High school students in the Snowy Mountains are helping older Australians use technology

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A small program that began in the Cooma Library in 2017 is now being pushed by the Federal Government to run a national program based on increasing digital literacy in senior citizens.

Students volunteer to sit with learners and teach them basic IT skills, from listening to voicemail, to avoiding scams, to applying for a driver’s license.

“They know it all as far as IT is concerned, and they use it more than other people I think, and so they can teach oldies like me,”  said an attendee of the workshop.

Snowy Monaro Library manager Pam Veiss said the program was so popular, there was a waiting list to participate.

Ms Veiss invited the high schools to get involved after seeing how many older residents came to the library asking for help with technology.

“We didn’t have the time, we didn’t have the programs in place to be able to help them on a one-on-one basis, so as a response to the need for people we started the program with the high school,” she said.

The eSafety Commissioner planned to roll out a nationwide program similar to the local workshops in Cooma and Bombala from early next year. Project manager of the BeConnected Young Mentors program Jill McNaught said that there were benefits for the older learners and their student mentors.

If you’re in the area, or know someone who may benefit from these programs in the Monaro region, you can find more information here

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