The concept of SeniorNet emerged in 1986 in the USA from a
research project at the University of San Francisco. The
projects aim was to determine if computers and
telecommunications could enhance the lives of older adults.
SeniorNet was first established in New Zealand in 1992.
SeniorNet brings older adults and technology together in a
friendly, fun and stress-free way. It's for people over the
age of 50 who'd like to learn more about technology and what
it can do for them. Small, well organised classes, with
volunteer tutors, about the same age as their students, run
courses not only an introduction to computers and surfing the
Net but also a vast range of subjects.
Tutor training sessions are run by Learning Centres and are
also conducted at Regional Meetings.
There are Learning Centres established throughout New
Zealand. Each is run by a management team who organize all
aspects of their Centre. A Federation of SeniorNet Societies
was established in 2006 to support the learning activities of
Centres with resources and funding.
Grant Sidaway helped to start the first Learning Centre in
New Zealand and is now employed by the Federation as its
Executive Officer to manage the organisation at a National
level. The national office is in Wellington.