A program that aims to increase digital literacy amongst Manitobans is providing residents of Thompson Rotary Place with a portal into the online world in the form of a donated computer.
Thompson is one of five places in Manitoba, along with Winnipeg, Brokenhead, Sagkeeng First Nation and The Pas, where the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM), is delivering its DigitALL program, which aims to increase provincewide digital literacy with a special emphasis on seniors, newcomers to Canada, minority language speakers, low-income people, people with disabilities, those who have not completed high school and residents of rural and remote communities.
“They gave us some machines to donate,” said Kunal Mahajan, a DigitALL program instructor, who has already delivered computer basics courses to 150 people from Thompson and surrounding communities since the program began.
The computer is set up in Rotary Place’s common room where anyone can use it. Property manager Joanne Wood said Mahajan approached her with the offer because he knows her husband and that she was very happy to accept.
“I jumped on it right away because I’ve had people already in this complex ask me about computers, if there’s one to use,” she said. “It’s such a bonus to have something like that. We’re really thankful that they considered us.”
Mahajan said he will provide some training to Rotary Place residents who want to learn more about how to use computer and do things like send email and shop online.
“Going forward, I will spend some time to give them some information,” he said.
Wood says residents are excited to learn more.
“They’re actually coming down and asking me when do they start,” she said. “Us being seniors, a lot of them don’t know that much about computers. They don’t know how much they are going to be able to use it, especially through the email.”
The next DigitALL intro to computers course, for those with little or no experience using computers, is being held at the University College of the North (UCN) Thompson campus Oct. 8-10. An intro to the Microsoft Word word processing program is being held Oct. 15-17.
For more information or to register for these courses visit the Thompson UCN campus enrolment services office in person , call 1-204-677-6450 (1-866-677-6450 toll free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.