The Acorn Age Friendly Tablet and 5 Tips for a Successful Training Session

The Acorn Age Friendly Tablet was specifically developed as a way of addressing the digital divide by providing a user-friendly tool for older individuals who have never used technology.

The success of the Acorn Age Friendly Tablet in various organisations and communities, is down to its ease of use, the adaptability of the product, training and support and a commitment to helping people get online.

As with all technology, even those with the simplest of designs, organisations and users will need a certain amount of training, to feel comfortable with technology and get the most out of the Acorn.

5 Top Tips for a Successful Acorn User Training Session

1. Make sure the Acorn tablets are fully charged before the training session and ensure the Acorn user has a gmail account and password.

2. Focus on the basics first - Turning the device on and off, navigating the home screen and home button. Demonstrate how to use touch gestures such as tapping in a clear and concise manner.

3. Explain the 4 Main Buttons on the Home Screens Functionality - Talk, Photos, Calendar, Explore.

4. Tailor training to individual needs. If someone is interested in using the tablet for communication, emphasise messaging and video calls. For those interested in entertainment, showcase features related to their favourite streaming apps or websites and how to access them.

5. The best way to learn is by doing. Encourage participants to actively engage with their tablet during the sessions. Group training sessions with Acorn users encourage peer to peer learning, creating a supportive environment where individuals can share experiences and tips.This not only enhances the learning process but also establishes a network of support within the community.

An example of how well this can work is the Sona Sasta, Meals on Wheels group in Meath. Training was initially provided by the Origin support team and every Friday morning Sona Sasta runs a digital breakfast club where Acorn users can learn how to get the best from their Acorn, such as downloading favourite apps, bookmarking important websites and learning to send emails and messages. This encourages their use of the Acorn and learning how to digitally connect but also fosters social interaction between the users, leading to a decrease in loneliness.

By being actively involved with organisations that are using the Acorn tablet and helping organisations onboard the Acorn within their groups, we are building digital literacy within marginalised communities and ensuring that users not only receive a device but also gain the confidence to use it effectively.