Becoming a senior member of society doesn’t mean that you are no longer able to participate fully in new technology and better ways to interact with your family members and the world. With more resources and free time, most seniors find that they are able to finally to learn and participate in areas beyond their immediate responsibilities.
With the development of the internet and all its related services, a whole new world has opened up. A world which is just as accessible to the active senior on the go, as well as to the senior who needs to spend more time at home. With new and mobile devices which are intuitively easier to use than the older PCs, most seniors can quickly learn to use the internet for social as well as task related interests.
The Silver Infocomm Initiative
The Silver Infocomm Initiative (SII) is a programme designed to bridge the digital divide for seniors by helping them to gain infocomm competencies, as well as access to infocomm resources. Under the SII initiative, there are 3 areas which seniors can benefit directly from. These cover educational and training programmes for seniors, access to free computer and internet services at designated Hotspots and special events.
Free Computer and Internet Hotspots
IMDA has set up about 90 Silver Infocomm Hotspots (SIHs) which provide access to computers and internet services for seniors free-of-charge. The SIHs are set up at locations island-wide such as Community Centres, self-help group centres, Residents' Committees and public libraries.
Training and Educational Programmes
In addition to the Hotspots, 9 senior-friendly Silver Inforcomm Junctions (SIJs) have also been set up island-wide. These offer a customised curriculum and infocomm training courses which are priced affordably from as low as $5-$10 per training hour.
Besides setting up infocomm access facilities, IMDA has also developed a customised curriculum to increase infocomm literacy among seniors. There are two tracks, iBEGIN and iLIVE, for seniors to learn basic infocomm and digital lifestyle skills respectively.
iBEGIN modules teach seniors the basics of how to use a computer, surf the Internet, create an email or instant messaging account, make video calls, as well as important tips on protecting themselves online. The iLIVE track is for seniors who already have these skills and is designed to help them to upgrade their IT knowledge to the intermediate level. One example of this is how a senior can learn how to make an online transaction, such as, how internet banking works, planning a holiday and booking tickets online.
Courseware booklets are in a step-by-step and easy to use format. Both English and Chinese language versions are available. Currently, the Silver Infocomm Initiative Curriculum covers over18 topics. Seniors can find out more and select suitable courses through IMDA's Seniors Go Digital.
Special Events and Continuing Engagement
In addition to training and resources, the Silver Infocomm initiative also organises special events for seniors such as Silver IT Fest.
Senior citizens who are already infocomm-savvy can become a part of the movement and act as course instructors and ambassadors to train and coach their peers.