Out of 5 people in the computer group, 2 are dyslexic. When we first decided to start the basic computer group at Port Waikato we were responding to a stated community need. We had some laptops and the skills and weren’t using them for literacy learners so we decided we should offer to help local people who were struggling with basic computer skills. However we were acutely aware that we were doing something that was not our core business, and given that we were not doing much of our core business, that was a concern.
The group has been going for about a year now, people have come and gone, word has spread that the group is low-key, with tutors coming to help you work on your own problems rather than standing at the front and teaching. Recently it shifted to Te Whare Oranga at Oraeroa Marae, as part of a collaborative initiative by both organisations. This makes the group more accessible.
Now it feels like we have come full circle – two of the current learners are dyslexic. It seems our initial angst regarding whether this group was really what we should be doing was unnecessary. It’s early days yet, but wouldn’t be interesting if this were a pattern, that perhaps computer literacy groups attract those with low literacy skills.
Watch this space!