Safer Internet Day: Building skills from the ground up

04 Feb 2019|

In 2018, Good Things Foundation and TalkTalk worked together on a project to boost online safety skills amongst learners in the Online Centres Network. Developing Creative Education in Luton was one of the Centres that took part in the project and for Safer Internet Day 2019, Delivery Manager Lobia Begum has shared her experiences, observations and a success story with us.

As a member of the Online Centres Network, we’re no strangers to supporting people with low or no digital skills to get online, but when we started delivering the TalkTalk project and putting more of a focus on online safety, we were shocked to learn how little priority these learners were giving to these essential skills.

Like so many before them, most of them relied on family and friends for the most basic use of the internet such as booking flights online, checking electricity bills and accessing their wage slips. Some of them often had no choice but to get family and friends to do the above activities, even though they felt this hindered their security.

Building skills

When the learners first came to the sessions, their skill set was absolutely basic and they had never used the internet. We worked through the online safety courses on Learn My Way and put a particular focus on social media. We taught our learners about the negative impacts that it can have on their lives, the impact it can have on their children and why, as parents, it’s important for them to be confident in talking about and using social media.

A success story

After we’d completed the course, our learners told us that they were pleased with the digital skills they’d learnt as well as the impact and difference we had made in their lives.

One particular learner had become too reliant on a friend, who he had put in charge of all his passwords for his wage slips and online bookings. He had no idea how to take control of any of this himself.

After completing the online safety course with us, he realised the importance of learning and putting in the practice, so he could do these things himself. We encouraged him to ask his friend for all his login details and once we had the logins, we showed our learner how to access and use his different online accounts on his own. We helped him to change all of his passwords and told him to keep this information to himself from now on.

The reaction we got from him - and the other learners on the course - was amazing. It feels great to have had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives and it just goes to show how much of a difference these online safety skills can make.