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Wilfred Sam-King

UM alum is building accessible digital bridges

April 7, 2022 — 

Alum Wilfred Sam-King [BA/19] has developed an age friendly course called, Staying Connected – Bridging Digital Gaps with an AFU Initiative fund awarded to him. In 2016, the University of Manitoba was the first Canadian university to endorse the principles of an Age-friendly University (AFU), originally developed by Dublin City University. Today, the global network of age-friendly universities spans nine countries and 70 post-secondary institutions. To encourage more initiatives across campus, UM’s Centre on Aging developed a new funding opportunity called the AFU Initiative fund for new AFU projects from full-time UM faculty and staff in academic and administrative units.

“In 2022 the digital and physical worlds are almost indistinguishable, yet many individuals are having difficulties staying connected. As technology continues to rapidly expand the needs of many aging adults are being overlooked, that is why I created this course, to bridge some of those gaps,” says Sam-King.

The four-part introductory technology course provides accessible training for aging adults at no cost. “It’s a great start for those who want to participate in UM’s community and the general digital community but lack the technological skills,” Sam-King explains.

The course takes a deep dive into the following topics

  1. Devices selection and functionality
  2. Email/Apps
  3. Websites
  4. Social networks.

The tools this course provides will allow our UM community to immediately connect and stay connected. At completion of the course participants will leave with the knowledge and ability to select, use and interact with major UM digital programming and offerings. This baseline course will also give participants the ability to add additional skills in the future. The course has already found success with over 500 students enrolled in the self-serve version hosted on Udemy. And with this success Sam-King is looking to build more age friendly courses soon.

Learn more and/or register today for the Staying Connected course.

For more information on AFU at the UM and the principles of an AFU, visit the UM’s Age-Friendly University Hub.

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