‘Nunca é tarde para aprender!’: como a pandemia aproximou idosos da tecnologia


The story…

Digital skills: “You’re never too old to learn!”

Need-to-know language…

video chat – take part in a face-to-face conversation over the internet

tablet – small piece of computing equipment with a touchscreen

video calling – contacting and talking to people over the internet

connectivity – ability of a computer or device to ‘talk’ to another computer or

engagement – involvement (with something)

Answer this…

Who did Ron contact for the first time in 45 years?

Watch the video online: https://bbc.in/3aybdE1


Ron and Jean were married for 56 years, but at the start of the pandemic Jean

Three weeks after we got the funeral over with, lockdown came – it couldn’t have

Stuck shielding at home for months, Ron faced his grief alone until he decided to

Lingohack ©British Broadcasting Corporation 2021

bbclearningenglish.com Page 2 of 2

To be quite honest, without my iPad I’d have been totally lost. In my particular

position, it is brilliant because I can’t walk, so it’s been a godsend to be able to

talk to people, you know, without going out of my house.

He was remotely taught digital skills by local charities in Leeds [in the north of

England]. After never having touched a tablet device before last year, he’s now

used his to find bereavement counselling and chat to people.

At least you’re not talking to faceless people – when you talk to them on the

phone, you can’t imagine who you’re really talking to. I’ve got in touch with a

cousin of mine in Kent [UK], who I haven’t spoke [spoken] to for 45 years, and

I’ve got through to her on Messenger and all you do is press a camera thing and

it gets you through. Unbelievable.

Laxmi Gopal, BBC reporter

And Ron’s experience reflects a trend among his generation. An Ofcom study

[UK’s telecoms regulator], found the proportion of over-65s using video calling

nearly tripled after lockdown, and the Leeds branch of Age UK says during the

pandemic it has seen a doubling in demand for its digital support services among

Of course, it is not about replacing face-to-face contact, but simply offering

Lee Potter, Age UK, Leeds

It is about giving people that choice. We’re trying to give people the skills to…

and the access to the devices and the connectivity which there are all challenges

that we face, but if we can encourage people to give it a go so they can see what

it’s like and to use it if they need to.

There’s work to be done to ensure wider access to the internet and devices for

the older community but the past year of lockdown has at least encouraged

more engagement. And the final thought from Ron on Zoom…

You’re never too old to learn – it’s as simple as that, if I could [can] learn,

Did you get it?

Who did Ron contact for the first time in 45 years?

He got in touch with his cousin in Kent [UK].

BBC News

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