by Jim Boyle
The presenter of a recent online TikTok class designed to help people use the social media app safely and efficiently will now offer a class for parents on what they need to keep their children safe on smartphones.
Nickie Welsh of Social Club Simple, a small business aimed at helping adults utilize technology to improve their lives in a positive way, is offering this class through District 728 Community Education and countless other entities. Welsh, of St. Louis Park, has developed quite a following.
Class attendees will come from the Elk River area and from across the Twin Cities. Some could even come from as away as suburbs of Boston and Chicago for the online offerings. They have in the past.
Based on the TikTok class on Feb. 7 offered by District 728 Community Education, everyone learned a lot and got their questions answered. And if they didn’t or they developed more questions afterward, there need not be any worries. They can email Welsh at any time and she’ll respond with answers, tutorials and/or links to helpful YouTube videos.
It’s all part of Social Club Simple, which offers classes on social media and podcasts in general and Facebook, TikTok and other apps. In the process, she opens up entirely new worlds for her students.
It could be a senior who can now read emails from family because they now know how to increase the font size on their smartphone.
It could be a parent who learns how to keep their child safe from predators with lessons on safety features and setting boundaries such as how long and when a 12-year-old can be on their phone.
Or it could be an otherwise homebound individual who can’t drive but learns how to use Uber and has another option when a friend or family member can’t take that person to an appointment or a shopping mall.
“I can make such an impact on people’s lives,’ Welsh told the Star News in a recent interview.
But it doesn’t feel like work for the former software manager who worked for nearly 13 years for a private equity firm in downtown Minneapolis. Maybe that’s because it didn’t start out as work. It started as a decision about three years ago to volunteer at a senior living facility in St. Louis Park to teach the individuals there all about their cell phones. She got the idea for that from helping friends and family with their technology. After a few classes, the activity center director there shared stories with senior facility coordinators. Before long, Welsh was on the road to other centers.
When the pandemic shut things down, Welsh continued her day job in downtown Minneapolis, but moved her efforts online.
“When the pandemic hit, I knew this is what I really wanted to do full time,” Welsh said. “That’s when things started ramping up.”
She started with classes on everything from cell phones to Zoom calls, which became the rage. In the process, she developed her Social Club Simple business. She recently quit her day job and has turned her side gig into her one and only gig. But it still doesn’t feel like work.
It was an epiphany
In all years of managing software a for private equity firm, she never understood what people meant when they said “they loved their job.” She would get a puzzled look when they went on to explain their job didn’t feel like work.
“That is what this is,” she said. “I just love it.”
The benefit of the online offerings spread over multiple communities is the classes don’t get canceled like in-person classes do when they don’t attract enough participants.
Welsh’s and many others’ online classes are also recorded, so if people can’t attend, they can watch on a tape-delayed basis.
“We’re not born with this knowledge, so people really appreciate learning it,” said Welsh, who loves learning herself and describes herself as passionate about it.
She has added classes on podcasting, various apps and Uber services that have become very popular. If a new technology emerges, she will delve into learning about it until she can become an expert on it and teach people about it.
“The classes are always changing,” she said. “I want to listen to the audience.”
Her podcast class is a good example. People got so sick of television during the pandemic, they were looking for outlets while still semi-stuck in their homes.
“A lot of people have never listened to podcasts, they’re not sure how to search or find one,” Welsh said. “That has been so fun. This has opened a whole new world for people.”
She encourages people to step out of their comfort zone to take a class. Any class.
“It can be quite intimidating,” she said. “You don’t want to ask a stupid question, but there’s no such thing as a stupid question. You just don’t know the answer to something.
“As adults we love routines. Our brains don’t like anything out of our comfort zone. Continuous learning is the best thing you can do for yourselves, especially in the area of technology because it is such a big part of our lives.”
For more information or to register for online courses, go to www.728communityed.com or call 763-241-3520.
To the Welsh’s website, go to http://www.socialclubsimple.com/ Her Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/socialclubsimple/
Online classes by Nickie Welsh offered through District 728 Community Education
Cell Phones and Parenting - What You Need to Know
When your child has a smartphone, there are key things you should know in order to keep them safe and secure. We’ll help you understand recommended safety settings on popular social media apps, explore parental control apps for your child’s smartphone, and simplify this complicated technology so that you and your child can use the phone safely without worry.
• Tuesday, Feb. 22
• Tuesday, May 31
Social Media for Business
Driving new customer traffic to your website and promoting your business is imperative in today’s technology world. Don’t let your skill set or company get left behind by missing the key social media rules you need to know! Learn how to craft a simple but effective social media marketing strategy, listen directly to customers, and implement tips to grow your business all while staying organized without being overwhelmed by technology.
• Tuesday, May 10
A Parent’s Guide to TikTok
Have you heard about the app called TikTok? In this fun class, we will take a look at the fastest-growing social media app used by millions each day. Learn how it’s used and how parents can make it safer for their kids. We’ll cover everything you need to know as TikTok changes the future of social media.
• Wednesday, May 18
How to Create Your Own YouTube Channel
Learn the basics to create and begin your very own YouTube channel. Join the world’s largest media platform to share your hobbies, advice, instructions, talents/gifts, and more with the world and your audience!
• Monday, Feb. 28
• Wednesday, June 1
For more information or to register, go to www.728communityed.com or call 763-241-3520.
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