It’s difficult to underestimate the impact that the internet has had on our lives over such a short time and many older people would be the first to admit they’ve been left behind by the digital revolution.
After all, the internet is the virtual home of everything, everywhere, so where do you even begin looking for what you want? But, what’s a homepage when it’s at home, what the heck is a blog and how on earth do you Google someone?
If you’re over 50 and suitably baffled by any of these questions then New College is here to help.
Silver Surfers Day, now an integral part of Adult Learners Week, is a national campaign set to guide older people smoothly through the information superhighway and help them discover what’s available at the click of a mouse, and how to make the most out of it.
Celebrated nationwide on Friday 26 May, Silver Surfers Day is aiming to reach 10,000 new computer users and New College is inviting local people to log on!
The Further Education College, which provides learning for over 15,000 adult learners, is holding free Internet Taster sessions at its Queen Drive to help older computer users make the most out of the World Wide Web.
Those still sceptical about the technology should look no further than Ted MacKenzie, pictured, for motivation.
The ninety-seven year-old from Freshbrook never looked back since he discovered the wealth of opportunities on the internet through New College’s flexible learning programme.
“I would say to other people of my generation not to be afraid,” said Ted. “Computers don’t bite!”
Ted’s journey into the digital world has been inspirational to many older computer users showing the many ways computers can enrich your life, whatever your age.
“I keep my pennies in check with internet banking, as well as regularly using Encyclopaedia Britannica,” he said.
But it is electronic mail that has really changed Ted’s life, enabling him to forge close links with relatives thousands of miles away in ways he couldn’t have dreamed before discovering the internet.
“My great niece was teaching in China and it was fantastic to be able to communicate with her,” he said. “I’ll often think of something to say to her in the night and get up to email her. I can’t imagine life without email now.”
Prove like Ted that age really is no obstacle to getting the most out of computers and the internet, and book on one of New College’s Internet Taster sessions.
There are four taster sessions, two running from 9.30am until 11.30am, one from 12pm-2pm and one from 2.30pm-4.30pm.
Also available on the same day is a ‘Fun With Photos’ Taster, for anyone over 50 with a digital camera who wants to make the most of their photos. The free session will run from 2pm until 4pm.
To book your space on either the Internet Taster or ‘Fun With Photos’ Taster call 0808 172 1721 or for more information visit