Digital Inclusion Frontline Staff training
The GEECS team are currently engaged in the delivery of a legacy training package for Communities 2.0.
As the project winds down, Ru, Mog and myself are doing the rounds passing on our knowledge and experience to staff working in frontline positions across Wales (Jobcentre staff, library staff, local authority staff, carers, housing providers etc.) so that they are better prepared to support their service users after our project has finished.
We were asked to put this training package together off the back of the excellent feedback we were getting from some other training we were running with hard-to-reach clients (inc Gwalia, BAWSO, The Wallich and the like).
The training spans two days, and covers all the key digital inclusion issues (and more!). Our approach, as ever, puts the individual, not technology, at the heart of the process and topics include: ways to engage, shopping & saving money online, cloud storage & collaboration tools, setting up and using a Universal Jobmatch account, Universal Credit, online privacy and security, password management techniques, and how to create a professional impression online. Throughout the process the need to develop sound digital literacy skills and take personal responsibility for all our online activity is emphasised. The sessions are designed to encourage discussion and the sharing of experiences amongst staff, and raises awareness of the implications of supporting people online and the need for host organisations to support the work by developing clear guidance and policies in order for staff to know boundaries and manage expectations.
This ain’t no exercise in pushing buttons. Given that platforms are want to change in the name of improvement on a fairly regular basis, focusing our efforts on showing people what buttons to press would be a wasted opportunity. Far better to equip people with the confidence and correct mindset to be able to use any website they want rather than feeling they need to be shown how to use, say, Twitter correctly (whatever that means!). Instead, we lead by example and showcase the technology as a natural part of the training. We deliver the course supported by and incredible amount of original in-depth resources using Google Docs/Drive. The resources are shared with participants so they can gain a real working experience of using the technology and an understanding of the improved functionality offered by Google Drive vs old-skool Office. We also introduce new platforms to the participants rather than overly focusing on the usual suspects, so, as part of the managing your online profile stuff, we get people to set up an About.me profile. This is as much about showcasing and broadening horizons as it is about future-proofing the clients that they will be supporting (and themselves, frankly).
We know the work is good, and that we’ve got the delivery right. I’ve just got home tonight from a 2-day stint on Anglesey, where Mog and I managed to really enthuse and excite the participants who openly admitted they were NOT HAPPY about coming! The feedback is fab, and it’s really good to know that there will at least be some best practice digital inclusion work in Welsh communities when Mog, Ru and I will be putting our Universal Jobmatch skills to use for real as we search for new jobs.
Oh, and here’s some feedback from today, for the record!
A very enjoyable and informative 2 days. Thank you!
I wasn’t looking forward to this but it was an informative,interesting 2 days
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Thank you.
Course very well run and enjoyable
Angharad and Mog presented the sessions well and held our interest despite the intensity of information given out.
Fantastic, concise and really valuable information learned. Thanks
Very interesting and informative with enthusiastic trainers
Good course over all – more communication between us and the organisers in getting the venue sorted in the future.