Digital Drop-In Service: Boosting the Nation’s Digital Confidence

As a blogger, running my own business, I use technology a lot. There isn’t a single day when I don’t use the laptop or my phone, taking photos on a digital camera, transferring files to external hard-drives, faxing documents or creating spreadsheets. And whilst there are days when, admittedly, I long for simpler times, I also know that this is the age we live in and being clued up own digital technology is kind of a must!

It can be incredibly hard, particularly for the older generation, to grasp the concept of digital devices, and I know I am increasingly frustrated by my Dad’s inability to send a text message, or my Mum’s confusion over how to connect their home broadband. And although all devices come with manuals, these can be both extensive and confusing, and leave those who are new to digital technology feeling completely overwhelmed and lacking in confidence.

Thanks to Post Office Broadband, teaming up with Google Digital Garage, there are now free digital training sessions in six cities around the UK for those who need support. And whilst you may think it’s very easy for me to sit here and recommend a service, what if I told you that I personally attended the Leeds session last month, and that the expertise and advice available was second to none?

The event was held in one of the meeting rooms at Leeds Central Library which was easily accessible, incredibly beautiful and hugely welcoming. We were met by the Post Office representative and several members of the Google Digital Garage team, all of whom voiced their passion to close the digital knowledge gap that currently exists in the UK.

The session was in the form of a ticketed drop in clinic with members of the public coming and going, some armed with their devices and others simply wanting to borrow a device to gain advice and experience. With tea, coffee, and plenty of biscuits, it was a very laid back atmosphere and yet the advice given was completely professional.

The thing that surprised me the most was that those who attended were from all ages and all walks of life. From Mum’s returning to work after an extended maternity leave, to members of the older generation wanting to stay in touch with family members who had moved abroad. The truth is, no matter what your age or circumstance, digital technology is central to our lives and far too many of us feel left behind by how quickly it is advancing.

I particularly enjoyed chatting with an elderly gentleman who told me that he was struggling with his new touch screen phone. From talking to him I learned that, having dyslexia, he was finding it hard to follow the instructions on screen when setting up his device, and his biggest concern was that he was “doing it wrong”. I heard that several times during the session from various people who stated they didn’t want to break their device by pressing the wrong thing, or were afraid to make changes to it incase it no longer worked. It was evident to me that one of the biggest issues we are facing is down to a lack of confidence.

The Google experts were amazing and, watching them give advice in a clear and concise manner, I loved how they resolved each persons worries in a way that worked for them. After all, we all learn differently, and we all want different things from our device. I think steering away from a one size fits all mentality is absolutely the best way forward, especially when it comes to technology.

Having attended the session thinking I was pretty clued up, especially about my own smart phone, I came away having learned several things to make my life easier – most of all how to tell my phone where I’ve left my car when I park it. Anyone who knows me will agree that this new information may save me hours of my life trailing through car parks looking for my car!

If you’d like to attend one of the five remaining sessions this year, they are as follows: –

  • 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 here or fill out the form to find out about other digital training events as details become available. Although this still remains a pilot scheme, hopefully by 2019 there will be regular digital training sessions available throughout the UK.

** This is a collaborative post with the Post Office. All words and opinions are my own ** 

 

 

 

 

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55 Comments

  1. July 2, 2018 / 8:42 am

    What an excellent idea to promote the digital world, I think I take for granted how much I’ve learned through blogging. I’ll talk to people and they look dumbfounded over how complex things can get. #bigpinklink

  2. July 2, 2018 / 9:23 am

    What a great initiative – I will be telling my parents about the one on the 3rd in Cardiff, they would definitely benefit from going!

  3. July 2, 2018 / 9:42 am

    What a brilliant idea. While I’m always up for giving it a go and Googling what I need to do, my worry is that if I do it wrong I will somehow delete everything! Even though that’s pretty unlikely … Thank goodness!

  4. July 2, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    Love the idea of so many people from diverse backgrounds coming together to learn about the new digital world. #BigPinkLink

  5. July 2, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    What an interesting day and great to hear that diversity is thought about in such a big and powerful company X #bigpinklink

  6. July 2, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    Ahh, I was invited to this but had meetings next door so couldn’t go! Great to see it was a worthwhile event!

  7. July 2, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Great idea! My Mum and MIL definitely need to attend! #bigpinklink

  8. July 2, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    This sounds like a great initiative! Beautiful building as well! #bigpinklink

  9. July 2, 2018 / 8:11 pm

    What an awesome idea from Google! I think we all need some confidence boosting when it comes to technology in one form or another and this sounds great.

  10. July 2, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    what a fab idea! To say I use tech each day, there is still a lot that I don’t know, let alone older people

  11. July 2, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    Such a fantastic scheme, and I’m so glad to hear that it’s free to use as many senior folks are living on restricted incomes.

  12. July 2, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    This is interesting. I’m glad to see that there are workshops to help people with tech and the desire to learn is there as well.

  13. Geraline Batarra
    July 3, 2018 / 1:05 am

    This such a great idea to open the people minds in today’s digital era and I am so glad that you are able to share this with us.

  14. July 3, 2018 / 3:10 am

    Wish they did something like that near me. Plenty of people could benefit from it. Not just the mature crowd -)

  15. July 3, 2018 / 8:59 am

    These sound like a great idea, shame there is not one in the North East as this would be ideal for my dad x

  16. July 3, 2018 / 10:55 am

    This is such a great idea. my parents really struggle with technology and I cannot always get to them

  17. July 3, 2018 / 11:30 am

    This sounds like such a good idea! I think my mum needs to go to one of these sessions she is so clueless when it comes to technology!

  18. Jemma
    July 3, 2018 / 11:35 am

    I really love this idea. It’s amazing how many people actually struggle with technology and get embarrassed about asking for help.

  19. July 3, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    This is a fab idea. A great way to help people to be inclusive and not feel isolated with all the tech advances x

  20. July 3, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    Amazing how much technology has evolved and progressed throughout the years ever since the birth of the internet especially. I think it’s awesome that you got to be a part of this and that you learned so much from the experience as well!

  21. July 3, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    What a fabulous idea to help people with technology as I am sure this could be daunting for some. Loved all your photos which you have shared.

  22. July 3, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    These are such a good idea, technology and the internet are part of daily life now. My Grandma who is 87 uses an iPad on a daily basis to email family who have moved away and to do crosswords on apps I have downloaded for her

  23. July 3, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    I consider myself pretty good with technology and still I’m sure I could learn quite a lot in one of these meetings. Even if they’re not necessarily meant for me, I’m sure I would enjoy it a lot.

    My grandmother had a hard time with her device, when she switched to a touch screen. After some frustration, she decided that she’s not going to let the device beat her, so she read guides and manuals, and watched enough youtube that she can now teach me about things I did not know my phone can do.

  24. July 3, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    That’s interesting. I am happy people now are open for diversity and they are now interested in the opportunities in the digital world.

  25. July 3, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    This sounds so interesting ! We would love to be a part of it, are there such events in india ?

  26. July 4, 2018 / 9:36 am

    Love the sound of the session. I use technology everyday. I can’t imagine life without it all now.

  27. July 4, 2018 / 9:56 am

    This is brilliant, my dad really needs to do this and that might reduce the phonecalls I get from him needing help! Such a great initiative, I’m forwarding the details to him!

  28. July 4, 2018 / 11:12 am

    This sounds like a great initiative and a brilliant way to boost digital confidence amongst a diverse group of people.

  29. July 4, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    I heard about the Post Office teaming up with Google and it sounds like a very exciting partnership indeed! I believe they are having an event in Cardiff too.

  30. July 4, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    Brilliant idea, this is a great idea and something my Mum would benefit from.

  31. Jennifer
    July 4, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    What a great way to solve a problem! I hadn’t given it much thought before, but I’m glad people out there are so smart!

  32. July 5, 2018 / 6:52 am

    What a lovely idea and post! In addition to blogging, I work in one big tech company and it’s crazy how different skill sets people in all ages have with tech. And the fear of breaking things seems to very real for some people. It’s great that there is support services like this to give people more confidence and new ways to communicate without so much fear included. 🙂

  33. July 6, 2018 / 4:07 am

    I’d have to look into this in the US where I am. Great idea to get in tuned with the latest in technology!

  34. July 6, 2018 / 5:58 am

    I am often frustrated with my parents inability to manage technology and thing they would definitely benefit from these drop in sessions.

  35. July 7, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    such a cool idea. definitely an innovative way to make the digital age more accessible and understandable.

  36. July 8, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    Sounds absolutely brilliant and I’m so glad they are doing this as the more things get moved online, the more people are getting isolated and left out if they don’t have a grip on tech and that’s so sad!

  37. July 8, 2018 / 9:22 pm

    What a great idea this is! Even though I’m OK with my tech, every now and again there’s something that should be easy I really need help with. This is a really wonderful thing.

  38. July 8, 2018 / 10:57 pm

    What a brilliant idea. Well done for having such a great initiative. Be proud of yourself.

  39. Amber
    July 9, 2018 / 12:36 am

    I think this is a great service that all areas should have to help people out these days

  40. July 9, 2018 / 3:46 am

    You are really lucky to have attended digital training session since being well informed in technology is really crucial nowadays. I wish they offer this to our country as well.

  41. July 9, 2018 / 4:28 am

    Such a great idea, thanks for sharing! Digital Technology crosses all age groups. My mom who is 75 just learned how to use Facebook to keep in touch with family across the country, and she is finally getting a smart phone (bye bye flip phone). These devices get easier to use all the time.

  42. July 9, 2018 / 8:44 am

    I know we do training classes like this at the library out here. I wish we had more places doing it though. I know my parents, especially my mother could get more digital training. She struggles a lot.

  43. July 9, 2018 / 11:19 am

    What a great idea. My father also frustrates me with that cell phone. He has the most up to date phone and don’t know how to use it. He always call me and ask how to do this and that. My advice to him is go back to the store you got if from they will help you. It is very difficult to help him from miles away. But when I’m there to visit I work on the phone st least a hour or two trying to get him to understand

  44. July 9, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    this is absolutely brilliant 🙂 I wish more places had this, it can be very handy to have this knowledge in this digital world

  45. Princess Quinn
    July 9, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    It’s amazing that Google is holding some training for this very reason. It is very easy to be lost at today’s technology.

  46. July 9, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    I can’t get over the architecture and the detailing in that ceiling! It’s absolutely stunning.

  47. July 10, 2018 / 2:35 am

    What an interesting post! This place looks amazing. What a cool idea. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  48. July 10, 2018 / 5:28 am

    I think these drop in sessions sound like such a good idea as I’m sure a lot of older people would love to know more about technology x

  49. Ada
    July 10, 2018 / 7:18 am

    I definitely wish this was coming to my city! I would love to learn more about this and go into detail with questions that I have!

  50. July 10, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Wow, what an awesome initiative. I hope they’ll make such training in my country (or somewhere within South East Asia at least). It would be really helpful to support the bloggers from this area too, of which the number keeps increasing each day. Thank you for sharing this!

  51. This Mum At Home
    July 10, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    We need more of this here I wonder if I can find this over here in Australia or simular?

  52. July 11, 2018 / 2:28 am

    What a great idea to help those who are struggling with technology with free classes. I love this idea!

  53. July 11, 2018 / 3:30 am

    Such a wonderful service. I know the older generation especially our parents’ dilemmas in using technology. That makes life easier for people like them.

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