While Cire had hoped to deliver its recent Get Online Week (GOLW) activities face-to-face, the Be Connected-funded initiative had to be modified for virtual delivery.
Given that Be Connected is an Australia-wide initiative to empower all Australians, particularly seniors, to thrive in a digital world, the virtual GOLW was a fun opportunity for even further skills and confidence building.
Cire Community Hubs initially planned to host events and Be Connected information sessions at Chirnside Park, Yarra Junction and Lilydale.
The revised format comprised a trivia session, a walk through the myGov site and how to use it, followed by bingo with information on social media. Enthusiasm-charged participants joined both.
The trivia group thoroughly enjoyed the topics, which focused on celebrities, technology, fashion, and music from the 1950s to the late 1980s. There were three rounds of trivia in between a two-part presentation on myGov.
For the bingo, bingo sheets were delivered (in a Covid-safe manner) to all those who had registered, adding an additional element of fun to the event.
In preparation for the Be Connected events, visually engaging PowerPoint presentations were created on the focus topics – myGov and social media – which were selected from the Be Connected resource library.
Social media looked at how to create accounts on three of the most popular platforms used by seniors (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and how to stay safe. Over the past two years, social media has been used more than ever, as it was the only way to stay connected with family and friends during Covid lockdowns. As a result of high use, the number of social media scams and viruses spiralled. The Cire session focused on how to find settings, ensure accounts are secure, and how to identify scams and viruses.
The myGov session addressed how to set up an account and how to link government services. This was greatly received as many seniors do not have myGov accounts or know how to navigate them, which results in having to spend more time accessing services to get the required information.
Participant feedback conveyed how excited, and appreciative everyone was that events were not cancelled but held online, providing them with a w chance to socialise.
Hubs Manager Jenelle Strachan said the level of social interaction was wonderful. Many of the participants did not know each other before the events but willingly connected, had a laugh, and established friendships.
Throughout the sessions, participants asked questions that showed they were generally interested in the chosen topics and requested copies of the presentations to refer to the information and have the details on how to sign up to Be Connected. It was great to see that participants were eager to create Be Connected accounts to access further learning modules.