Renee’s Digital Skills Academy

Welcome to my new online school – a place where older people can learn digital skills.

Yes, this is a sales page.

But it’s not like the ones you see all over the web. Those pages are written to a formula, in which a “target persona” is bombarded with promises to solve their “pain points”. There are many testimonials, and special offers, and explanations of why this particular online course can solve those pain points. You scroll and scroll and scroll – and finally get to the nitty gritty: what does it actually cost? At which point, if you are South African, you work out the rand/dollar exchange rate and decide it’s really not worth it.

This is not that page.

First off, I confess that I am still building my academy. What I say below is the plan – at the bottom of this page you’ll find a place to sign up to be notified when I have something to offer.

For now, this is what I can tell you (clicking on the link will take you to that place on this page):

My mantra: You’ve been around the block enough times to figure out if you need this without me wasting your time. And if you can’t afford it, you need to know that now. (That said, I have made it as affordable as I can.)

hand on keyboard
Picture: Diana Dima, Unsplash

Renee’s Digital Skills Academy does this:

It offers a range of small modules on various digital skills.

The aim is to help people over the age of 50 (who I call perennials) overcome fears and skills deficits by teaching them a learning mindset and a variety of Internet, PC and phone skills so they can take advantage of the connections and advantages that the digital world offers.

(At the moment, it only covers Windows and Android devices).

You might find it useful if you:

  • Sometimes struggle to find things on your phone or computer
  • Have a nagging feeling that there’s an easy way to do things and you are too old to find it
  • Find yourself asking friends or family how to something on your phone or computer (and hate asking for help)
  • Fear that you will break something on your phone or computer
  • Want to know more about “the Internet” – AI and social media in particular
  • Want to be better at the things you already know how to do (be better at searching for things on the Internet, for instance)
  • Are under the age of 50 and think you are falling behind!

What it costs

There will be a variety of modules, some of which will be free. These will cover basic skills or tips and tricks. You’ll be able to do those and see if the teaching method works for you, or if you find my voice so irritating you want to throw your phone out the window.

I’ll be putting those videos on YouTube as well, which means you can check the whole thing out without having to sign up for the Academy.

Modules that you pay for will cost ZAR145 each. That’s about what my local high school charges per hour for its adult education classes. Note that each module will be shorter than an hour: the aim is to teach a skill, not have you sit at your computer for an alloted length of time. For R145, you’ll get a detailed video and a handout, teaching you a usable digital skill.

(When I have enough modules, I may offer a three-for-two kinda deal – let’s see if the thing takes off.)

Why me?

  • I am 62 years old.
  • I have done lots of adult training, including being a co-trainer in a project which moved 100 very anxious people from one computer system to another.
  • I have built several simple websites for people I know (like this one for my husband).
  • I am that “techie person” in my circle of friends – the one you ask for help when you can’t find that one important email.
  • When I don’t know something, I will say so. And I will try to find the answer for you.
  • I have decades of experience as a journalist, editor and writer.
  • I have a high school teaching diploma.
  • I have a 21-year-old son, and a handy technical husband. We all love helping other people.
  • I really do want my fellow perennials to live their best digital lives: to know enough about 21st century digital platforms so that they can use the ones that work for them to have fun and stay connected with their friends, families and the wider world.

A video about me, and why I am creating this Academy

My LinkedIn page

How you’ll learn

  • The academy is reached through my website (the page you are on right now). But it lives on an online learning platform called Thinkific. You’ll need to create a login, which is actually a login to Thinkific. Your privacy is protected by Thinkific – see their security page.
  • I say it again: most of my training is applicable to Windows computers and Android phones, though some of the content is applicable to everyone. I may be able to extend to the Apple universe if this takes off.
  • Modules, whether free or paid, will usually be done via a video that you can watch on the Academy platform (and sometimes on YouTube). There will usually be an accompanying downloadable document with text and pictures explaining the content covered in the video. You will be able to print that out and use it to try the techniques for yourself, as slowly as you like.
  • All learning is done at your own pace. 

Interested? Sign up for the waiting list in the form below, and then check your email to confirm (it might go to your spam folder).

I promise not to bombard you with sales emails – you’ll get occasional mails telling you how I am doing, and an email or two when I have some material ready for you.

And if you have a specific problem you need help with, I offer individual coaching, troubleshooting and general handholding. That costs R200 per 30 minutes. Email me here if you’d like to find out about that. 

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