Portarlington students connect seniors

WE started our log on and learn course with a coffee morning on November 5. All of the senior citizens came in to meet us then. We were divided into pairs by our teacher Ms Heffernan.

WE started our log on and learn course with a coffee morning on November 5. All of the senior citizens came in to meet us then. We were divided into pairs by our teacher Ms Heffernan.

This was helpful in case one student was out there was an extra person to teach. We were then assigned a mature student (as they like to be called), to teach and we spent the rest of the coffee morning getting acquainted with them. We explained what would be happening throughout the course and they were greeted officially on behalf of the school by Mr Bennett and Ms S Higgins.

We officially began on the computers on November 9, teaching the basics. We got a module to follow which we taught to our students, then gave it to them for their folders for future reference. We taught them how to turn it on and off and other similar basics like that. We ourselves also learned a couple of things along the way.

Each week we were given a new module to follow which got more advanced but still stayed within a range that was easy to comprehend. Over the weeks we found that a couple of the senior citizens had their own laptops which they brought in. Some learned how to work their laptops which they were uncertain of before.

They also learned about the internet which could make life more convenient for them. They learned about search trains, online shopping and even e-mail which they enjoyed practicing. They even got to make their own e-mail account and practiced by e-mailing each other in the class. They really enjoyed this. I think they benefited a lot from this and one of the ladies even e-mailed her friends while they were on holiday and got a reply that she was delighted with.

They also learned how to write and save documents and to make folders. This really helped them, especially anyone who had worked in anything remotely secretarial. There were a couple of delays in our lessons due to floods and snow and other weather related problems. But all were just as eager to return for their next lesson.

On the last day we had another coffee morning to discuss what they had learned and how they felt about it. They all said that they really enjoyed it and learned a lot. They also said that they would recommend it to anyone. They were presented with certificates by Mr Bennett and pictures were taken.

We talked over tea and coffee and had some fun before they left. I think we all learned something new from each other whether we were the teachers or the students. We really enjoyed it as a class and would definitely do it again. It was the first year running and it was a great success. We really miss teaching our students and wish them all the best.

Shannen and Lorna Gary were transisition year sturdents last year.