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  Life   More Features  22 Dec 2016  Digital learning: Keeping pace

Digital learning: Keeping pace

THE ASIAN AGE. | NIKHITA GOWRA
Published : Dec 22, 2016, 5:57 am IST
Updated : Dec 22, 2016, 7:09 am IST

A Hyderabad-based couple has set out to educate senior citizens on how to use smart phones.

Senior citizens during the APPIO workshop
 Senior citizens during the APPIO workshop

Demonetisation has altered the way we live. With everything having gone digital, senior citizens — usually the ones who hardly have a clue about modern technology, are badly hit.

To educate the elderly about smart phones and how to use them, Ashwin and Divya Jain, a young couple from Hyderabad, have started the APPIO workshop to teach senior citizens essentials like how to book a cab, what Paytm is and about other services.

On the genesis of the workshop, Ashwin says, “Our relatives used to call us up for help every time they had to do internet banking. That’s when we thought, ‘Why not teach them how to do it themselves?’ So, it started with friends and family, but as more people were interested to learn, we thought of going public.” Divya shares that the workshops were on even before demonetisation happened. “After demonetisation, the demand for our workshop has suddenly increased,” she says. Ashwin is quick to point out, “Before, a person only needed food, clothes and shelter to live, but now, one needs food, clothes and the Internet to live!”

Ashwin jainAshwin jain

Their workshop is designed over four weeks — for two hours, twice a week, but the sessions almost always get extended to five hours a day.

“We took up this project with only one thing in mind — patience. It is challenging, because the elderly forget easily and have a million questions. We don’t end the session until everyone has understood. We also give them homework to do, so some of them book a cab to go back home and others successfully book movie tickets,” shares the couple. 80-year-old Nalini Krishnamurthi, who took the course, is happy with the couple’s initiative. “I would see people so engrossed in their phones all the time and wonder what the fuss was all about. They looked stupid to me! But now I realise how useful it is. We learnt to look for information on Google, book airline tickets, use maps, and much more. One thing that should be taught is how to assign speed dial on our phones, so that we can contact our families during emergencies,” she says.

Ashwin, a software engineer, and Divya, a freelancer with the British Council, make sure that they have no more than 25 people in one session, and hold the workshop every weekend.

Tags: demonetisation, paytm, google