Social media savvy seniors: Ireland’s first-ever course to help the over 50’s safely navigate the online world launches

Ireland’s only learning facility for the over 50’s, Renaissance Academy has, today, launched Ireland’s first-ever social media for seniors course. The new programme will enable students to enhance their technology skills through learning how to share and post, identify malicious/scam accounts and fake news. Based in Leopardstown, County Dublin, Renaissance Academy promotes lifelong learning among those seeking to take up new skills and make friends. It provides over 28 in-person courses with an emphasis on social engagement to mature minds.

Social media for seniors is a 12-week programme focused on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter usage. It aims to empower older generations to develop and take control of their social media accounts, helping them remain connected in a post-COVID world.

Alongside skill development, social media for seniors closely examines the positive and negative impacts of social media on the daily lives of the older generation. It will educate attendees on the importance of being able to identify fake news, how to take a balanced approach to engaging with social media and how to use social media as a platform for promoting social events for older people in their communities.

The new tech-savvy course will cover:

  • How to post and share content across a wide berth of platforms

  • Ways of following and sharing threads and photos

  • How to identify malicious accounts and scammers

  • Fake news, why it exists and how to spot it

  • Protecting personal information and why it matters

The course launches in October and will run for 12 consecutive weeks. The cost to attend is €199 per month, with the first month free of charge.

Based in Leopardstown, the newly opened 8,000 sq ft Renaissance Academy is based on the adage that you are never too old to learn. The state of the art facility is funded by renowned investor Chris Hodgson, son of ex-England Football Manager Roy Hodgson who retired recently. There are plans to roll out similar facilities and courses to cater for an ‘often forgotten’ cohort of Irish society nationwide.

Other classes on offer from the academy include: architecture, gardening, design, photography, philosophy, entrepreneurship, politics and technology among others. According to the CSO, nearly 80 percent of Irish people use the internet everyday, with 54% of retired persons using it on a daily basis. In addition to this, research from emarkable found that 1.8 million Irish People use Facebook 7 days a week. With figures from Age Action indicating that lifelong learning contributes to improvements in quality of life, increased confidence, reduced risk of social exclusion and isolation, Renaissance Academy is hoping their courses help people remain mentally stimulated and connected. The facility is also hosting free to attend open days every Wednesday at 2pm, whereby students can participate in a different class each week.

Speaking about the launch of Ireland’s only social media course for older generations, Renaissance Academy Managing Director Mark Conway said:

“We are excited to be launching our new course, social media for seniors which we hope will help an often forgotten generation navigate what can be seen as a complicated technological landscape. We hope that by providing this course, we can help over 55’s get a better handle on Facebook and LinkedIn, helping keep them connected in a post COVID world and enhancing their skills and knowledge. We also aim to assist the over 55’s in identifying any scams and/or fake accounts, something which, unfortunately, has become a lot more prevalent recently.”

About Renaissance Academy

Renaissance Academy is the first educational facility of its kind in Ireland offering lifelong continued education and social inclusion to mature learners who are on the cusp or in the midst of retirement. A ‘gym for the mind’ it aims to empower later in life learners to upskill and meet like-minded individuals in a socially comfortable setting. The brand new 8,000 sq ft Renaissance Academy is located in Sandyford, County Dublin. It aims to have over 200 members by the end of 2021. For further information please visit www.renaissanceacademy.ie.

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