Nearly 3,000 senior citizens filled the Telenor Arena on Thursday, adjacent to the large Norwegian telecoms headquarters west of Oslo, to seek help and inspiration in a confusing digital world. Around 1,500 Telenor workers were on hand to offer tips and demystify the process of going online.
The program was called “Internet for All” and Telenor had advertised it in local newspapers, which clearly was still the best way of reaching those who crowded into the arena and were keen to log in.
“We had experienced great demand for instruction in the use of tablets and smart phones,” Lars Bakken of Telenor told newspaper Aftenposten. Many of those in attendance retired before email even became common, and for them, the digital divide is daunting. Technology is also changing so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up, at all ages.
Telenor has arranged around 300 courses around Norway so far this year and had eager students, many of whom also were attracted by some entertainment offered at the digital media course, popular Norwegian singer Øystein Sunde. The company had also arranged a program for school children earlier in the day that concentrated on digital etiquette and campaigned against online bullying. The children were treated to another entertainer, teen idol Isac Elliot.