Get online week: A view from the ground

As an organisation, we like to think we’re pretty good about getting out and about and talking to our learners – after all, most of what we do every day is about supporting these people to do more online.

And so a campaign like Get online week is just a great excuse for us to get out of the office and chat to some of the people the campaign has supported.

In the next couple of days, I thought I’d share some stories from the team who have been out and about during Get online week – and first up is our training manager, Aniela.

Aniela says: “It’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day job, so it’s really nice to get out from behind your computer and sit behind a computer with someone else, and see things through their eyes. This week, I was lucky enough to visit Painted Fabrics, a sheltered housing scheme in Sheffield where Heeley Development Trust run a regular session. On the day I visited, seven ladies, all in their 70s or above, were chatting and learning how to do more online – the very essence of a Get online week event!

“I managed to sit down with Marilyn, who had been coming to the sessions for a while. Since starting, she’s learnt to do a number of things – including using eBay which she was loving.

“Although she was quite experienced, Marilyn needed some help. She’d bought her own Netbook two years ago, but when she finally felt confident to give the internet a go at home, and tried to log on a couple of weeks ago, the password wasn’t working.

“I use computers and the internet every day, but I was pretty lost when I tried to help Marilyn. We even tried to find some Youtube how-to guides, but I found them very confusing, so I dread to think what a beginner would think!

“The session finished before we got Marilyn’s computer sorted, but I’m determined not to let it beat me! I’m planning to take one of our resident techies back to help her in a couple of weeks and I’m hoping we can get her up and running soon!

“Speaking to Marilyn really demonstrated just what complicated things computers can be – whether you’re new to it, or you’re an old hand like me. Unfortunately, there’s not always an easy solution – you’ve just got to be prepared to persevere and ask for help, and hopefully you’ll get there in the end. Luckily for Marilyn – and for most of us I’d imagine – the benefits of technology outweigh the occasional problems, and so I’m confident she’ll keep on going and she’ll be surfing at home on her Netbook before long.”

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