Learn to operate your smartphones and other digital devices with a new complimentary one-on-one service
Mdm Lee learning more about smartphones with the help of Tech Connect Kaki, Tan Juan Hui
Know someone who constantly asks for help on how to use their smartphone or laptop? With the launch of Tech Connect’s one-on-one service to help residents use digital devices and online services, it’s easy for anyone, particularly seniors, to learn how to be tech-savvy and get prompt advice from trained People’s Association (PA) staff (also known as Tech Connect Kakis).
A partnership between MCI, IMDA, and PA, the initiative aims to reduce the barriers to learning technology so that everyone can embrace and benefit from digitalisation.
Currently, the one-on-one service is available at eight community clubs around Singapore, namely West Coast, Ulu Pandan, Bedok, Our Tampines Hub (at its PA service counter), Chua Chu Kang, Radin Mas, Kampong Chai Chee, and Punggol Vista. No appointment is required for this over-the-counter service, and PA staff will attend to users on a first-come, first-served basis.
What seniors say…
Mdm Lee figures out how to use WhatsApp.
“I am currently using a ‘senior phone’ – a basic device designed for the elderly. It’s easy to use, but I plan to get a smartphone soon, and the one-on-one assistance with my digital device will be very useful. I hope to learn how to use WhatsApp to keep in touch with my friends. It will also make daily activities easier, like communicating with my grandson so I know when to pick him up from school. I’m always nervous about learning new things, especially technology, but at the same time, I’m quite excited.”
- Mdm Lee Soh Kim, 75, homemaker
“Right now I can receive messages on my smartphone, but I have no idea how to reply, so I hope the PA staff can help me. I also want to learn how to set up a Facebook account, and do other things like access my SingPass for government services. Like other senior citizens, I’m happy this service is now available, and I get personalised help, which is what I need.”
- Mdm Sarifah, 64, part-time office cleaner
What Tech Connect Kakis say…
“This Tech Connect initiative is great because it provides immediate assistance for seniors who have trouble using their phones, and many of them come to us panicky and confused. It may be a lot for them to absorb, so what I do is write down steps for them to follow, so they won’t forget. This way they can also share their knowledge with others, and knowing that they can pass that information on to someone else makes me feel great because that’s one small way we can grow as a Smart Nation.”
- S Kalavathy, 55, constituency support executive at West Coast Community Centre
PA staff like Juan Hui hope to encourage seniors like Mdm Lee to embrace technology, not fear it.
“Many people are visual learners, and with the Tech Connect initiative, I can give guidance on how to solve various digital issues on smartphones and other devices. I’m also concerned about online safety like scams, as well as the spreading of fake news, so being a trained Tech Connect Kaki allows me to educate and inform the public on such issues.
- Tan Juan Hui, 30, constituency manager at West Coast Community Centre
About Tech Connect, the one-on-one service for digital devices
Tech Connect is one of the recommendations under the Digital Readiness Blueprint launched by the Ministry of Communications and Information in June 2018. The aim of this one-on-one assistance is to provide greater support to those who may need more assistance and guidance on the use of digital device or services.
The Tech Connect initiative helps users to learn, among other things, how to connect to Wi-Fi, adjust phone settings (like volume, font size, brightness of screen) and how to send photos via communication apps. Tech Connect Kakis will also share tips on how to identify unsafe content such as scams and fake news. Users can also get recommendations on useful resources to advance their digital skills, including available courses to learn more about technology. For similar services, read up about the Digital Clinics for Seniors.
Stay Connected with us! Follow us on Medium.com/sgmci or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram