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  • Writer's pictureianhandricks

Seniornet North Shore

Channel Magazine April 2012

If you believe in the saying that "you can’t teach old dogs new tricks" then this fantastic initiative that we have discovered right here on the North Shore, is going to make you think again. SeniorNet North Shore is aimed at teaching older people how to use computers. The interesting thing that I discovered when I went along to attend a SeniorNet North Shore workshop at the St Johns Ambulance Centre in Shea Terrace, Takapuna in early March, is that this group has actually been around for well over a decade. North Shore was the second club founded in New Zealand. They have over 300 members who take advantage of attending many of the numerous sessions held each month. The March schedule includes no less than 30 options to choose from (two sessions a day on some days), including: - Beginners Workshops; Email and Internet; Spreadsheets and Excel; Dumb Questions; Bring your own Laptop; Basic Camera to Computer; Apple Mac Group; Scanning & Burning CDs; Trade Me; Advanced Windows XP; Vista and Windows; Enhancing Photos; Digital Photography; Photoshop; ProShow Gold; Photo Books; Print to Disk; Microsoft Word; Genealogy.

The day we called in, a Tuesday in mid-March, the session was focussed around "using an iPad" being taught by Ian Handricks -and the room at the St John’s Ambulance Centre was pretty full, which shows that the Apple tablet must be making inroads with the more mature folk. This session is particularly helpful for the older folks as Apple don’t provide easy to follow manuals with the iPads.

We were welcomed by SeniorNet North Shore Chairman and Takapuna resident Peter Patten. Peter has been involved since 2003. He really enjoys gaining knowledge in such programmes as Photoshop and ProShow Gold. But just as important to him, is the social aspect of the regular sessions. Lois Kay, the energetic secretary of SeniorNet North Shore, was there to attend the iPad Workshop. She has been involved for four years and admits to knowing very little about computers when she started - except basic word processing that she did when she was working. She says that SeniorNet has been wonderful, it is a great place to learn, and everybody there is helpful and willing to share. Lois admits to now having an addiction to Genealogy, a very popular workshop and pastime among the older computer users.

SeniorNet North Shore Vice-Chairperson, Barbara Anderson, also started attending when she retired from teaching in 2003. She was told about it by a friend who attended the workshops, and she has been hooked ever since. She is also very keen on Genealogy, as well as Photoshop and Photo Books. Annual membership of SeniorNet North Shore is very affordable. Just $35 per person or $50 for a couple. There are minimal door fees for some sessions, which are all held at St John’s Ambulance Centre, Takapuna (around $3.00). To find out what it is all about, you can also attend as a visitor for one session, free of charge, as long as you book first.

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