Two new online courses have been launched by Digital Unite to provide housing staff and residents with the skills to help others access computers and the internet.
The Quick Start course, Helping Beginners Get (and Stay) Online, is a simple self-study course aimed at those with a basic working knowledge of technology. The course provides 10 hours of learning and is structured in seven engaging learning sections. Complete with practical exercises and a certificate of completion, it covers how to create the right learning environment for beginners, what hardware, software and websites to use and how to create and maintain learner interest.
Lisa Denison, community investment director, Sovereign Housing Association, said, “It’s cost effective to train people internally. If we invest that money in our own staff then they can then share that information with colleagues and work with residents, and each of those colleagues and residents can then go on to train other people.”
Digital Unite also offers a more in-depth online course to develop formal Digital Champion skills. The Digital Champions ITQ is provided as part of the nationally-recognised Information Technology Qualifications framework and can lead to a City and Guilds qualification. Aimed at those with a good understanding and knowledge of digital technologies, the course covers 16 topics such as the best use of Google, Skype, social media and blogging with practical tasks to complete. In addition the course covers promoting and sustaining digital learning in communities, working with partners and practical issues such as online safety.
Natalie Thyer, community investment assistant, Sovereign Housing Association, said, “I’d really recommend the Digital Champions course. I thought I already knew a lot, but now realise that there were big gaps in my knowledge. I am already using my new skills to support my team to reduce the social isolation of many of the older people in our sheltered housing schemes and to involve younger people in the area’s more deprived housing.”
Emma Solomon, managing director, Digital Unite, said, “We know that better digital skills, from head-office staff to in-scheme staff and residents, have a huge impact on overall organisational efficiency as well as realising profound personal benefits such as a reduction in loneliness and isolation, personal cost savings and an enhanced sense of community and connectedness.”