How Carers Keep Learning – Carers ACT Digital Mentoring Service

  • How Carers Keep Learning – Carers ACT Digital Mentoring Service image

In mid 2022, Carers ACT started a volunteer Digital Mentoring Service for carers who require assistance on how to use their digital devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops etc.

The free one-on-one 60 minute sessions offered were designed to build a carer’s digital confidence and competency with their device. Carers were able to come to Carers ACT with a list of questions for a volunteer mentor to help demonstrate how to solve their query.

Although not digital or IT experts themselves, the volunteer mentors (who are also a carer), wanted to be trained on how to facilitate learning to help other carers. Of course, with so many different devices available on the market today, the mentors weren’t able to cover all of these.

Over 50 carers registered for assistance with their digital devices. Many carers wanted to learn more or to keep learning on how to maximise use on their devices.

A satisfied carer commented

“I learnt how to be more efficient with my phone, which saves me time and makes keeping in touch easier.”

Another carer stated;

“You cannot have anything to do with any Government department unless you go on line first. It has given me much more confidence and access to carry out these tasks”. 

However, what was more surprising was the feedback from our volunteer mentors. Little did they know that they were also going to learn more on digital devices through the type of questions from carers who wanted assistance as well as finding out more about the carer and their interests.

Of the seven (7) trained mentors, many of them commented after each session on how much they learnt from the carer. In particular, some of the mentors did have a preference for a particular brand, such as, being an android user. They often had to step outside of their comfort zone to assist carers with their non preferred brands, learning about this for themselves, noticing differences and similarities, then demonstrating this with the carer.

Another interested observation was that several carers wanting assistance thought they weren’t very skilled at all with their device. This was understatement and many carers managing to share their tips and tricks with their device with the volunteer mentors. The mentors then learnt this and added to their tool kit to help the next carer.

Many of carers didn’t realise how they were all learning from each other. They realised sometimes, to keep learning can be subtle, where you don’t even know this is happening as you are focussed on getting it right or the outcome. The beauty of this service is that we were all learning from each other to increase our technological skills!

And remember to celebrate your individual learning achievements. Well done to all our carers who participated in this service, learning more on their digital devices. A big thank you to our volunteer mentors who gave their time for this, as without you we wouldn’t have been able to offer this service.

 

Keep Learning is one of the 5 ways to wellbeing:  Read more here

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