Judy and I were delighted to be podcast guests of Elizabeth Gagnon this past Thursday on Miss Liz’s Teatime. We chatted about how we met, how we began working together and eventually what led us to our current mission of teaching technology skills to senior adults while adding some fun to the process.
Here are some excerpts from that podcast:
Michael: “A lot of seniors complain about the fact that webinars or tech training is much too dry. It goes over their heads. They can’t understand it (when) techies talk techie…what we try to do is translate the jargon…so people can understand it…(we also) add a little humor…”
Miss Liz commented: “I find even as the younger generation that technology and training is dry. Let’s add some humor to it let’s add some fun into it. You know that we don’t have to be so straightforward…”
Miss Liz to Judy: “So where does the WACI tips (humor) come in from you Judy? …Is it like fun facts? Is it jokes? Is it dancing?”
Judy: “(It’s) a little bit of everything. I usually put up little…cartoons…a little trivia. Just a little something…it takes I don’t know what two or three minutes. It’s not a big thing, just a little breakup in between the technology (talk).”
Mikey: “She has riddles, she adds puns, she adds cute signs.”
Miss Liz later: “It’s true. Right we’re not taught these (technology) things in school…I think we need more education so that we are prepared when we get older.” She continued: “I know my dad really struggled and got frustrated with technology. We were trying to explain something to him and he would be okay…”
Miss Liz asked Judy about the Jeopardy like and Name That Tune entertainment programs we offer.
Judy: “…these are really fun programs. They’re interactive audience participation. For the music trivia we play a song and have the audience guess what song it is. And then (we) have other questions relating to it…who’s singing it?…what year was it?…it’s bringing back memories…the audience they really enjoy this…Jeopardy is another interactive game…we can do it in teams, do it in individuals.”
Miss Liz: “Have you guys done any of that kind of (online security) training for seniors?”
Mikey: “We teach them the different types of browsers. How to be safe on their browsers. How to limit their data and their privacy…we get into the search engines like DuckDuckGo and Brave as alternatives to Safari and Google and Edge and Bing and Firefox.”
We also discussed our efforts to educate seniors about:
- Being oversold technology devices (i.e. laptops, smartphones, etc.) and online subscriptions.
- A free open source productivity suite called LibreOffice or free Google Docs
- Other shareware programs available online
- Linux as an alternative to Windows and Mac
Mikey: “We’re just trying to educate people and let them know again what’s available so they can make an adult decision.”
Judy’s T-E-A words are:
- Teaching – mainly what we do we’re teaching.
- Enrichment – hopefully we are enriching people’s lives, opening up their eyes.
- Attitude – your attitude has a lot to do with how much you can gain from the available information. “You have to have the right mindsets, you have to have the right attitude.”
Michael’s T-E-A words are Technology – Education – Adults.
Miss Liz: “I could just tell by the way you run your services…that technology and education is very deeply important to you guys. It’s enriching and the attitude has to be there in order to learn so all of these T-E-As flow nicely and smoothly together and that’s how you guys serve a really good strong cup of tea is you really bring that education to the table so I want to thank you for that…”
Here’s a slightly edited portion of the podcast where Miss Liz asks a question from an audience member: “We have a question here that I think is deeply important that we need to get out there…this is a 76 year old woman…from the United States.” She would like to know: “What message you have for the seniors with your programs?”
Mikey: (My message would be) don’t give up, don’t give up. We had someone a few weeks ago on our Monday afternoon program who was ready to pull plug when another woman chimed in and said I was in your shoes just two or three weeks ago. Just come back and listen and if you just listen, you’re going to learn.
We offer 15 minute free (individual) programs and she (the first woman) signed up for one…it went on for an hour and a half…she has gotten to the point where she’s a regular and she’s learning as she goes.
That’s what we want to do. Our purpose is to open people’s eyes to the wealth of information that’s available on the internet and let them go off in their own direction. We’re not saying become a techie freak. If it’s visiting virtual museums. If it’s reading or genealogy. Regardless of what your likes are, we want to just open up that door and show you how to use that information.
Miss Liz: “ I think that’s really deeply important…you guys are bringing really good points to the table. Don’t give up and you know we do know more than what we sometimes give ourselves credit for, yes.”
Learn more about Miss Liz’s Teatime at https://www.misslizsteatime.com/
Always remember…There is no thing as a stupid question! We’re here to answer what’s on your mind! Or we’ll research the answer for you.
Contact us for individual computer and internet training. We always offer a free 15-minute consultation (sometimes they last 1.5 hours!). Or use the form in the right sidebar ?.
Interested in joining us on our next WACI Tips Group on Mondays at Senior Planet from AARP? Details on our Calendar page:https://abncparties.com/calendar/.
Learn more about our classes and events for Boomers and senior adults for your senior center, independent senior living facility, senior group, park district or library.