The Donald Learning Group has supported its regional Victoria community for the past 32 years. The centre delivers a number of inclusive education programs as well as a number of social groups. As a Network Partner, they also run the Be Connected program.
The organisation launched their Be Connected program using the Activation grant and has had great success with personalising sessions for their students. Word of their program travelled quickly and has attracted new learners every month. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews MP even popped by for a visit during one of their classes.
Charmaine Delaney, Centre Manager, says, “It’s very rewarding for us as teachers to see their transformation as their confidence with technology grows from a place where they used to say, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. Our senior citizens are all individuals but they have one thing in common: the need to connect with family and friends.”
Using the Get Online Week grant they hosted a “Facebook for Friends” class, where students learnt how to set up an account and understand privacy settings in a relaxed environment with a nice lunch to reward them for their hard work.
Charmaine remembers one student who joined one year ago with a limited understanding of technology. After joining the Be Connected program, she quickly progressed to the point where if she came up against a problem, she knew how to fix it. The program also helped her understand scams and new ways to connect with friends and family.
When asked about advice she would give to other Network Partners, Charmaine says, “Be authentic and patient, acknowledge that we all learn at a different pace and in different ways. Your community will warm to you and the program if you provide them with confidence and skills in a relaxed environment.”