Get Online Week in Russia: I Can Hear You, People!

As part of the Get Online Week the Mezhdurechensk Tvoy Kurs Center held four seminars aptly named I Can Hear You, People! During the training twenty-six local residents registered their accounts with Skype and used the application to chat with their friends and family members for the first time. The only prerequisite for participation in the seminar was to have someone who already had a Skype account and whom one could call. However, some seminar participants drew a blank and had to Skype each other.

Ivan and Kseniya Pyatov have a grown-up son who lives in Novosibirsk. Nikolai even gave his parents a laptop as a New Year gift, but hadn’t been able to visit and show them how to use it to have an online conversation, so they came to the Tvoy Kurs Center hoping to get the hang of things. Ivan Pyatov had heard about the seminar on Skype during one of his regular visits to the library to exchange books. Thanks to the training, the Pyatovs were finally able to have a Skype chat with their son’s family. Nikolai, busy as ever, wasn’t home, but Ivan and Kseniya had a blast chatting with their daughter-in-law Ludmila and their grandson Pavel. They were excited to hear that Pavel had brought in a very good school report card and his Dad had given him a smartphone. Grandpa and Grandma had very little idea of what a smartphone is, but could see the boy was happy and were happy for him. Hearing this, the seminar’s facilitator, Tvoy Kurs Center trainer Elena Vyplaven, encouraged the couple to sign up for a Digital Literacy course promising that it would definitely help them understand what their grandson was talking about.

The seminar triggered much excitement some of which was very animated indeed. While Nadezhda Loginova quietly ooh-ed and aah-ed over her ability to see her relatives on the screen (“Lena, dear, is it really you?!”), Nikolai Meshcheryakov couldn’t contain himself. At first things were peaceful enough: with the trainer’s help Nikolai registered his account and patiently waited to connect with his brother who had agreed to log on at a specific time. But once he saw his brother’s face, his excitement boiled over, and his powerful “Yo, brother! How are you all?” boomed all over the Tvoy Kurs Center.

This unchecked emotion and happy enthusiasm of senior citizens reacting to something that has long become a regular part of life for many younger Russians, was a source of great joy for the Tvoy Kurs Center team. During the Get Online Week they became even more convinced that it is a truly great privilege to help this category of users discover the world of the Internet and the many wonderful opportunities that it provides.

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