The Information and Communications Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM) wrapped up its first round of free digital literacy classes at the University College of the North Aug 15.
After getting a crash course in topics like computer hardware, office management software and internet safety over the last three days, each participant was presented with a certificate of completion by instructor Kunal Mahajan Thursday night.
Mahajan told the Thompson Citizen that his students in ICTAM’s new DigitALL program could be divided into two categories: senior citizens who are learning how to use Microsoft Excel and online shopping services for the first time and adults who need a serious “refresher.”
Binasio Joseph Wani falls into the latter group, since the last time he took a computer course was around 15 years ago.
“I forgot everything,” said Wani, who works as an electrician for the Thompson General Hospital. “I don’t use computers that much ... so I just wanted to start fresh and see what’s going on.”
Mahajan went on to say that this program also aims to give participants an upper hand in their professional lives, since staying up to date on office management software and internet protocols is becoming more and more of a necessity in today’s working world.
“If you want some office job you need to know this information,” he said. “Because in every office now the internet is connected and if you don’t know about the internet you will not proceed, especially for the 35-plus age group.”
In a press release leading up to DigitALL’s debut in Thompson, ICTAM said Canada still lags behind most other G7 nations in giving its citizens reliable access to the digital marketplace. The most recent Information and Communications Technology Development Index, which measures a population’s overall use of and access to the Internet, ranks Canada 29th out of 176 nations.
ICTAM’s DigitALL program will continue in Thompson with another series of courses that will cover Microsoft Project (Aug. 20-24), emails and social media (Sept. 10-12) and Microsoft Word (Sept. 17-19).
To register for these classes, please visit UCN’s Thompson enrolment services office in person or contact them at 204-677-6450 or th_reception@UCN.ca.