You're never too old to learn - and it's an adage that's served Whangarei women Lindsay Faber, aged 93, and Joyce Abercrombie, 82, well as they tackled the latest technology to be computer savvy and take on the demands of the 21st Century.

The women are about to graduate from SeniorNet Whangarei's Introduction to iPad course and are urging others keen to learn about new technology - regardless of their age - to give it go.

SeniorNet gives computer training for those aged over 50 and Mrs Faber and Mrs Abercrombie are living proof that the "scary" world of computers can be overcome and very much enjoyed.

Mrs Faber said she wanted to learn how to use an iPad to connect to the internet, send emails, stay in touch with people and carry out internet banking.

Advertisement

"You really need to know about computers. I wish I'd started learning about them a long time ago," she said.

"It was quite scary at first, but I thought 'I'd better learn how to do this' so I came to SeniorNet. Now I can send emails and pay my accounts online, and all from my iPad. I want to still be able to communicate with people and stay up to date with the modern world."

Mrs Faber said her initial frustrations of not knowing what to do were quickly overcome and the key - like learning anything new - was to do it over and over again so you got used to it.

And her advice to other elderly people keen to learn abut computers: "Don't be scared of failing at first, have a go and do your best and you will earn how to do it."

Mrs Abercrombie said she was initially reluctant to learn about the "frightening" new technology she was seeing springing up around her.

But while out tramping with SeniorNet tutor Barbara Budgen she was persuaded to give it a go - and she's not looked back since.

"Barbara said 'it's time you learned about the iPad' and my computer at home was playing up at the time so I thought I'd learn how to use the iPad rather than getting a new computer," she said.

"I found it particularly difficult at first, but there's a saying along the lines of that as you get older you should be still learning, so I'm learning how to use this new machine to send emails and keep in touch with people. It's a great way of communicating."

Mrs Abercrombie urged people to give it a go. "You are never too old to learn, and it gets easier the more you do it."

Ms Budgen said SeniorNet classes have five students and up to three tutors so there was plenty of help available to the students to learn more.

"It can be a bit scary at first, but we take things slowly if we need to and we find out what they want to use the computer for then find the right tutors to teach them," she said.

"For example we've got one who wants to learn about Facebook and another who wants to get a bit creative and use Pinterest (where users can upload, save, sort, and manage images - known as pins - and other media content) so we will run courses for those things, once we get the right tutors to do it. It doesn't generally take people too long to learn how to use computers and we tell students that the computer will only do what you tell it to."

To learn more about SeniorNet call 09 438 3414 or email seniornet.wr@gmail.com, or on the web check out www.whangarei.seniornet.co.nz.