IMDA launched the IM Silver Portal, a one-stop online Infocomm learning resource to help senior citizens get digitally literate. Unveiled by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information at IMDA’s annual Silver IT Fest, the new portal will offer seniors access to online guides, e-books, videos and seminars to help them learn and take advantage of mobile and digital technologies.
Topics that will be covered include how to use mobile devices as well as chat applications to using cloud-based storage and cybercrime prevention. The new IM Silver Portal aims to complement the classroom sessions that are already available to seniors at the 31 Silver Infocomm Junctions (SIJs).
Since the launch of the SIJs in 2007, about 80,000 participants have attended and benefited from the technology classes they offer. The launch of IM Silver Portal will complement the SIJs and make learning even more accessible to seniors.
The Silver Infocomm Junctions (SIJs) are senior-friendly infocomm learning hubs appointed by IMDA. SIJs are operated by Voluntary Welfare Organisations, PA’s Grassroots’ Organisations and/or Non-profit Organisations. As of April 2017, about 80,000 seniors have been trained at the workshops conducted at these SIJs.
Classes are divided into two tracks, iBEGIN and iLIVE, for seniors to learn basic infocomm usage and digital lifestyle skills respectively. The senior-friendly course modules are structured in a step-by-step, comprehensive format, and available in both English and Chinese. Currently, the Silver Infocomm Curriculum covers 23 topics.
The Silver Infocomm Initiative (SII) aims to bridge the digital divide among seniors aged 50 and above by addressing differences in educational background, language and infocomm competencies. Launched in November 2007, the SII aims to promote IT awareness and literacy among seniors aged 50 and above so that they can be actively engaged in the digital age. The initiative also aims to bridge the digital divide regardless of education backgrounds, language competencies or IT awareness levels.
Besides online and classroom resources, IMDA will be working with the People’s Association Active Ageing Council (PA AAC) to encourage peer learning through a new Tech Silver Project. Currently, seniors who embrace digital technologies can become Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors to help encourage their peers to pick up such skills.
Through the Tech Silver Project, 29 Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors have stepped forward to volunteer their time to help seniors within the community. IMDA and PA AAC will provide structured technical and soft skills training to build up the skills and competencies of these Tech Silvers to prepare them, to help spread the know-how to their peers in the community.
“It is now even easier for seniors to learn how to use technology, to stay connected with friends and family, enhance the quality of their lives through online resources and at the same time, stay safe from cybercrimes. We hope that many more seniors will participate and benefit from these new programmes,” said Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.
The Silver IT Fest is an annual event organised by IMDA together with Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), industry and community partners, aimed at sharing the latest in infocomm trends and happenings to seniors – through a wide range of activities from seminars, workshops, tutorials@learning islands and an exhibition of tech tips and deals.
This year, the Silver IT Fest launch roadshow was held on 10 and 11 June at the Lifelong Learning Institute. IM Silver Portal, the Silver IT Fest, Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors are all programmes under IMDA’s Silver Infocomm Initiative.