Digital Connect Initiative Assists GRIC Elders
July 15, 2022
Ten elders from District 1 received help learning more about how to use their smart phones and other devices from Digital Connect Initiative (DCI), a subsidiary of Gila River Telecommunications Inc., (GRTI) during a “Bring your own device (BYOD)” learning lab, held at the new District 1 Senior Center on June 20.
DCI was created by the GRTI Board of Directors to work in collaboration with the Gila River Indian Community, GRIC entities, Community service organizations and relevant agencies and partners to provide technology related education, training, resources and advocacy.
“Our whole goal is to bridge the digital divide through digital literacy trainings and resources for members here in Gila River,” said DCI Executive Director Mikhail Sundust.
Typically, the learning lab is held monthly every third Wednesday at GRTI headquarters in Chandler and provides one-on-one assistance for a better digital experience. This is the first the DCI has brought the learning labs out to the Community.
“What we’re doing here today is helping elders with digital literacy— whether that means helping [them] get into their tablets, access email, connect to WebEx, managing files on their computers, all that kind of stuff,” said Sundust. “We’re happy to be here and we look forward to doing other BYOD digital literacy trainings in other districts.”
Leatrice Davis joined the class to better understand her mobile phone, including learning more about the settings and how to setup a wi-fi connection.
“I came to try to learn my phone,” Davis said. “I ask my grandkids [and] they’ll do it for me, but you know, sometimes they are in a hurry. I wanted to know how to do what they do; how it works.”
“We’ve been needing this for so long, ever since the pandemic,” said Joyce McAfee, chairperson for the District 1 Elders Group.
“We were fortunate the district was able to buy us mobile devices, although a lot of elders were not familiar with them,” McAfee added, “They took them and they tried working with them, but there’s so many questions, so many things that we weren’t able to answer. And because everyone was at home, we weren’t able to get together and try to work out how to use these devices.”
The elders all had questions about their devices such as how to down- load apps, access games, do online shopping, and troubleshoot.
“I’m just really fortunate that we are able to get this together,” McAfee said. “We’re just hoping that all elders in the community are able to take ad- vantage of this training.”
For more information on DCI, visit digitalconnect.org or contact (520) 610-6659.