A valued partner of CTN, the Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI) is a community-based organization that helps at-risk seniors live safely and independently at home instead of in a nursing home. Since our partnership began in the spring of 2020, CTN has trained all of CEI’s learners remotely via our Home Connect program. Over a year later, we are excited to return to in-person training for a small group of CEI digital learners.
This first foray into in-person instruction was limited to a small cohort of learners. All participants, as well as CTN trainer Sabrina Tam and CEI staff, must be vaccinated and wear masks in class. We also regularly checked participants’ temperatures. While pandemic protocols will continue to adapt to changing circumstances, we were grateful to see some of our learners face to (masked) face!
“I missed teaching in person so much,” says Sabrina. “It’s just much easier for me to see the learner’s screen and instruct them what to do as the next step. The learners could also easily help each other out. We spent less time on troubleshooting and more time on actual teaching and learning.”
Classes took place at CEI’s Downtown Oakland PACE site, and transportation was arranged for all learners. We started with a group of five students but had two more audit the class — the wife of a registered learner and a graduate of a previous round who wanted to retake the course in person.
Throughout the program, we’ve received great support from CEI. Their team set up each iPad with an email account and necessary apps, allowing Sabrina to focus on teaching the seniors how to use those apps rather than setting up accounts with or for the learners.
Covering the iPad basics, Sabrina also taught the group how to take a picture or video to share by email. Even though this is an in-person class, Sabrina also taught the learners how to use Zoom so that they could participate in other online activities that CEI offers, like their upcoming iPad training program graduation celebration.
“I’m happy to see all of the learners were able to fill out an online form almost independently by the last class,” says Sabrina. “The seven weeks went by so quickly!”