CTS Fanshawe launches free virtual programming for seniors

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: FANSHAWE COLLEGE
Fanshawe's Corporate Training Solutions program is helping seniors find independence and connecting generations.

Fanshawe’s Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) has released a free online program to support seniors with their technology skills. The Technology Essentials: Virtual Programming for Seniors is dependent on student volunteers for learning assistance.

The intention is to help equip older populations with tools and resources essential to navigate word processing programs and various technological systems like iPads and iPhones. Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development, Candace Miller further explained that the goal of the program is to help seniors gain more independence.

“We really want to be able to help support seniors, so they become active, included and independent individuals within our community,” said Miller.

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Student volunteers are expected to complete 10 micro-lessons, in which they will receive an e-badge for each completed course. A final certificate from the college is rewarded after the completion of all courses.

Furthermore, the program is remote and asynchronous, allowing it to be flexible for both volunteers and their clients. The program concludes at the end of August. Until then, CTS will continue to accept applications from both seniors and volunteers for this program.

“We’re looking for more and more volunteers,” said Miller. “We originally said for students from Fanshawe, but we’ve opened it up to any individuals, particularly those maybe looking for high school volunteer hours.”

“We also hope that there’s relationships that are built in a good way for the time of the training and the support through students,” she added. “We’re hoping for those intergenerational connections. So….students can feel like they’re giving back to their community, but then also seniors are engaging with younger minds and learning from them. There’ll be opportunities for them to sort of engage in conversations as well.”

The Technology Essentials curriculum is sponsored by Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). This program is federally financed by the grant, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Therefore, any funding used from this system must be spent to enhance the lives of seniors within their communities.

“In conversing with the Age Friendly Committee of London, it was determined that there’s a need for technical training or computer type training for seniors that would fit this particular call of proposals,” explained Miller. “Because of our expertise in developing, you know, accessible online training for participants and working with industry partners, we decided to put in a proposal.”

CTS implements training and business solutions to positively influence workplace performances. With their delivery of training and services, CTS hopes to enrich community engagement while achieving the needs of locals.

“We sometimes work with high school students in specialized high skilled majors or we also work with individuals who are out in the workforce looking for professional development or upskilling opportunities,” said Miller.

Any participants interested in applying for this program or to inquire more information are asked to email cts@nullfanshawec.ca or call 1-844-287-3267.