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Anable: new digital literacy tool helps seniors connect online

Photo of Susan Anable who is discussing digital literacy
By Susan Anable | Point of View

Digital Inclusion Week is Oct. 2-6 and there is a new, friendly gateway to digital literacy for seniors. It’s called the Cox Digital Academy powered by Common Sense Media.

The tool is free, breaks down barriers and makes digital literacy possible for seniors who may think they missed their opportunity to learn about the online world.

Here are some examples of tools found within the Cox Digital Academy for senior citizens:

How to be a safe digital senior: The Digital Citizenship module provides resources on how to spot fake news, information about how to keep tween and teenage grandchildren safe, and explains commonly used social media terms. Microsoft Learns consists of hands-on learning modules that allow you to move at your own pace.

Understanding social media: Another important module provides guidance to seniors on navigating different social media apps. Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitch are described in this tool. Before engaging in these apps, it is important for seniors to understand how the apps work so they can protect themselves. We know that hackers and scammers often use social media to discover information about people. The Cox Digital Academy helps guide seniors on how to ensure their privacy is protected on social media platforms.

The Basics: Within the Internet Basics module, seniors can learn the fundamentals of using digital technologies. Microsoft 365 Training also offers guidance on how to create and use productivity tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Being safe online: For seniors, knowing how to protect themselves online is crucial. The Safety and Privacy module was made to help seniors protect their privacy and make them feel more comfortable about the online world. There are risks when it comes to sharing photos and posting comments online. Seniors can learn how to effectively explore the internet and collaborate with others safely.

Making internet available and affordable: We know that high-speed internet has become part of our everyday lives. Cox is committed to closing the digital literacy gap for seniors. Seniors should feel comfortable going online and using internet technology. Cox wants to make sure that cost is not a barrier to digital literacy for seniors. Some may qualify for the Affordable Connect Program (ACP) offered by Cox in partnership with the federal government. If they qualify for ACP, which provides a $30 per month discount, and sign up for Cox’s $30 per month ConnectAssist plan then they would pay nothing for internet service.

The internet can teach us new things and it can be a wonderful resource for older people, who thought they missed the technology boat, to communicate with friends and family, and even their healthcare provider. Digital freedom is a necessity, and now the Cox Digital Academy makes it easier than ever for seniors to jump on board.

Editor’s note: Susan Anable is Cox’s Phoenix market vice president. Also, Cox has no financial interest in any of these gift ideas.

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