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Review The Past & Plan For The Future A report on SIJ@CARE By Harry Lo


Preamble At the beginning of year 2010, the Board of Management of Centre of Activity & Recreation for the Elders (CARE) made a landmark decision to establish a Silver Infocomm Junction in partnership with the Infocomm Authority of Singapore (IDA) to provide IT training and skills upgrading for the elderly in Singapore. By so doing CARE adds to its range of existing activities and further expands its mission of taking care of the elders. The Silver Infocomm Junction established at CARE is known as SIJ@CARE and became operational as from 1 July 2010 with a setup of 30 desktop PCs, 2 Trainers' laptops and 2 overhead projectors housed in 2 IT training rooms and 6 Desktop PCs for internet surfing in an adjourning room. IDA subsidized 80% of the setup cost on conditions that SIJ@CARE could achieve the target of 5,250 training places by March 2012 and an additional 1,575 training places by March 2013 to qualify for the Executive Assistance Sponsorship of infocomm upgrade.

How targets were achieved Initially, IDA developed the courses for use by all its 12 Silver Infocomm Junctions spread over Singapore. The courses which are classified into 2 levels are:

iBEGIN Courses

1. 2.

Basic Computer & The Internet eCommunication

iLIVE Courses 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

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e-Transactions Digital Photo Management e-Travel e-Entertainment Social Networking Blogging Video Editing with Windows Movie Maker


Public Talks In order to promote awareness of SIJ@CARE's existence and its facilities and programs for IT training, public talks had been publicised in the Chinese Newspapers and held in CARE's premises and Clans Associations such as 茶阳会馆,东山历志 社, 蔡氏公会,惠安公会, 同安会馆 and Choa Chu Kang CC。 Response to our efforts has been robust and participation rate has been encouraging. To sustain the momentum and interest of our participants, practice sessions are held once they have completed the courses. This is to provide more practices over what they have picked up and an awareness that much more are awaiting and can be achieved. Such practice sessions have become a permanent feature which helps to arouse further participation in other courses.

Courses developed by SIJ@CARE As time goes by, we realise that in view of the fast changes in the IT development scene, reliance on the courses by IDA as mentioned above is not enough to provide an all-round training in IT skills upgrading. To bridge the digital divide and to raise the IT level of the elders abreast that of other age groups, more needs to be done. As a consequence, we develop our new courses, as follows: 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

CD & DVD Burning 中文手写 轻轻松松美化照片 PC Maintenance & Optimization Build your Own PC Apple iPhone (developed in November 2011) iPAD (developed in August 2012) Samsung Galaxy SIII (developed in August 2012) Samsung Tablet 10.1 (developed in August 2012)

1st & 2nd Targets Reached We exceeded the 1st target of 5,250 training places in November 2011, 4 months before the due date on 1 March 2012 with total training places of 5,868 and the 2nd target of 1,575 training places was achieved in September 2012, 6 months before the due date on 1 March 2013.

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The success of reaching the 2 targets set by IDA has entitled CARE to claim for reimbursement of 80% of what it has spent on IT related equipment and purchases of software for use in training and the Executive Assistance Sponsorship approval for infocomm upgrade.

The Fast Changing IT Scene Smart devices coming on stage Over the past year, Apple iPhone, iPad, Samsung smart phones and tablets have been the rage and have taken center stage with their adoption of Touch Screen Technology. These handheld smart devices ushered in a new era of intelligent telephone and computing technology. The smart phones represent a marriage of the two and are immediately popular and adopted by majority of users. For the first time, these phones not only can be used to make and receive calls but also serve as a portable computer without the need to attach a keyboard and a mouse for navigation. They have built-in virtual keyboard and need your fingers to do the swiping, pinching and tapping to do the computing tasks. Access to the internet is no problem as it comes with 3G and now 4G and WI-FI capabilities. The tablets, though without phone capability for some models, work on the same basis. However, the screen surface is larger, making it easier for viewing and navigation. With their light weight, high-resolution screen display, portability and built-in WI-FI, 3G and now 4G wireless communication, they are ideal for use in traveling and outdoors. To top it all, these devices employ very user-friendly icon interface and are so intuitive that their applications, most of which are free and easy for downloads and installation, cut across language barriers and are easy to operate. It is no wonder that even young children, before they can learn to speak and walk, can be trained to use them. This also applies to the generation of elders. For all their simplicity and ease of use, there are so many applications available that they need to be guided in order to make good use of them to enrich their lives and fulfill their aspirations. Some examples are:

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

See and talk to friends, family members and relatives away from home. Check, send and receive emails while away from home. Take photos and video at home or while traveling. Find places using Maps & GPS. Use built-in Clock, Alarm, Timer, Notepad, Calenders and Reminders. Send free SMS locally and using Wi-Fi send free SMS including photos and videos using WhatsApp. Store and play music, Karaoke songs and movies. Surf the internet for information, entertainment and other purposes.

The Final Release Of Windows 8 Windows 8 was finally released to the Singapore market on October 26, 2012. It marks a radical departure from its traditional interface in that it adopts a touch screen technology represented by its Start Screen known as Metro Interface. Behind this interface users can still operate with the traditional keyboard and mouse. But the whole idea behind the change is to join Windows 8 into the main stream of Touch Computing which will eventually replace the existing tradition. It is designed to run faster and is more user-friendly. However it will take some time for users to get used to its new style and ways of operations. With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft is geared to introduce smart phones and tablets to compete with Apple and Samsung, the major players.

New Opportunity For Training The Elders Windows 8 opens a new door of opportunity for CARE. SIJ@CARE needs to get ready quickly to prepare training courses in the Windows 8 environment to serve the elders. With this in mind we have made use of the 2nd subsidy to purchase 15 sets of Windows 8 Pro at a promotional price of S$89.00 and install them onto our classroom PCs alongside the existing Windows 7. At the moment we are preparing the ground by exploring and testing Windows 8 in our Tuesday & Thursday Practice Sessions. When ready, we will write up courses in Windows 8 for approval by IDA.

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Intelligent Nation - Singapore 2015 In May 2006 a national blue print was adopted to make Singapore an Intelligent Nation, and a Global City powered by Infocomm. This blue print is known as iN2015. Desired outcomes • Enriched lives through infocomm • Enhanced economic competitiveness and innovation through infocomm • Increased growth and competitiveness of the infocomm industry Goals with iN2015 To be #1 in the world in harnessing infocomm to add value to the economy and society. To realise a 2-fold increase in the value-add of the infocomm industry to S$26 billion To realise a 3-fold increase in infocomm export revenue to S$60 billion To create 80,000 additional jobs To achieve 90 per cent broadband usage in all homes To achieve 100 per cent computer ownership in homes with school-going children Enrichment in living & society One of its important objectives to enrich the quality of life and lifestyles of society is to provide programmes to equip needy students, engage the elderly, and empower people with disabilities to gain access to and benefit from infocomm. This is going to be a very tall order. iN2015 is just 2 years away. To be able to succeed in implementing the grand Plan, a lot of investments need to be made both in terms of financing and training. Although up to now, IDA has been silent on whether subsidy to the Silver Infocomm Junctions will continue and in what form, we anticipate further financial support will be forthcoming.

Conclusion In our view, in the light of tremendous changes and challenges that are fast approaching in the digital landscape, CARE should set its mindset and position ready to contribute another major round of efforts to care for the elders in line with its mission and in its service to society.

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SIJ@CARE SIJ@CARE’’s Plan for 2013 to 2015 The following courses will be conducted at SIJ@CARE for the next 3 years: iBEGIN Courses 1. 2.

Basic Computer & The Internet eCommunication

iLIVE courses 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

e-Transactions Digital Photo Management e-Travel e-Entertainment Social Networking Blogging Video Editing with Windows Movie Maker

Courses developed by SIJ@CARE 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

CD & DVD Burning Chinese Handwriting on Writing Pad Photo Beautifully Touched Up PC Maintenance & Optimization Build your Own PC Apple iPhone Apple iPAD Samsung Galaxy SIII Smartphone Samsung Tablet 10.1

New Courses 19. eHealth 20. iBegin – Module 5_ Hanyu Pinyin 21. iBegin – Module 6 – Chinese Handwriting

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Potential New Courses 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

Windows 8 on Desktops & Laptops Windows 8 on Surface Tablets Windows 8 on Smartphones Home Security using wireless IP surveillance cameras Smart TV

This list is not exhaustive. New courses will be developed in response to development and applications in IT technology in the near future benefiting the elders. One area to watch is the implementation of the Singapore Government's grandiose national project "Intelligent Nation 2015 (IN2015)" where high-speed broadband access and attendant applications, gadgets and technology will raise communications, quality and security of life and health-care to an unprecedented level. A very exciting but challenging time lies ahead. Prepared as requested by CARE's IT Training Centre Committee by: Harry Lo SIJ@CARE 9 January 2013

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Review of the past and plan for the future