By fostering a area of understanding and empathy, Tech Easy Hai is, in a time of bodily distancing, serving to senior residents and ‘tech noobs’ overcome completely different elements of digital illiteracy
During the lockdown, when septuagenarian Nandakumar was inundated by WhatsApp messages brimming with pretend information, his brother-in-law urged a webinar on learn how to spot pretend messages. Said webinar was hosted by a small organisation referred to as Tech Easy Hai, started by younger Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs Shreya Bajaj Shah, 30, and Surbhi Bajaj, 26.
Tech Easy Hai was kicked off in May owing to a world outburst of Zoom calls, a platform, which noticed many Indians enroll, with fairly a few not figuring out learn how to schedule and safe conferences for big teams.
Shreya Bajaj Shah and Surbhi Bajaj, co-founders of Tech Easy Hai
Shreya tells MetroPlus, “It all started with my grandparents who live in Delhi. They wondered how they would get their groceries. There was the Aarogya Setu app that the Government was asking everyone to install. There were rumours about the app and also a clone version that carried spyware, which millions of people downloaded. Fake news on this issue and on COVID-19 was everywhere. We had these two concerns and Zoom. Initially we were teaching our relatives and they invited their friends.”
Eventually Shreya and Surbhi noticed how a lot of a drawback digital illiteracy had been, particularly through the lockdown when know-how was inspired to take care of contact-less residing. Having grown up with know-how at their fingertips, they by no means needed to take a formal class on learn how to use a smartphone or know learn how to deactivate privateness permissions for an app or to clock that a magnifying glass icon is the ‘search’ software — it was all intuitive. But not for everybody.
Older individuals have lengthy rejected know-how for concern of creating errors and across the wider issues about their social accountability comparable to privateness and Big Data. Tech Easy Hai desires to handle that in a home-grown manner.
A judgement-free zone
Language was a main barrier that needed to be disassembled earlier than beginning lessons.
Shreya explains, “We did a little research; I talked to my mom’s friends to gauge how comfortable they are with their technology, and I was trying to get them to be honest with me in saying ‘I get stuck’, ‘I’m scared to use the app by myself in case I press the wrong button’, ‘Even if I know a little bit, I’m more comfortable if my children are around.’ And many don’t understand cashless payments apps such as Google Pay and Paytm.” Ultimately, Tech Easy Hai can also be vocal about lowering dad and mom’ dependency on their youngsters for troubleshooting.
Shreya, who splits her time along with her companies in Chennai, factors out they didn’t must spend on advertising and marketing for the lessons. She as a substitute floated a mini e-newsletter round her mates’ circle. For instance, with the category on cashless fee apps, she researched subjects together with how UPI is a big disruption to the banking ecosystem, why the aforementioned breed of apps are only for smartphones and never on laptops, what would occur to the customers’ knowledge if these apps have been to close down instantly.
She felt these have been legitimate issues for individuals. “It made me think more deeply about technology as well,” she remembers, “including the troubleshooting aspects because these days apps get updated continually.”
Immersive and various
Classes kicked off this summer season and other people together with Nandakumar organized themselves in entrance of a laptop computer for a enjoyable, immersive crash course.
Every weekend, a schedule for the lessons could be shared throughout WhatsApp. Each session prices round ₹150, Shreya and Surbhi stored communication strains open for follow-ups. Nandakumar warmed to the respectful method of the session lecturers and the endurance via the session from different individuals.
“I learned how powerful empathy can be,” says Shreya, “I also complained of my tech woes when something I tried on an app didn’t work, and students feel a lot less alone and understood they could learn in a safe and accepting space.”
The Deepavali Edit
- Tech Easy Hai is placing collectively a Deepavali edit for the festive season, given many celebrations for households will go digital. “We have sessions on how to put together a virtual Diwali party, how to play Teen Patti online, how to make a greeting card, use GIFs, and make stickers for WhatsApp.”
Shreya and Surbhi are thrilled on the completely different varieties of individuals they meet— from budding enterprise people to the aged. Younger individuals additionally signed up, desirous to know extra about business elements of platforms comparable to Instagram, which has been one among their most attended programs. “During the lockdown, many women entrepreneurs wanted to start their own small businesses of home-cooked food or skincare. It was interesting to see how technology stills needs to be tapped into by the current generation.”
Shreya feedback that the scholars throughout ages grasped the ideas shortly and the in-demand lessons embrace these for Adobe Photoshop, iOS 14, Microsoft Excel Advanced. “Such requests also come from people who have worked in lucrative careers where they had assistants to do their tech admin work for them, but now they have retired and don’t have the help so they want to learn.”
In the previous few months, Shreya and Surbhi have expanded their teaching community, including yet one more coach and started Hindi classes. They say, for now, English classes have seen a good turnout; they’ve taught over 2,000 individuals throughout completely different cities, together with Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Though born in lockdown, there may be longevity for Tech Easy Hai with plans to go to college students carrying applicable protecting gear.
“We also do a lot of group classes for various organisations including different Rotary Clubs, and two weeks ago, we started taking classes internationally! We have started with a group in Thailand recently, says Shreya. “This is the true power of technology because I can be sitting in my room and reaching so many people and being inclusive at the same time.”