Technology is changing the way we live and it’s changing it quickly!
Even in my lifetime, we have moved from landlines to mobile phones to smart phones. Cassette tapes became CDs, then disappeared altogether as we stream whatever we want. We used to watch the weather forecast, then we checked on our phones, and now we can ask our home assistant (e.g. Alexa) what the weather will be like and get a personalised report!
So it’s not surprising that a recent study commissioned by Post Office Broadband found that 1 in 5 people do not feel digitally confident. And it’s not just the older generations – 16% of 18-24 year olds also lack assurance about technology.
Free Digital Training Is Available
If this is describes you, then keep reading because I have some fabulous news – Post Office Broadband have teamed up with Google Digital Garage to bring free digital training to the UK!
I attended the first session which was in Leeds on Friday.
I asked the Post Office representative why they were offering digital training and she explained that the Post Office is local – a trusted brand that has supported the communities it serves for generations. When their recent research uncovered the digital knowledge gap that exists in the UK, Post Office Broadband wanted to help address it.
Six digital training sessions have been organised in cities across the UK. These six workshops will form the pilot scheme to find out what people want to know and how best to help them. Hopefully, the digital training will then be rolled out in full in 2019.
What happens in the digital training sessions?
So let me tell you a bit more about what happened at the Leeds Digital Training session.
It was held in one of the meeting rooms in Leeds Central Library (which is a stunning building, by the way!). Leeds Library already hold lots of digital training events and it was great to be able to pool resources and reach more people through this initiative.
When we arrived, there was a sign in the library entrance showing us which way to go and the room was easy to find. We signed in on the sheet and then went in.
In the room were three large tables with 10 chairs around each and you just found somewhere to sit. There were three members of the Google Digital Garage team (easily identified by grey t-shirts with “Google” written on the back) who were sitting with people and answering questions.
They were really friendly and very knowledgeable, but what impressed me most was their passion to open up the digital world to everyone who attended. You could tell that this was something that was really important to them and they loved their job.
It was a really laid back atmosphere with people milling around and chatting, and also a tea and coffee station (with biscuits!). Everyone was free to come and go as they pleased (so don’t worry if you can only spare a few minutes or you can’t be there until later on in the session).
What did people learn at the digital training?
There was a great range of people who attended – from those learning how to send emails to those who had their own websites and wanted to know how to promote them.
I had a chat to a few of the attendees to find out why they had come and what they were hoping to learn. Here are a few of the answers:
- “I feel nervous about computers and I want to be more confident.”
- “I thought I was quite tech-savvy because I’m on Facebook but I didn’t realise Instagram and Snapchat are similar things and that the younger generations are using these instead.”
- “I accidentally deleted a folder in my email inbox and lost loads of emails – I want to know how to get them back.”
- “I’m not sure what ‘follow’ and ‘unfollow’ means.”
- “I’m starting a new job and need to set up an email account for it.”
- “I have a Facebook business page but I don’t understand how and why it is different to my personal Facebook account. I want to find out how to use it and how I can share my work on there.”
- “I wanted to know how to set up Instagram and so I was shown how to search in Google to find the information I needed – I didn’t realise I could type full questions rather than just putting keywords in.”
These are just a few of the things that people came in to chat about. And the great thing is, the training is tailored to you because it is done 1-to-1.
Everyone is at different stages and that’s okay because it’s impossible to know everything. I would consider myself quite tech-savvy but I learnt loads of new things too, like how I can use my phone to make my own gifs or log where I’ve parked my car! Amazing!
There were some people who came in for information and then left. Then there were others who preferred to stay and put into practise what they had learned so that they could ask further questions as they were working.
You are welcome to bring along your own devices (phones, laptops, tablets, etc) to the digital training or borrow some while you’re there.
I want to attend!
If you fancy attending one of the sessions, there are five left this year:
- Southampton – Fri 6th July, 10-1
- Plymouth – Fri 20th July, 10-1
- Cardiff – Fri 3rd August, time TBC
- Norwich – Fri 17th August, 10-1
- Belfast – Fri 31st August, time TBC
You can register for a free ticket by clicking here or fill out the form to find out about other digital training events as details become available.
Are you quite tech-savvy or do you sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by it all? Do you know anyone who could benefit from attending one of these sessions? What would your tech question be? Let me know in the comments section below.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Post Office Broadband and I was invited to attend the digital training for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. For more info, please check out my disclosure policy.
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