
- How to connect with friends and family
- Find resources on hobbies and projects
- Find tools to help with day to day tasks
- How to order that long lost record you loved in your teens
- And Funny cat videos
When we are stressed we do not learn as fast. Our brains are too focused on the problem to spend any resources on learning. While you think fun learning is only for kids it is the foundation of Senior Tech Training. Many of our seniors have only used computers while at work. They would use one maybe two programs and any time there was an issue some grumpy guy with a pocket protector and no social skills would talk into the room and tell them they were stupid. Of course, anyone would hate computers living like that. but those days are gone!
Build a relationship, not a syllabus
while I can make a syllabus I have found that the most effective training is building a relationship so I can better tailor the training to the student. In this process, I do take notes so I can make the next class even better. How do they learn? .. what are their hobbies? What makes them excited about learning about computers or smartphones.
I also make it ok to ask questions. There are no stupid questions.
Senior Tech Training in Lithgow, Katoomba and Bathurst area
By now you may have noticed that I teach seniors how to use computers. I have been doing this for a very long time. (Almost 20 years in one form or another) If you are an adult or senior who needs to learn how to use a computer or smartphone I am here to help.
- How to use iPhone, Android or iPads
- Mac computer training
- Corporate training
- How to avoid scams for seniors and adults
- Basic online security