It is indeed Wednesday and before I go comparing penny differences in OAP Diamond Wednesday B&Q I reflect upon a failed mission. Actually I should steer clear of B&Q as they failed miserably in every which way with my daughter’s kitchen. Negatively I proceed. Nope I say it like it is….
One of the aims of Up Your Street is to encourage seniors to use the internet to check the listings, to GoogleMap locations, to find their way in the TFL maze and to join in a blog. Not happening yet. All the many seniors I know still rely on word of mouth (mine) and paper instructions to gather up the freebies in terms of events and activities.
Even for the Go:On digital experience in Billingsgate old Building which was a free day out by the Thames, despite my printing off tickets using my email address and distributing those, still the people read the times wrongly and missed the event. Hard to believe and I don’t. The point is that after at least two years and with all the machines available in venues which never closed in spite of budget cuts, still the seniors I know prefer to go undigital. Good for me as I retain an audience and that makes me useful and used.
Laptops went right down in price as tablets came into their deserved own. The free discarded computers from firms don’t exist. Seniors without pcs can use the libraries and community centres.
People tend to look into their emails on a Sunday at a family gathering when the male heir or grandchild can help turn on the PC.
No one writes a fresh email. All emails I ever receive are replies to mine and even that is rare. It makes me suspect that people don’t know where their address listings and contacts are located.
This is misery and kinda shows all the projects to educate seniors are in vain. Sweeping I know. Everyday some new technology comes onto the market. I won’t even touch on the lack of mobile use amongst my cohort.
It just informs us that The Lawns in Dalston and Silver Surfers workshops at The Lawns are necessary to keep the senior population in the curve. That is the one place where seniors are welcome and taught well.
Recently “A Taste of Hackney”, an intergenerational project (was it?) wrapped up. I joined because I wanted to learn how to construct an App. Even the App market has reached the heights of popularity with my own daughter using an App to help her through the breaking of her pregnancy waters.
On week 5 in a cold church hall due to venue change it was obvious to me that a USA firm was actually going to do the techno bit in constructing an App.
It was glaringly obvious too that the senior participants on the project, who mostly came via myself and not through AgeUK as highlighted, were very uncomfortable with and unused to using digital technology. Fine at that stage mabybe as the project leaders could install confidence if they knew how. Well no-one was a teacher there as far as I knew.
I realised that I would not be in any App construction class and that as I told the evaluator in confidence I was learning nothing. Others told her the same. So much depended on what one expected from a project. Perhaps the project manager expected the seniors to be able to use sound recording equipment and all things digital with confidence and liking because the initial introduction to the project had been to 5 people at The Lawns who were a captive audience but actually seated in another workshop struggling to begin if ever they remembered their passwords. The assumption was that those Silver Surfers had been going regularly to digital classes and were up to speed. No.
Cruelly I no longer print off my Up Your Street listings. The seniors are on so many projects at present (found and promoted by me) that they haven’t the time to attend the odd photography launch let alone read a list, but it’s there for the taking . I am internet-based and have molly-coddled for too long and at my expense.
The seniors i know never report back to me to share their thoughts on any course and never evaluate their experiences when requested by any project leaders. Songololo goes on and on but I hear nothing about how it’s going really. Recently up Your Street subscribers began a walking and photography course. Sopmeone could blog about their experiences and at the same time practise internet awareness. If no-one tells, then stooopid courses still go ahead and get funding and The Big Society looks like it’s nice. An email amongst friends would suffice! I am reminded here of the “How to be a rock star” sketch on “Cardinal Burns” (E4 on Satellite TV)
No project leader ever cares to recognise that the participants are actually motivated to attend by Up Your Street, a true community outreach unfunded enterprise.
A dead horse has just been flogged.