Demystifying computers for seniors at Tamworth club’s open day

A COMPUTER club for seniors is holding an open day it hopes will open the world wide web up to some of the older citizens in the Tamworth region.

Held by the Tamworth and District Seniors' Computer Club, the day will provide an opportunity to try out a new computer and for one-on-one computer training.

Club president Neville Hall said many older residents missed out on computer training at school and in the workforce and were now trying to catch up.

Access to computers was becoming more important, he said, as family members and friends urged seniors to stay in contact via email and Skype.

"Many of the members are given a hand-me-down computer from their family that may be several years old. Although, more recently, as laptops become cheaper, several are coming in with brand new computers, looking to find out how to get the best out of it and get online," Mr Hall said.

Trials of desktop computers, laptops and tablets will be available, with demonstrations and advice available about topics such as connecting to the internet, receiving and sending emails, eBay and shopping, receiving news or other information and Skype.

"We find a lot of seniors are looking to get online to find and write family histories, memoirs and experiences of their lifetime. Card-making programs are popular, as well as documenting photos and slides before they are lost to the family," Mr Hall said.

The club offers training during school terms, with one lesson a week, for a cost of $33 per term, with lessons held on a one-on-one basis using dual-control computers.

"This means that one computer is used with two monitors, so the tutor and student can both operate the same machine with their own keyboard and mouse, much like a learner- driver's vehicle," he said.

Anyone with a laptop or tablet is encouraged to bring it along, so they can become proficient in using their own equipment and programs.

The club is run on a volunteer basis, so anyone wishing to volunteer time or equipment is encouraged to contact the club on 6767 1516.

The open day will be held at 2/6 Denne St, Tamworth, from 10am until 2pm on Saturday.

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