Did you just buy one of those Roku televisions but are having trouble figuring it out?  

If so, Tech Tutoring Fridays at the John Howard Society in Minden might be the ticket for you.  

Skills development co-ordinator Robert Gaudette is facilitating the new program.  He told The Highlander in a recent interview that momentum is slowly building.  

“We’ve had a few individuals through. And when people come in, they seem to come with their laundry list and so far, we’ve been able to work through each list and the person more often than not leaves with all of their issues solved,” Gaudette said.  

He hopes more people will start coming, necessitating added staff.

He would also like to see peer support so if someone knows more about a certain aspect of technology than someone else, they can pair up.  

To date, he said people have come with questions about Gmail’s new interface and contacts and other Internet-related queries about sending and saving photos.

He’s also been asked about legitimate emails with offers versus scams. Another common request is about downloading files. He added it’s also about learning what 
you can fix yourself and when you need to contact an expert.

In addition to helping people navigate their devices, it’s about empowering them to not be afraid to use them, Gaudette said.  

So far, an older demographic has been coming, a trend he expects to continue. He understands since his own parents come to him with tech questions.

He said his mom is good on the computer, has a smart phone and tablet but struggled with Roku.  

“A lot of people are changing and watching their entertainment that way but if you’ve never been trained on how to do it, it’s not always intuitive,” Gaudette said.  

His background is in technology, having worked at a tech start-up for 15 years after university.

About 10 years ago, he got into community work.  

The program is free but people are asked to register so Gaudette can prepare.  

Another program that Gaudette wanted to highlight was their regular adult literacy services.  Funded by Employment Ontario, John Howard facilities the program for anyone 19 and older that needs help with math, English or digital literacy.

The free program is comprehensive, Gaudette said.  People register, are asked how they want to improve, assessed for a starting point and then a curriculum is designed for them.  

Gaudette said it can be in-person tutoring on online.  

“So, it’s not like being in traditional school where you might be one of 30 people. Perhaps you have anxiety. Perhaps there are other reasons why you aren’t interested in taking education in that kind of a formal setting and if you can only come Wednesday at two o’clock then you can come Wednesday at two. It’s at your own pace.” 

 For more information or to register, contact: Robert Gaudette, 705-3280472 x 921, Cell: 705-340-2986, email: bgaudette@jhscklh.on.ca

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