Diana Muntigl. Kevin Mills / Mission Record.

Diana Muntigl. Kevin Mills / Mission Record.

Mission’s Lifetime Learning Centre teaching tech to seniors for online classes

Centre finding a way forward as COVID-19 cancels physical classrooms

Mission’s Lifetime Learning Centre has taken their adult education programs online, and are getting seniors to familiarize themselves with new technology along the way.

Through partnerships with the Reach Museum, and connections with sister organizations like B.C.’s ElderCollege and the Fraserview Learning Centre, Lifetime is supplementing its spring courses with an online format due to the COVID-19 virus, said Diana Muntigl, executive director at Lifetime Learning.

“We have people in their late 80s now who are able to do this,” Muntigl said. “They definitely did not have this knowledge about technology like the Zoom program before, and thought they couldn’t [do it].

“They were hesitant at first and now they’re doing it, and they’re quite enjoying it.”

The classes done with the Reach has just completed one program on Japanese prints that was “very well received,” Muntigl said.

“The Goddess Parvati, depicted in a pat scroll painting from West Bengal.” Image courtesy of Lifetime Learning.

On June 30, another program started on Bengali pat scrolls, a folk art that was practised by travelling minstrel storytellers in South Asia for hundreds of years.

“People just queued up and said they really enjoyed the last program and they want to be in this one too.”

The classes are conducted through live presentations with instructors through the Zoom app, which allows up to 100 people to participate in a virtual classroom at once, Muntigl said.

A popular “Chair Yoga” program has seen the size of its classes triple since the COVID-19 regulations started keeping everyone at home.

“No one has to travel, no one has to find a parking spot, everyone is more or less staying close to home. Our numbers are swelling in that one,” Muntigl said. “We are still connecting, maybe we can’t go out for coffee, but we can connect online.”

She said teaching older students to use technology was a “really big question” and a challenge at first, as only around half of their 250 members had been attempting to familiarize themselves with online tools over the last couple of years.

The centre has been using two streams to teach new technology to the seniors.

One is through inter-generational programs done in partnership with the Fraserview Learning Centre, which pairs up seniors with younger generations to help them learn.

Another is through their own technology programs that they have been conducting every month, with the help of their volunteer team.

“Our volunteers have been really helpful in that way,” Muntigl said. “They are retired and they’ve worked in the industry or in education and know technology.”

She said the ElderCollege has done a lot of work on how to do online presentations for older learners.

The Lifetime Learning Centre requires interested parties to email lifetimelearningcentre@telus.net to register for classes well in advance.

The centre needs a little time to gauge the student’s ability to use technology and what systems might need to be installed to help them work through the basics, Muntigl said.

“Then we can get in touch and make sure that they have the technology so they can access it, because that becomes a limiting factor.”

Muntigl was sure to thank the district of Mission, as well the provincial government for continuing grants that allow them to carry on with adult education. She said that many of the centre’s spring fundraisers, such as their “Inter-generational Walk-A-Thon,” had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

“That’s why we can move forward and try other programs, because, although we do charge a nominal fee for some classes … We need help to meet some of the costs.”

Kevin Mills / Mission Record.

RELATED: Senior Social Cafe held weekly at Matsqui Park in Abbotsford

Adult EducationMissionSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

...
Fraser Valley Bandits team with Fraser Health to encourage vaccination

Professional basketball team urges those qualified to receive shot to ease life back to normalcy

Damian Dutrisac went missing while fishing the Fraser River on May 7, 2021. (Facebook/ Damian Dutrisac)
Fiancée of missing Fraser fisherman starts GoFundMe to bring him home

Anyone with ‘a boat, time, or a drone’ to search the Fraser on May 12 is being asked to help

Six soccer talents from the BC Soccer Premier League were added to the UFV Cascades women’s soccer program. (Dan Kinvig/UFV Athletics)
UFV Cascades women’s soccer introduce six-player class

New coach Niko Marcina adds players from the BC Soccer Premier League

Google Maps screenshot taken at 7:30 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound Highway 1 crash blocking left lane in Langley

Incident at 264th Street slowing morning commuters

Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks drew a large crowd to the Abbotsford Centre in 2019. Canucks management hopes the crowds return for the planned AHL team this fall, and early returns are positive. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Canucks: ‘Incredible’ early interest for Abbotsford AHL tickets

Team has had a strong response to both e-mail information and priority ticket lists

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Michael Bublé in video posted to Arts Club Theatre Company’s Youtube channel.
VIDEO: Arts Club alum Michael Bublé backs theatre company’s re-opening campaign

Pandemic has caused 15 months of suspended operations for Arts Club, founded in 1964

Football player Christian Covington in photo posted to twitter.com/Chargers.
Surrey-raised NFLer Covington charged up to join Los Angeles team

Christian Covington, son of CFL Hall-of-Famer Grover Covington, grew up in the Sullivan Heights area

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald pauses while speaking during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘We will do everything we can,’ B.C. police say to reassure public amid gang violence

Active officers in the Lower Mainland, including those from the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team, are being recruited to an ‘inactive potential future police service’

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read