Helping people to get online

After now doing quite a few online sessions with people of very limited experience, I’ve written this very short guide to take people through the basics. More great resources are being created all the time, so do post any you see in the comments:

A five-step guide for people helping other people to get online. This doesn’t need any special skills beyond the confidence to use the internet yourself and patience. Remember nothing is obvious about using a computer: mouse, click etc are all jargon words that may need explaining and demonstrating.

1. Visit http://www.getonlineweek.com/ and help your trainee to play Splash and Grab. Once accomplished, this gives people the skills to use a mouse and fill in forms. If they want to, there is a longer form after the game to enter more details and be entered into a prize draw.

2. Once they have completed the signup process, they will have an email address and Myguide account. Make a note of this together, along with the website address www.myguide.gov.uk which they will need to access the courses and their email address in the future.

They can take this to any UK Online Centre, including libraries, and ask for more help if they need it. While you are together, you might want to look up the nearest one to them on the website.

3. If there’s time, encourage your trainee to go through some other Myguide courses. These will come up as soon as Splash and Grab has been completed and include all the core skills for safe browsing of the internet.

Reinforce to people that the internet is like any other new city, you must be careful about what you share and where you go until you’re comfortable with what you’re doing.

4. BBC First Click is also recommended and is a great gateway into all that the BBC has to offer: www.bbc.co.uk/firstclick

5. As you know the person you’ve trained, you will be able to show them some of the sites that they might find interesting or useful. Good first sites we show include NHS Choices and Directgov (information), Google Maps (directions and Streetview, which is very popular!) and the BBC (entertainment). Social networking sites as well, but again remind people to think about their personal privacy and security before sharing any information. You can help people put together a list of favourite/useful websites here (also a Myguide website): http://www.internetbuttons.org

There is more help here: http://www.helppassiton.co.uk/

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