STERIC TAN - LIFELONG LEARNER, LIFELONG LEADER Print

A 70-year old U Live Cyber Guide leads by example to never stop learning and sharing knowledge with others.




Lifelong Learner, Lifelong Leader
By Chow Wen Xin Liz, Diploma in Mass Communication, Republic Polytechnic

“Don’t leave me out! Give it to me!”, said Steric, with a broad smile plastered on his face when presented with an opportunity to learn.

Despite the Covid-19 measures that hindered him from carrying on with the normal life, Steric pushed through. He continues to dedicate his life to “stocking up” new knowledge and sharing what he has learned with his peers and to other active agers. senior citizens. He hopes to inspire his peers to never stop learning. It is safe to say that Steric loves learning as much as he loves communicating it to others.

U Live Ambassador from the Metal Industry Workers’ Union, Steric Tan, who finds joy volunteering for the past three years at roadshows and various events organised by U Live for the past three years. (Photo: U Live)

 

Growing Up

His passion started from a tender age. Being the eldest among eight siblings, supporting his family was a responsibility he shared with his father since young.

“I started to pick up new skills by myself and make use of these skills to support my family,” said Steric. These skills varied from digital computer, photo editing to handicrafts and music.

He added: “Help came from everywhere back then, I felt indebted to the society. So, I have been volunteering for 10 years now.”

Since then, learning and giving has become a “routine and habit” to him.

 

Motivation

He added while grinning: “As I learn and give back to the society by sharing what I learned, I need to keep learning new things too. This is so that I don’t run out of things to share with everybody.”

U Live helps to reinforce his passion of learning and sharing. As a Cyber guide for U Live, he aided seniors both NTUC U Live members and other active agers in bettering their IT skills. He helped them to overcome digital divide by ensuring that they know how to use social media and the basic functions of digital technologies.

His experience as a cyber guide further motivated him to come forward and learn more as he gets to witness the process of his peers gaining new knowledge.

He added: “Just like Martial Arts, if I teach my disciple moves, I have to come up with other moves to counter them.”

 

Staying Resilient

Because of the recent Circuit Breaker During the recent Circuit Breaker, physical meetups became next to impossible. Determined to not let that discourage him, Steric discovered about the popular online chat service Zoom. He then registered himself on Zoom and taught himself the functions as he wanted to spend more time with his peers online and keep them active while being at home.

However, he was met with several challenges. One of them was getting the seniors the U Live community of active agers to get on board with using Zoom. As compared to teaching everybody as a group in real life, he had to help them individually and ensure that they were familiar with the functions.

He added: “Yes, it is very hard, and it takes a very long time to finally teach about 30 to 40 people. But it is because I love what I do and I have the patience to do it, I will never complain.”

Each Zoom session would usually last approximately 3 hours. During each session, Steric would engage with them and teach them about matters such as how to collect masks, how to navigate around their smartphones or computer, edit photos and more. Sometimes, he would prepare Sudoku templates for them to play with.

During these trying times, he insists on enhancing his own skills as well as teaching others. Steric was exemplary in showing that learning will never stop no matter the circumstance.

 

Satisfaction of being a Cyber Guide

“Being a U Live Cyber Guide, I feel a great sense of satisfaction when I see my students becoming cyber guides themselves,” he said while beaming. As of right now, out of 40 students, 11 of them have become U Live Cyber Guides.

Achievement to Steric is when he sees the people he helped, flourish and being excited to learn more. He added: “During this period, many still joined the Zoom sessions to learn and enjoy together.”

Ending it off, Steric advised to always seek for new knowledge, he added: “Learning is a marathon that you will never stop running in. With that, you can share your knowledge to people and help them grow too.”

 

 

A 70-year old U Live Cyber Guide leads by example to never stop learning and sharing knowledge with others