12 September 2022

Improve your digital literacy with Wagga Library's Tech Savvy program

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Lat Aung Nanghee, with Michael Scutti. Photo: Wagga Wagga City Library.

Wagga Wagga City Library is offering a series of free sessions aimed at improving people’s digital literacy skills.

The Tech Savvy sessions are the 101 on how to email, shop online, and use smartphones and smart tablets.

The program is offered in English, Arabic, Dari, Burmese, Tibetan and Kirmanji, with Wiradjuri and First Nations elders’ classes beginning this year.

The library originally introduced the Tech Savvy initiative in 2016 (Tech Savvy Seniors) to help seniors use technology.

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Wagga City Library services team leader Michael Scutti said many seniors had been given smart tablets for Christmas but they did not have the knowledge to use them.

“Initially, we covered the basic levels of using technology, such as how to use a mouse or how to scroll on a screen, but I have noticed a growth in digital literacy among this cohort in the past couple of years,” Mr Scutti said.

“Now it’s more about being able to use devices and apps for online shopping and to access online government services, such as myGov and Service NSW, which really accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The library is really an ideal place to provide those skills as it’s a central spot in town, it’s a free service, and we have people here who are trained to deliver those services.”

Wagga resident and library volunteer Lat Anung Nanghee spends his free time teaching the sessions in Burmese.

“When I first came to Wagga after leaving Burma (Myanmar) in 2013, I struggled a lot because at that time I didn’t know where to ask for or to get assistance in learning about accessing services and support and so on,” Mr Nanghee said.

“Fortunately, I had an IT background and knowing some English helped a lot in becoming familiar with the system, so I decided to help others in the local Burmese community with the same challenges by volunteering for these sessions.

“The people who come along like the classes because they’re able to speak and learn in Burmese, so they understand what website and apps we’re talking about, so that helps them a lot.”

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The Tech Savvy sessions began in September and will run until the end of November.

They are held on Fridays from 10 am to 12 pm and bookings are required.

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